Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Leiby Kletzky and The Rest of Us

I spoke with a friend this morning about the news coming out of Boro Park, which is too much for any of us to shoulder alone. It takes a village to raise a child, and to bury one.

I had called and emailed many people last night, my own grown sons among them. I begged that people perform extra deeds of kindness and spiritual charity to help balance the scales. Writing checks and dropping coins in pushkas and saying T’hillim (Psalms) is not enough—vital, but not enough. It is the rebalancing of realms that’s necessary. We live in a world where monsters dwell. Monsters who hurt children. And we need grace.

There is only one way to achieve grace, and it encompasses many smaller ways. And we need no preacher nor specific guidelines to understand what is called for. We need only place ourselves in the minds of those parents whose child went missing yesterday and did not return home. Their torment is unimaginable except to those who have experienced just this (may the Al-mighty spare them from further grief).

Had I lived anywhere near the area, I’d have joined the hundreds and hundreds who searched day and night for this little child. I considered driving there and joining them but I decided that the myriad search parties—all locals and many professionals—were sufficient. Instead, I gave an offering: I phoned someone that I have avoided speaking with for a decade—someone who holds me in colossal contempt—and apologized profusely for anything I might have done to offend them. It didn’t matter what occurred years ago; it didn’t matter if I considered myself the injured party. The important thing is peace. Peace is the vessel that contains blessings in this world. We learn these lessons too late.

I entreated the Al-mighty to add my merit to those who prayed for this boy’s safe return. That was last night. Then came the news this morning, which was too much to contain.

We hang our heads. And we must content ourselves with knowing that random acts of kindness are done for their own sake. Rebalancing the world is a responsibility we all share.

There will always be monsters. The rest of us must maintain balance.


AbeF said...

Yes Cliff, there will always be monsters. But thankfully, there will always be kind and sensitive angels to extract the kernels of goodness and rescue the holy sparks from even the darkest of places and circumstances. Thanks for lighting the path...


Cliff, you have the gift of a good heart and the gift of a mind in which to convey it's goodness into written words for others to understand. You make a difference, and you should just know this.


Jay said...

Its days like this that challenge a man's faith.

Marc McKenzie said...

It is sadly true that we live in a world where monsters walk (and wear a human face), but...there are still good souls out there who make our sojourn on this planet worth it.

I'm still very angry and saddened by what happened to Leiby Kletzky, but I'm not going to blame God or some other higher power. A man--or rather, a monster wearing a man's face--did this.

Right now, my thoughts are with Leiby's family and his community.

Alex Jay said...

Perhaps if we strive instead to be Tzaddikim--fully cognizant of the fact that we are very likely not those holy folk, yet aiming in that direction--we may skew the world OUT of balancd, moving it more toward the Good.

And, too, even while we gird the defenses of our world and our children against the monsters among us, we can take some small comfort in the fact that they are so statistically few when compared to the whole. Yes, there is still a lot of venality, but a great deal less pure EVIL than we perceive there to be.

And even when in the grips of evil, it can be a comfort to know that there Is good out there.

Jay said...

Not my faith in God, Marc. My faith in my fellow man. God had nothing to do with what happened to this precious child.

Cliff, if you find out there's to be anything set up in Leiby's name - a scholarship or something like that - would you post about it for the benefit of those of us who are non-local and would like to honor his memory?

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

demoncat said...

of sadly there will always be monsters in the world including the type that took that little boy too soon. but the best way to try and make sure the evil they spread does not win is keep the balance by doing a good deed .the scales of ying and yang.

Sandra M. Odell said...


Here is the link to an article that talks about a fund established by the family.