Ari Fuld, who was murdered this week in Gush Etzion, still managed to broadcast his weekly commentary on the parshah last Friday. In the living room of his home in Efrat, Ari sat and spoke in English about Vayelech and, especially, the passing of Moshe Rabbenu.
Moshe is about to pass away, Ari says, and leaves the nation one message: “Take responsibility!” Moshe does not focus on his successor, Yehoshua, but on the nation.
It is not a coincidence, Ari continued, that Moshe Rabbenu is not mentioned in the Pesach Haggadah even once, nor is it a coincidence that we do not know where Moshe is buried. Hashem and Chazal did not want us putting Moshe at the center or worshipping him at his grave. In his last moments, Moshe teaches us an important Jewish principle: the nation and the Torah are more important than the charisma of the leader.
In the video, Ari talks about great matters and tells his followers about his speaking tour in America that was scheduled for November. We also see a small, spontaneous moment: It is customary to bless children on Shabbat night, but Ari’s daughter was leaving to spend Shabbat in Jerusalem. So Ari stopped talking for a moment, put his hands on her head, and blessed her:
“May the Lord bless thee and keep thee; may the Lord make His face shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee; may the Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace.”
Ari will not speak this week, or again, and nor will he bless his four children. He is the first terror victim of 5779. We hope he will also be the last.