Op-Ed: Leiby Leiby, Did Anyone See Leiby?


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The Levaya is over. The lights have been turned off. There was an eerie moonlight glow over the cemetery. The feeling of knowing I was standing only a few feet from Leiby A”H who just yesterday we were all searching for is gut wrenching.

At first I thought it was because of the crowds that I would be ashamed to cry. Then I thought it was out of pride and the “tough guy” attitude there is about men. But then as the crowds dispersed I just stood there, staring, staring at a plot of earth with a marker. And then it struck me why I couldn’t cry. Part of me was Happy, Happy you may ask? Yes happy indeed. I was B’simcha knowing that this young child Leib’le A’H was able to create a sense of achdus amongst us.

I don’t think anyone can put an exact # of people that were searching for him. The news estimated that there were over 10 thousand people at Leiby’s levaya. Thousands of people were searching for Leiby A”H – and nobody stopped anyone to see which Bobov, Satmar, or Skvere you were from. Nobody said hey you aren’t wearing a velvet yarmulka you can’t help us. Perhaps we now see what can accomplish when we are ONE!

The cries continue to ring in my ears LEIBY LEIBY DID ANYONE SEE LEIBY?

I did!! I saw him in every one of the thousands of people that came out to search for him. I saw him in everyone’s face at the levaya. I see that his story had an impact on every one of us in some way.

We are one people with a tremendous drive to help one another. Please if there is at least one lesson from this story is that we should stick together always & not let petty things get in the way. Life is too short to fill it with fights.

In this Zechus may we be zoche to see the coming of moshiach b’karov mamish!

Boruch Dayan Emes Leiby A”H You should be a malitz yosher for all of us.
Y. Cohen
Brooklyn NY.


  1. Missed the point. The achdus of the community does not conpensate at all for the tragic loss of this little boy. I think its absolutely insensitive to even state that this should be cosidered a nechama for the loss. If you can’t find a nechama; just remain with your questions; for only Hashem knows the answers. Didn’t Yaakov Avinu refuse to accept nechama regarding Yosef.

  2. Your article is self-serving, if not to yourself then to the Jewish people. How do we dare use the brutal death of this innocent child for our own purposes? To say it was for achdus is just another way of putting a selfish spin on his death. Brutal realities that we don’t understand are much better left alone.

  3. It should not take tragedies to unite Am Yisroel. If we learn anything from this it should be just that. Ahavas yisroel should be an everyday thing. Think how many people may have passed lost Leiby on the street corner (as evidenced by security video) but were too busy or engrossed to notice he looked lost. Let us stop being BUSY to notice if another yid needs something. Let us realize when we are too busy,we lose out on a chesed opportunity right in front of us.

  4. Could I perhaps suggest that we learn mishnayos in the zechus of the niftar? It will be a zechus for this precious neshama that so unfortunately can no longer accrue its own. I further suggest that we do not need any official sign-up list, and we do not necessarily need to plan to finish by sheloshim, let’s just do the mishnayos as well as possible. B’li neder, I will take Makkos and Horios. Thank you, everyone, so much.

  5. #3 I think you may have misunderstood the authors point.

    To the reader it would seem he is simply stating the facts of the last 48 hours and sharing his personal feelings and perhaps what he feels he took from it.

    In regards to your comment about Yaakov Avinu wasn’t that in part because Yosef was still alive? Do we not have a shiva, to help be menachem avelim?

    This will be my final comment as I do not want to see this Op-ed become a cause for machlokes.

  6. @Lomed @cherniakb I agree. Reasons and explanations are self-serving and lead to mitigating this heinous crime. Unless there is a true true gadol saying such a thing, I believe we must just accept it and not turn to things like this “nechama”.

  7. If only we would show the same Achdus in happy times and every day, then perhaps Hashem wouldn’t have to send us these opportunities where we need to be B’Achdus for a terribly sad tragedy.

  8. Baruch Dayan HaEmet. This is a terrible tragedy that completely throws the Jewish world into aveilut. I pray that the family finds the nechama needed to survive this atrocity. I fully agree with your comment of the “good” coming out of the situation. Complete Achdus while the huge amount of people searched for him, no matter what their Jewish affiliation. My only sadness continues to be that this achdus usually comes when their is a tragedy. Our challenge as frum Jews or as Jews in general is to break down these barriers that separate us, daily and create this sense of Achdus DAILY! Not only when tragedy strikes. May Yehuda ben Nachman’s (Leibby) neshama rest in Gan Eden and may he be a Meilitz Yosher for all of Klal Yisrael to begin this long journey of creating this Achdus that we so desire. This and only this will bring us the true Geula and the coming of Maschiach Tzidkeinu.

  9. Happy? If someones child is murdered in cold blood are you happy?? Achdus is feeling someone elses pain. If it wouldve been your child chas vshalom would you have been happy standing over his kever? Its very nice that klal yisroel came together but how can you be happy when parents and siblings and all of klal yisroel are in such tzar over the murder of this innocent child? would you have wanted it to be your child?? I think this article is completely insensitive and should be removed.

  10. Leiby is still alive in every Jewish Cheredi neighborhood, Yeshiv and camp getting abused some times with out any one knowing and at times known to others but hushed!

  11. The truth is that there is a lot of achdus in other situations too, it just not as in your face. Look at the tremendous work done by all the Bikur Cholim organizations throughout the NYC Metro Area. Satmar doesn’t do it only for Satmar, Kossinya doesn’t do it only for Kossinya, Rabbi Ralbag’s k’hilla near Lenox Hill isn’t doing it for their own, and neither is the k’hilla of Highland Park / Brunswick area doing it for their own.

    It is there although sometimes it takes a bad situation to see it.

  12. wow! I do find nechama in this article. not a nechama for the fact that Leibby A”H was murdered, but a nechama that at least Klal Yisroel is uniting. if i am correct, this is the point the article was bringing out.

    at least let us all take a lesson from this and not fight with each other. we can have different opinions, but let’s all just get along. Achdus!

  13. ATTENTION Posters @Lomed @cherniakb @proud orthodox @789

    The following is a transcript from News Anchor Bill Ritter when he went to be Menachem Avel. Listen to what the father has to say, and remember he nor his wife know of any details.

    RITTER: “I told them that while their pain is theirs alone – we all share a bit of it. And by we, I mean millions – because this tragedy has affected the entire City.

    And then his father offered this: He said he was proud to have been Leiby’s father for nearly 9 years – and that if somehow his death is bringing so many people together – then what a great tribute to his boy”.


  14. I think that the father must have been misquoted.

    I could understand his saying that he was proud to have been Leiby’s father for nearly 9 years.

    But if it was worth it to him for his son, Leiby, to die, so that his death could bring so many people together; then why prosecute the murderer?

  15. Just like g-d’s promise to Avraham about the Egyptians “V’Et HaGoy Don Anochi”. Every situation is governed by the Abishter; all we have is free will…

    All the volunteers that brought about such Achdut and R”L the demented person that committed such a heinous crime.