As a terror victim and an advocate for other victims around the world, I thought that I had experienced the ultimate in pain and loss. I have seen the devastation of families after learning that their loved ones would never be coming home.
I have personally comforted the mourners who had to deal with the unthinkable, that their loved one was killed in a senseless act of hatred. But nothing I have experienced could prepare for the shock and horror I felt today learning of the senseless murder of my friend, Ari Fuld.
I will never forget how privileged I was to spend time with Ari and what a good friend he was. He was always running around but always made time to catch up. Ari had this incredible ability to make me laugh, even at the most difficult times while always maintaining his singular focus helping others and on his advocacy.
It is not that Ari’s murder is more senseless or tragic that the others. Every senseless death, the loss of every life tears at our collective souls, Yet, this is different. This loss isn’t being felt by a few, but this loss of Ari is everyone’s loss.
I don’t usually like to write these kinds of things, but the message of Ari’s life compels me to do so. It is impossible to give a full picture of a person like Ari, given the limitations of an article. Quite simply, he was almost beyond description. A loving husband, father, son, and brother, Ari was really family for everyone. Born in America, he had made Aliyah with his parents and siblings.
He was a tireless American and Israeli patriot. The care and concern he showed to everyone was extraordinary. Ari had the unique ability to cut through the clutter and explain the moral, historical and political justifications for Israel. Ari did more than just make the arguments, he lived them, moving to Israel and leading the fight to combat the age-old anti-Semitism that has recently masked itself as anti-Israel activism.
Ari moved to Israel to live the dream himself. He lived to give and help others. It is truly unbelievable, but not at all surprising that Ari spent his dying moments thinking of others. He died as he lived; a selfless hero who wanted to help and protect others. His first instinct after a terrorist stabbed him in the back was to neutralize the threat and make sure everyone else was safe.
I will never forget the images of this brave hero stumbling, fatally wounded, but making 100% sure he protected others before he even considered his own needs. Ari’s death didn’t make him a hero, it just reconfirmed it.
And now it is our turn. We can never make sense of the senseless, but we must not allow Ari just to be another communal sacrifice. We must strive to live as he lived, each one of us to the best of our abilities.
Thankfully, Ari left a large digital footprint. Let us all rally around his flag and continue his incredible work on behalf of the Jewish people. We can all do our best to live as he lived.
We can all dedicate ourselves to the needs of our brave soldiers the way he did. We can all give selflessly to the community, but perhaps the most important lesson we can take from Ari is that we can all fight the propaganda and lies being spread by the new faces of anti-Semitism. We can all stand for Israel and defend her with the passion and conviction of Ari, no matter what the odds.
May his memory be for a blessing.
- Sarri Singer is a survivor of the bus #14 terrorist attack on June 11, 2003 in Jerusalem, Israel. She is the Founder and Director of Strength to Strength, a non-profit organization that unites victims of terrorism from across the globe to help them heal and move forward. For more information, please visit www.stosglobal.org.