Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Horrific Murder!

I can barely get out the words.

As reported in VIN and the New York Daily News - an angelic innocent young Chasidic boy on his way home from day camp Monday afternoon, got lost and disappeared. This morning - two days later after a frantic search - 9 year old Leiby Kletsky's dismembered body parts were found in the refrigerator of a suspect now in custody. Other body parts were in as found in a dumpster inside a suitcase wrapped in a black plastic bag .

Leiby met a horrific end to his life in the hands of what must be a completely depraved psychopath.

I am sick to my stomach!

Shock and horror does not even come close to my reaction to this tragedy. It is so horrible that I am virtually numb. The depths of pain that the parents of this young boy must be in are unfathomable. I certainly cannot fathom that pain. There is no way to understand it unless you are them. The level of pain is beyond description. My mind will not allow me to go there.

There are no words. One thinks of these things as only happening on television crime dramas. We will watch an episode on TV and forget about it the moment the show is over. After all this is the stuff of TV drama. It is fiction. Writers writing a script. Actors palying a part. It never happens in real life. Certainly not Jewish religious life. But this time it did. And it was in the heart of Boro Park, one of the most religious neighborhoods in Brooklyn. It was real. Gruesomely real.

It happened to a real live human being - an innocent young child. A Jewish one. A Chasidic one. A member of the ‘family’ – the family of Israel.

How could that be?! How could something like this happen in broad daylight in the middle of a heavily populated Orthodox Jewish neighborhood?! Things like this just don’t happen in places like Boro Park. It is devastating beyond words.

My heart goes out to his parents - and to the rest of his family. My words are meager and insufficient. I don’t know what to say. How will this family ever overcome this?!

HaMakom Mencham Eschem B’Soch Shar Aveilei Tzion V’Yerushalayim. May God avenge his blood!

How should parents tell their children about it? I just recieved an e-mail from Rabbi Yakov Horowitz. It follows:

Explaining the Inexplicable to Your Children

Since the terrible news about Leiby a'h broke, I have been inundated with calls from parents, educators and camp directors asking what they ought to be saying to their children about this tragedy -- especially since many of them have been saying tehillim for Leiby.

I am working with the Rabbi Simcha Scholar and the crisis team of Chai Lifeline to prepare some guidelines to assist you in speaking to your children and I hope to have it posted within 30 minutes.

I suggest that you wait until you review their recommendations before speaking to your children. This conversation needs to be conducted carefully and calmly and your children/campers need to be able to ask questions they will invariably have. Breaking this information to them when your are agitated will needlessly traumatize them and they will not be able to absorb any important messages you have about personal safety.

PS. I recently posted a 33 minute video explaining to parents how to speak to your kids about personal safety. Please take to time to watch it if you can. Here is the link and I hope you find it helpful.

Update by Rabbi Horowitz: New Update:

In order to assist parents in speaking to your children about this horrific tragedy, we are setting up a conference call for 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time where you can call in and listen to directions on how to speak to your kids.

To access the call, kindly dial. (209) 647-1600 and when prompted, enter the Participant access code: 236682.

Please note that there are only 1,000 people who can dial in, so if you maxed out and are unable to join, a recording of the call will be posted on various websites as soon as we are done with the call.

Should you have any questions during the call, kindly email them to and I will do my best to address them during the call.

New Update: Rabbi Horowitz has posted about this on his website It is available here.