14 July 2011

The Silent Inner Cry of Anguish

I write this out of immense grief. I didn't know the Kletzky Family, or maybe I would have recognized them on the street, because they live around the corner from where I used to live in Boro Park. My neighbors. All Jews are my family. I have been following this story from the early hours of its reporting, practically glued to my iMac and iPad with much hope. Then yesterday (Israeli time) when the horrific results were found, I was frozen in grief and the thoughts swirled around in my head for hours. There is so much to say but words are inadequate to fathom the deep sorrow for the family blended with a desire to shower them with immense love. So, last evening I wrote the following.

The Silent Inner Cry of Anguish

Today is an immensely sad day. I cannot even imagine how the mother of a pure, innocent 9 year old boy feels after waiting to meet him as he walked home from day camp. He never made it to his mother. Little Leiby Kretzky is no longer with us, he has been called to Shomayim as a pure Korban.

In Boro Park, Flatbush and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, most Jewish religious children go away to summer camp beginning the July 4th weekend, for 8 weeks until the week before their school begins in the fall. And then others go to camp for either the first half, or the second half of the hot steamy summer.

Leiby was staying in Boro Park for the summer, and his parents sent him to the Boyan Day Camp, near 44th Street and 12th Avenue. Yehuda ben Ita Esther z”l or Leiby as he was called pleaded with his mother to let him walk half way home. He was feeling like a big boy, ready to be a little independent. Young boys from religious “frum” families are very very dear to their mothers, and he was the only boy with 4 sisters. The mother watch over them and worry 24/7 that they should be safe and happy, crying into their Sefer Tehillim for divine assistance in raising all their children, mothers especially are aware that we are living in not so safe times.

Nine year old Leiby, went with his day camp on a trip that day. He probably was feeling very elated having seen new and exciting things. Maybe he even was a bit disoriented as he started his walk to meet his mother at 13th Avenue and 50th Street. She had agreed only on condition that she was to meet him half way. Maybe the new adventure was still being processed in his memory, and for a split second he lost his orientation.

The frum people in the area were out in the thousands, from the moment word spread quickly, trying to search and give whatever help that they could. This is a special trait of yidden, to care immensely for one another. This is Councilman Dov Hikind’s district and he takes every family issue personally and jumps into the action to get things moving in the right direction. The local police, Hatzalah members, and ordinary fathers were all out trying to find little Leibey. A Command Center was set up to field all information. Surveillance cameras from neighborhood businesses were all scruitinized to the time of little Leibey’s walk home, and it was because of these videos that the Police were able to put together much of the information. However, it was the Siyata d’Shmaya (divine insight) of one police officer driving by a suspicious dumpster who actually found the evidence, and from there they found the murderer (who showed the police where ‘all’ the [gruesome] evidence was). He had a beard, wore a white shirt and dark pants. He lived in Kensington - an area of mixed cultures. The way little Leibey sent his pure Neshoma to Shomayim was in the manner of a Korban, only without the fire.

The father who was shown video footage from one surveillance camera, during one particular scene where he identified his son, kept saying with tears in his eyes, “Where are you going, where are you going?” “What are you doing?”

We now know where he was going and what happened to Yehuda ben Ita Esther. The big question is “WHY?” Why do we Jews need another Korban? What are we doing that we should not be doing? What can we do to prevent these type of horrific tragedies? What does HaShem want from us? These are just some of the question we should be asking ourselves. Especially now that the Three Weeks are coming upon us, ending with Tisha B’Av, our national day of mourning.

We are indeed living in perilous days. Jewish Mothers of young children need to guard them scrupulously, never leaving them alone for an instant, because that’s all it takes for something to happen. Especially our pure Jewish children, who are innocent of the world and dedicated to Hashem’s laws and ways from conception and birth, through their school years, Bar Mitzva, and up to their marriage. Once married and sharing life with a wife, they begin their world of intensive learning and bringing children into the world–and the cycle begins anew.

Baruch Dayan HaEmes
Yehuda ben Ita Esther z"l


yaak said...

Well said, Neshama.

It's amazing how many things went wrong for this tragedy to have happened. By sheer probabilities, it should be clear to all that Hashem orchestrated it. What's not clear at all is why. We know הצור תמים פעלו and we cannot question - just accept Hashem's judgment.

yaak said...

I'm not ח"ו blaming Hashem. And I realize הכל בידי שמים חוץ מיראת שמים. However, it's also clear that Hashem put things into place for this to happen. Of course, the guilt is squarely on the perpetrator.

Neshama said...

Thank you for commenting, but the purpose was/is for Am Yisrael to come together, be more accepting of Hashgacha Pratis, events that occur for us to learn by them, and change something, anything in the way we relate to the world, other Jews, and of course HaShem.