Just two days ago Ari Fuld posted a live video on Facebook on the weekly Torah portion and asked a chilling question: Did Moses give Joshua the worst or best advice for a leader who was taking his place?
Now many are wondering, who will fill Fuld’s shoes?
Two days after this Facebook post, the Israeli-American and Israel advocate was stabbed to death in a terror attack outside a mall in Gush Etzion on Sunday.
A 17-year-old Palestinian from a town near Hebron stabbed Fuld in the back then fled. Fuld chased his assailant and opened fire before succumbing to his wounds. The attacker was taken to the hospital with multiple gunshot wounds.
The teenager’s family warned Israeli police ahead of the attack. The mother of Halil Yousef Ali Jabarin told soldiers she was worried her son may carry out an attack but didn’t know where, according to Channel 10 news. Jabarin’s grandfather said the family warned Palestinian forces as well after the teenager did not show up to school this morning.
Fuld, 40, was well-known among Jewish communities around the world and was even planning a speaking tour in November in the United States to “reclaim the narrative.”
“I am coming to infuse some serious motivation to step up the advocacy game,” he wrote on social media. “No more apologies, the truth is on our side and it’s time to be clear!”
The father of four was assistant director of Standing Together, an organization that supports Israeli soldiers, according to his website. He was considered an icon and a hero in Israeli advocacy.
“Living the dream! I have a love for the Nation of Israel, Land of Israel and Torah of Israel,” Fuld’s Facebook page says.
He was extremely influential in Judea, where he lived. A fourth level black belt in karate, when stabbings became the new go-to form of terrorism, Fuld set up self-defense classes for women.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu eulogized Fuld and sent his condolences to his family.
“With his last strength, Ari fought heroically against the terrorist and prevented a greater tragedy,” Netanyahu said. “Ari was a wonderful father to four children. He was an advocate for Israel who fought to spread the truth about Israel. May his memory be a blessing.”
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also expressed condolences on Twitter, saying that “America grieves as one of its citizens was brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist.”
“He was a passionate defender of Israel & an American patriot. He represented the best of both countries & will be deeply missed. May his family be comforted & his memory be blessed.”
In his commentary on the weekly Torah portion posted on Sept. 14 on Facebook, Fuld spoke about Moses’ last words to the people of Israel. Ironically he interrupted himself to report that a terrorist broke into Israel from the Gaza Strip, but was captured by Israeli forces before killing anyone.
He also pauses his teaching and blesses his daughter in the video before she goes away for Shabbat.
Moses didn’t give Joshua any advice on leading the people of Israel, he told him to be strong and courageous, Fuld said.
“It is important for a leader to understand that their effort is very important, but success and failure is not necessarily up to you,” Fuld said. At the end of the day, God determines success and failure, he said.
“God will not abandon the people of Israel,” Fuld said.