Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Leiby Kletzky

They say in Boro Park that the little boy begged his mother to walk home from camp by himself. She agreed, allowing him to walk six blocks. The problem was, he walked six blocks in the opposite direction. He was lost.

So he approached a man and said, "Help please, I'm lost." And the man said he would buy him ice cream and take him home. So he bought the boy ice cream and the boy sat in the car for seven minutes. Seven minutes during which he could have escaped had he known what that man intended.

Then the man made a stop by his dentist's office and paid his bill. The dentist remembered the boy. It was through this dentist that the police were able to identify the man who took Leiby as Levi Aron. This man had taken Leiby to his home. There, he suffocated the boy (thank God for small mercies) and later dismembered him.

Boro Park as a whole did not know this. Shomrim, the NYPD and the FBI went searching for the child. Thousands of people, including Heshy's family, volunteered to search for the child. There were sirens and huge speakers calling Leiby's name. Everyone searched for the little boy. And those who were not searching prayed and updated their Facebook statuses and emailed his name to the world.

Once the police were at Aron's house, they discovered pieces of the child's body in the freezer/ refrigerator and Aron led them to the other parts of the body in a red suitcase in the dumpster.

I found out today that in fact Leiby is the cousin of a classmate of mine from high school. Already upset, I had not expected that.

The last time I remember us all praying for a different outcome with a tremendous outpouring of love and good will like this was by Koby Mandell and Yosef Ishran. But God said no. I remember being devastated by this news. I was touched later on to find that Koby's mother had written a book, The Blessing of a Broken Heart. I remember it comforted me somewhat.

I also remember an excerpt from the book:
    "What do we do with the pain?" my husband asks a rabbi who, years ago, lost his eleven-year-old child in a bus accident. The rabbi answers: "You must use it to grow."

    Another rabbi says that ours is a heartbreaking test, but we need to turn to God, that only God can give us comfort. Outside of the house, my friend Valerie tells me, the rabbis cry like babies.

    Because no matter how much we try to intellectualize or interpret the pain, to will it away, the pain crouches on our heart like a beast who is waiting to crush us, to chew us to bits until we are nothing, dust that the wind can blow away.
I remember being awed by the way that Sherri turned even this tragedy into something deep from which we could learn. I remember also being touched by her column 'Life, Not Ashes.'

Tonight is the funeral. The rabbis will cry. The laypeople will cry. We will all cry. But we will also be part of something bigger, which will be remembering Leiby, learning from him and his life, trying to emulate whatever it was in him that made God desire him and choose him to be with Him.

There was a song I learned in Camp Agudah about death and loss that went as follows:

A rose among the flowers
A treasure for the king
Dodi halach b'gano
Lilkot Shoshanim

The analogy, of course, was that the precious, singular unique roses of the world were the ones God chose for His garden.

I like to imagine that Aviva Miretzky, Koby Mandell, Yosef Ishran, Leiby Kletzky and the other little ones who die or are murdered are part of God's inner court. That their souls were so special and pure that God desired them to come back to Him early, where He could surround Himself with their fragrance and hear their beautiful words. That Leiby sees a world that the rest of us cannot imagine, replete with glittering castles that sparkle and sparkling Hebrew letters that float, and that he is content and even joyful there.

Of course this does not excuse the actions of those who kill. But as God is just and in the end so are all things, I believe that these flowers were plucked by him and form a part of his eternal garden. This idea is expressed in "Gathering Flowers for the Master's Bouquet." (Listen here).

Loved ones are passing each day & each hour,
Passing away as the life of a flower.
But every bud and each blossom some day,
Will bloom as a flower in the Master's Bouquet.

Gathering flowers for the Master's Bouquet,
Beautiful flowers that will never decay.
Gathered by angels and carried away,
Forever to bloom in the Master's Bouquet.


Anonymous said...

And the tears come pouring out.

The Talmid said...

The fundamental question is: What obligation does suffering impose upon man?...

Suffering imposes upon man the obligation to return to G-d in wholehearted repentance. Afflictions are designed to bestir us to repent....

- the Rav in Kol Dodi Dofek

nmf #7 said...

Chana- you express it so perfectly. The song reminds me so much of Aviva, a"H. May no more sorrows like these hit Klal Yisroel. I'm going to link to you, if that's okay.

The Nudnik said...

Just as the Miretzkys, the Mandels, and now the Kletzkys, I am a member of "the club" (people who have buried a child).

While I understand the effort by many to find meaning in these tragedies, I am unable to do so, especially for such senseless tragedies as this. My feeling of meaninglessness may become more intense, depending on the results of the investigation.

Devorah said...

Yes, it's true, Hashem chose another rose for His garden. But how many more roses does He need already?!

It's too much!! That garden is so beautiful but we are all losing out on the flowers and the potential of these precious young children, had they lived a little longer.

I lost my younger brother Shalom a"h. His yartzheit is coming up in a little over a month.
I have no questions. I know Hashem has a plan and we can't understand. I'm just in pain. Another child, another flower, another rose, another tulip-what a beautiful garden up there. But we down here are suffering. Every child taken away, every young person who dies, brings back my own memories and it strong.

Enough. The garden is beautiful enough.

Here's a link to a great article from aish about this painful story and another link to a post I wrote about it. Sad, it's very sad.

ajlounyinjurylaw said...

It's a sick person that would take and kill an innocent. Liebby, you didn’t make it to moon in this lifetime, but with your outstretched arm, you’ve slipped the surly bonds of earth and gone to touch the face of God. RIP

frum single female said...

well said . beautifully written. so very sad. so many tears. its so heartbreaking.

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