In Memoriam: Leiby Kletzky, a”h

Though many weeks have passed since the tragic murder of Leiby Kletzky, a”h, the pain of his loss still haunts us.

The Jewish people are still reeling with shock and grief, and try as we may to understand why such a young, innocent boy was brutally taken from us, our response is the same that it has been for thousands of years: Vayidom Aharon. The great Aharon HaKohen did not have the capacity to fathom God’s reasons for taking the lives of his two sons, and had no words of explanation, just silent acceptance of the will of Hakadosh Baruch Hu. So it is for Klal Yisrael today. No one can explain why. We must quietly and humbly accept that He has His reasons and His plans that are beyond our comprehension.

Why Leiby was taken from us is a question we cannot answer, but we must answer a different question: What is our response in the aftermath of this tragedy? As individuals, as families, as communities and as a nation, we must channel the inevitable grief, hurt and helplessness into opportunities to improve ourselves and to give to others. Leiby’s death reminded us to cherish our loved ones every moment they are with us. Leiby’s death reawakened us to the power of a unified people. Leiby’s death inspired a massive tzedakah campaign, raising significant funds that will help others in their time of sorrow and need. Each of us has been touched by Leiby’s absence, and it is the way of the Jewish people to fill that void with something that makes this world better.

There may be no words to comfort and explain, but there are actions and deeds that in his too few years Leiby Kletzky awakened and inspired.

May his memory continue to be a blessing to us all.

This article was featured in the Fall 2011 issue of Jewish Action.
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