In tribute to Ari Fuld
In tribute to Ari Fuld

In my opinion, there is no justification for Arabs to walk around freely in any Jewish community in Israel. Last week, I did some shopping in the Rami Levy Supermarket located at the Gush Etzion Junction, meters away from the spot where Ari Fuld was murdered by an Arab terrorist who was walking around freely in the parking lot. The supermarket was filled with Arab shoppers, loading up their shopping carts to the brim. The cashiers were mostly Arabs. This wasn’t Ramallah, but in a supermarket in Gush Etzion, a community of thousands of Jews. If Arabs were denied access to the area, Ari Fuld would still be alive.

Too extreme, you say? The fact is that all over Israel, at the junction of roads leading to areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority, there are large signs warning, in bold red lettering, that Jews are forbidden to enter the area. The same thing must be done on roadways leading to all Jewish communities in Israel – large signs with bold red lettering forbidding Arabs to enter the area.

Have you ever asked yourself why Arabs can walk around freely in Jewish communities, supermarkets, hospitals, and shopping centers all over Israel without worrying that someone will kill them, when, in contrast, a Jew entering an Arab community or Arab hospital is likely to be slaughtered within minutes?   

To answer the question, allow me to present a short excerpt from my new novel, Arise and Shine!  The hero of the novel, Tevye the Milkman, is sitting shiva over his daughter, Hava, who has been savagely murdered in the 1929 pogrom in Hevron. One of the comforters is Rabbi Shlomo Dichovsky. He recounts his meeting, as a young Torah student, with the famous Chofetz Chaim, just before the Chofetz Chaim died. He came to Radin to ask the great Torah sage if he could travel to Eretz Yisrael to learn Torah, even though living in the Holy Land was dangerous because of the rampant Arab violence against the Jews.

This is what the Chofetz Chaim answered, as recorded in Rabbi Dichovsky’s treatise on the Talmud, Neot Desha:

"A Heavenly Providence was with me, and I merited to see the holy Chofetz Chaim the day after Yom Kippur. I told him my situation, and that I had a good chance of making Aliyah to Israel as a Torah student - only I had lingering doubts if I would be able to learn Torah with the same concentration with which I was learning in my yeshiva in Lithuania. Immediately, he answered, in his famous sweetness of speech, assuring me that there was no room at all for my wariness. Why in the world would I not be able to learn Torah in the Holy Land with absolute diligence? Just the opposite was true, he stated, without any question, for the Land of Israel, with its holy air, was far more conducive to a steadfast immersion in Torah. He recited the verse, ‘The gold of the Land is good,’ on which the Midrash says, ‘Gold means the words of Torah, for there is no Torah like the Torah of Eretz Yisrael; and there is no wisdom like the wisdom of Eretz Yisrael.’

"Before I could express the rest of the doubts that I harbored - especially due to the danger in Eretz Yisrael because of the children of Ishmael who were known to kill Jews wantonly on the roads and in the fields - and only a few years had passed since the riots and massacres in the Hebrew year ‘tarap’ (1920) when Arabs had ruthlessly slaughtered Yeshiva students in Jerusalem and showed no mercy even to the women and children. Before I was able to confess all of my apprehensions, the holy Chofetz Chaim answered the question himself.

"He said in these very words: ‘The holy Torah tells us regarding Ishmael that he is a pereh adam, meaning a wild beast of a man. It is known that our Torah is eternal, and if it says about Ishmael that he is a wild beast of a man, then Ishmael will remain forever a wild beast of a man. Even if all of the cultured nations of the world gather together and try to educate Ishmael and transform him into a cultured individual, so that he will no longer be a pereh adam, obviously this will be impossible in any fashion or form, for behold, the Torah testified regarding him that he is like a wild beast, and the truth of the Torah is eternal. This means that the savageness of Ishmael will never cease. Even if he should become a doctor or a professor, he will remain, in his essence, a wild beast of a man.’

"Then the Chofetz Chaim let out a long, painful sigh and said, ‘Who knows what this wild beast of a man is capable of perpetrating against the Jewish people in the future?’”

May the murder of Ari Fuld be avenged, and may his love and self-sacrifice for the Jewish People, for Torah, and for Eretz Yisrael, be an example for all of us.