I have just finished watching the footage of the funeral for Leiby Kletsky.
I cannot help but cry for a family distraught beyond measure for the loss of their little child. For those who don’t know; Leiby was a Chassidic boy of eight from Borough Park in Brooklyn, who went missing on Monday afternoon. He was supposed to have met up with his mother after Day Camp but he did not show up at the agreed place.
CCTV footage showed pictures of the boy at an intersection in Brooklyn obviously lost. He stopped a man to ask him how to get to the Sefarim store. The man went away – he had an appointment with the dentist. Came back a little later and you see on the CCTV footage the little boy walking away following the man.
The man was identified as Levi Aron- a thirty five year old divorced man who had recently moved to the area. When they went to his home at Kensington to interview him at three in the morning on Wednesday, the man brought the investigators into his apartment. There was blood everywhere and body parts were found. Other parts of this young boy’s body were found in a dumpster. Levi Aron was arrested immediately.
Looking at the photo of the accused you think how he looks so normal. One would never have thought that this man would have done such a thing.
The whole story gives me the shivers.
This type of thing doesn’t happen in the Jewish community does it? Child and wife abuse doesn’t happen? Does it? The shock is that this type and form of crime is the first that I’ve heard of from within the orthodox Jewish community.
Our weaknesses are that we are all very trusting. We try to see the good in everybody. After all, isn't it better to look at people with your right rather than the left eye? As a Rabbi surely I’m supposed to try to accentuate the good in life and see that in everybody?
Whacko! Animal! Monster!! These are some of the appellations that I have read on various blog and news sites. But the truth is he had two eyes a nose a mouth and two ears like you and me. His photo doesn’t fit the stereotypical picture of a monster. Yet he did what he did. I can never understand the mentality of such a person. Whether or not this is a person suffering from mental illness is for the authorities to determine. But the fact is a person has it within his capacity to do such a crime.
However, this story reminds me of something that happened in our family a few years ago. We had a Polish cleaner. Somebody we thought we could trust with everything. I think of the many times that we left her alone in the house and with the children. Then one day we received a phone call from a lady in Hendon from the place where she was residing as au pair for a Jewish family. The lady of the house had (wrongly in my opinion) gone into her bags when she was out, and found; perfumes, rings, and baby’s clothes- an abundance of them. She knew that we had just had a baby girl- and some of the clothes that we had received as presents had gone missing.
We were shocked. These were all the clothes that we had received from the birth of our baby. Over the time she had worked with us she had quietly filtered off rings and clothes –we still today do not know what she had taken. Somebody in whom we had put our trust had betrayed that trust. Could we ever trust anybody ever again?
The police commissioner on the case said that this was just happenstance, Leiby just happened to be the wrong child in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the eyes of the Orthodox Jewish world there is no such thing as coincidence there is a reason for everything. We don’t understand Hashem it is beyond our rationale.
Perhapsultimately this has been sent to us as a warning: to watch and look after our children, to recognise that we are near the three weeks- a time of tragedy for the Jewish people or just to recognise the importance and value of every single Neshama.
May his soul be bound up in eternal life