Ari was my Tora Dojo teacher a long time ago. The way I process things is through art, and when I heard of Ari’s death I wanted to find a way to express who Ari truly was. He was a hero. In this watercolor painting, I express Ari’s lion likecharacter and his love and dedication for Eretz Yisrael. This week I had the opportunity to meet Miriam his wife share some of our memories.
Some people are just larger than life. If you would have told me that this is a woman who lost her husband a few weeks ago I wouldn’t believe you. The amount of strength, hope and love that Ari’s zl wife exuded yesterday was on a different level.
Bh I had a chance to deliver my painting close to my heart. Miriam answered the door with a smile on her face and welcomed me with love. I shared with her my memories of Ari, how he always taught us that if there’s one thing more powerful than strength it’s speed. If someone is holding a gun to someone’s head and someone comes swiftly he can overcome. I shared how Ari took us out one night to look at the stars.. and he has so much knowledge about each star. What it means. Miriam told me that she loves hearing the stories about Ari’s teaching days because he had so much to share and she always told him to repeat these things again to her because she wouldn’t remember. I guess now we are repeating them to her, as a reflection of Ari.
I guess that’s what stays in the world after we’re gone, the imprints and the impressions of what we left on the people around us.
She loved the painting and said how each part of it really represents Ari, even the olive leaves at the bottom ( which are taken from the Israeli Emblem with the Menorah that symbolise peace), that is also a symbol in the Fold family that they have on the Talit they get when they turn Bar mitzva.
Then she showed me around and showed me the walls which were covered with photos of Ari and the family all around and on tiulim. She showed the recent photos of Ari taking the kids to the USA, a painting Ari collected from his last trip to China.. featuring an interesting looking animal named after one of his Tora Dojo moves. Yeah he was a man of many passions.
And after all this she exclaims “but we must move on. The ball keeps on rolling, and the sun will come out again tomorrow”. It’s crazy how sometimes it’s the people at the bottom who find the most strength.
May Ari soul have an Aliya and may we all merit to take a part of him with us on the way.