Rambling ...

I'm an Irish Girl, A Dubliner, with the 'Gift of the Gab' ... I like to talk & to tell you things. In Celtic times news, views and comment were carried from place to place by wandering Seanachaí ~ Storytellers ~ who relied on their host's hospitality and appreciation. I will need that from you too, as I venture to share Politics, Poetry, Laughter, Love, Life & everything in-between ... from Bog to Blog!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tragedy & Tears .... Thoughts for Leiby Kletzky!!

Tisha B’Av came early this year to Boro Park, Brooklyn.  New York.   An eight-year-old boy, ~ he would be nine this week ~ Leiby Kleztky, was on his way home from day camp when he mysteriously disappeared. A frantic search, spearheaded by the FBI and aided by his entire community, failed to find him for two full days. And then his mother and father had to endure every parent's worst nightmare.

Leiby was found dismembered. Parts of the body were discovered in a suitcase wrapped in a black plastic garbage bag in a dumpster. The rest were in the refrigerator of a man of whom trusting little Leiby had asked directions ~ for on this his first attempt to walk home alone he trusted in a strangers assistance.

Words fail to convey the immensity of this tragedy.

Apart from its ghoulish aspects, it is simply too much to imagine what it means to send off a smiling child for a summer’s day of fun only to learn that all that is left of him is a memory.It's been said that the cruelest word in the English language is "never".

Never will Leiby’s parents ever again be able to hold him, to hug him, to prepare him for life with words of advice and of Torah. Never will his family be able to share in the milestones of his growth to maturity. Never will there be a Bar Mitzvah to celebrate, graduations to attend, a wedding canopy to stand under with him and his bride as he prepares to embark on his own journey to family and future.  Never will all those who knew Leiby as a child be able to find out what his unique talents might have enabled him to accomplish.  Never will the Jewish community discover the contributions Leiby might have made to it and to the larger world.

Ever since the beginning of humankind, Torah has reminded us that a single death leaves none of us untouched. In the aftermath of the first murder, Ha'Shem turned to Cain in anger and admonished him with the words “The sounds of the bloods of your brother cry out to Me from the ground."  Not blood, but bloods, in the plural. Rabbinic commentators explain that when Cain killed his brother he effectively destroyed all of Abel’s future progeny as well.  In the words of Talmud, he who murders one person is as if he destroys an entire world.

The loss of one person diminishes every one of us. It affects our collective future. It alters what might have been. It prevents us from ever receiving all the precious benefits every single life has to offer. And when murder snuffs out the life of a child, the enormity of the word never ~ that we will never truly know what that child might have become ~ staggers us beyond comfort. 

This is not the time for us to attempt any glib rationalizations or theological efforts to explain away the horror. Jewish law, in its profound wisdom, teaches us that we are not permitted to offer consolation "while the body is still before us."  The time for comfort can come only after the necessary tears.

Today is a day for Tears .... to cry to Ha'Shem to heal the hole that this little boy's absence tears in his family. To cry for Leiby & his family. To cry for Am Yisrael.  For Jews are one ..... one nation, one body and this grief is to be shouldered by all. We must cry for Leiby & his family &  let them know that we cry with them.  For our tears are the words our hearts don't know how to express.

The fact that we shed them proves that evil has not fully triumphed.  And most important of all, the Midrash assures us that the tears of the righteous summon Ha'Shem to hasten the day when wickedness and its practitioners will be eradicated from Earth. 

People oft times say I wish there was  something I could do to make things better. To right the wrong. To help heal the hurt.  Well there is ..... today take on another mitzvah, improve yourself and your relationship with Ha'Shem. Something small that you can do, without a neder for the Aliyah Neshama of  Leiby, Yehuda Ben Nachman .

My heartfelt condolences to the Kletzky family!!

A friend who attended remarked ..... "I was one of those in attendance, and one of the many crying. The streets were packed with mourners for blocks. It was heartbreaking just to listen to the sound of the voices speaking the hespedim ~ which are missing from the very inadequate video footage here. In order to shield the father, who spoke,  from even more pain, he had not yet even been told that his son's body had been dismembered."

Sources: ~ Stephen Hughes (Photo),  Mark Bernstein (Mourner), Aish.com (Article), All eds. & errors are mine.

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