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By September 21, 2018 Read More →

Remembering Ari Fuld – G-d’s time is not our time, by Mali Adler Brofsky

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By Mali Adler Brofsky

In Memory of Ari Fuld, הי״ד

God’s time is not our time.

I first learned this lesson from my father, when he described visiting a Holocaust museum in Hungary, and seeing a drum made by the Nazis out of a Sefer Torah, and the verses on the drum were those promising blessings to the Jewish people. “Zu Torah ve’zu secharah (this is the Torah and this is its reward”)?!, he thought to himself. Does God keep his promises? A few nights later, sitting with his family in a sukkah in Eretz Yisrael, he answered – Yes. But His time is not our time.

I thought of that sentence again, after an evening when my uncle presented to our family a series of letters from one of our ancestors in Russia to his children in America. As the situation grew more and more dire, with no sustenance for the community, no food, with the final letter describing the Nazi invasion, after which no more letters came, one theme was urgently repeated over and over in his letters to his daughter – are his grandchildren in America getting a Jewish education?

This is what mattered to him, to Rav Aryeh Leib Hamburg. Anyone in his time would have laughed him to scorn. These are your priorities?

As we drove home from my uncle’s house, I looked out of my car window at the view of Jerusalem and of what Ari Fuld would have called “the beautiful rolling hills of Judea” and thought to myself – incredible. Rav Aryeh Leib was right and our enemies were wrong. God’s time is not our time.

I thought it again this morning as I read of a Chasidish rebbe whose spirit was broken for over 40 years, thinking he has betrayed his people, only to find that he had been part of creating a miracle of survival in Eretz Yisrael. I thought of it when I read that Rav Kook – Rav Kook! the eternal optimist and visionary, who foresaw things no one would have dared to imagine – passed away with many of his dreams crumbling around him.

And I think of it this morning as I see videos and pictures of thousands of Jews from all sects and denominations, religious, secular, Ashkenazi, Sephardi, coming together to celebrate Yom Kippur. These are images of unity and spiritual cohesion that we never would have dreamed of seeing just a few decades ago.

So as we struggle when things are hard, and don’t make sense, I think of Ari’s brother’s eulogy, when he insisted that there is indeed a Bus-driver up there driving the bus. And I think of Ari Fuld, who never stopped fighting for his truth and for the Jewish people, and never gave up, not even to his last breath.

I try to remember:
Be like Ari, never give up. God’s time is not our time.

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