Shalom Chaverim (Dear Friends),
I have been overwhelmed by the responses I received from last week’s Shabbat message regarding the death of my one-time camper, friend and hero, Ari Fuld, z”l. As witnessed in the news, the outpouring of love for Ari has been unbelievable—from the thousands who attended his funeral in Israel, to the remarkable response on his Go Fund Me page for his wife and four children, to the individual expressions of love and sorrow from members of our Phoenix community. I feel like I have known the real-life George Bailey from my favorite movie, It’s A Wonderful Life.
Let me share just one of the dozens of beautiful messages people sent to me this past week:
Mr. Haberer — I can’t stop crying — again — at your touching eulogy of a true Lion and Hero — Ari Fuld. I know how painful his murder is to you, who knew him personally. Breaks my heart, even though I never met him, but it doesn’t matter because heroes like Ari are part of every Jew’s heart and soul. My sympathies to you and to everyone who knew Ari. And I feel as you do about Psalm 19:14 — knocks me out. Have a very Good Shabbos and Happy Succoth and G’Mar Tov. – Ann Baumrind
It’s times like these when we understand more than ever, why we need our community. In this week’s Torah readings, which occur on Chol Hamoed (intermediate days of) Sukkot, it says, “Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: The appointed times of G-d, which you shall proclaim as Callings of Holiness, these are my appointed times.”
Ari Fuld’s ultimate calling of holiness occurred after he was stabbed. When Ari saw that his attacker was chasing a young woman with the intent to harm her, Ari rose to his feet, despite his own fatal injuries, pursued the attacker and took him down, preventing the assault on that young woman. She had this to say of Ari, “The man that was killed really saved my life. He’s not just a hero. He gave his life for me.”
It’s gratifying to know there really are such wonderful people, Tzadeekeem, in our world. Theirs are the selfless acts on which we should focus and to which we should aspire. May your Nishama have an Aliyah, Ari.
Wishing all of you a happy and healthy Sukkoth.
Chief Executive Officer
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