web analytics
July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Our 9/11: What Will We Learn From The Leiby Kletzky Tragedy?


Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

A surefire way to gauge the generation in which a person was raised is to have him or her fill in the following sentence: Where were you when ?”

Baby Boomers would ask, “When President Kennedy was shot?” Thirtysomethings would respond, “When the space shuttle exploded?” Today’s teenagers would reply, “On 9/11?”

These were shocking, transformational moments that are etched in our mind’s eye forever. We remember where we were standing when we heard the news and recall the sinking feeling in the pits of our stomachs as we thought this just can’t be happening.

Members of our community had our 9/11 moment last week when we heard that Leiby Kletzky, a”h, was allegedly murdered by one of our own. As was the case on 9/11, people of all stripes banded together to search and later to mourn for that precious neshamah.

In the aftermath of 9/11, a paradigm shift occurred in our thinking about security. No longer would people saunter onto an airplane or enter a New York City tunnel without passing through the watchful eye of law enforcement personnel and fellow citizens alike. The ubiquitous “If you see something, say something,” ads have been extraordinarily effective in training people to be more vigilant and to report suspicious activity to the authorities.

It is of utmost importance that members of our community engage in a similar shift in thinking – and acting – in the aftermath of our 9/11, in the arena of the safety and security of our children.

The two areas that demand our urgent attention are (1) the education of our children regarding their personal space and safety and (2) the critical need to immediately report all predators to the authorities.

Education is extraordinarily effective in training children and preventing abuse. Research shows conclusively that children who are spoken to about their personal space are more than six times as likely to take defensive action when approached by a predator. And all of these messages can be delivered in a perfectly modest manner appropriate for haredi homes.

As of this moment, Leiby’s abduction seems to have been random in nature, and many parents in our community are limiting their discussions with their children to not taking rides from strangers. This is a grave and dangerous error. We ought to use this opportunity to provide each of our children, from the youngest ages on up, with a comprehensive, research-based model of child safety training.

Why? Because even if Leiby’s case was indeed random, it would be an exception to the rule. The vast majority of predators are well known to the victims and are often relatives or friends of the family.

Comprehensive child safety education includes the following components:

● The notion of private space. Your body belongs to you. Worded differently, get children to think of their own bodies like they would a favorite snack – something that is exclusively theirs.

● Good touching/bad touching. One way of expressing this is to tell children that no one is allowed to touch them in a spot covered by a bathing suit.

● No one may tell children keep secrets from their parents; predators naturally want to drive a wedge between the child and his/her parents.

● If someone is making a child uncomfortable, the child has the right to say no. Many victims of abuse felt they had no choice but to listen to the adult or older predator.

(Please note that these few lines do not do justice to a complex subject. Project YES conducted a series of workshops in the month of June to train parents in speaking to kids about personal space and abuse prevention. You can view the 33-minute video of one such presentation at http://vimeo.com/25322132).

On a communal level, we urgently need to adopt and publicize a firm policy that predators will be reported to the authorities.

Contacting someone like me when your child has been molested is analogous to informing me you saw someone carrying a suicide vest and you suspect an imminent terror attack. I have no training in the counter-terrorism field, zero enforcement capability and a day job that precludes me from devoting the 24/7 level of attention to the case it deserves and needs.

About the Author: Rabbi Yakov Horowitz is founder and dean of Yeshiva Darchei Noam and founder and director of Agudath Israel's Project Y.E.S.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Our 9/11: What Will We Learn From The Leiby Kletzky Tragedy?”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
investing-in-gold_4548807_lrg
What Sanctions? Iran Receives 13 Tons of Gold From S. Africa
Latest Indepth Stories
The Marianne boat, carrying humanitarian aid such, as a single and useless solar panel.

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

Donald Trump

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Rather than asserting Jewish rights on Temple Mount or protecting Jewish lives Israel chooses soccer

Nothing in the NEW Paris Proposal differs much from what was offered by Olmert and rejected by Abbas

No longer will delegitimization efforts go unchallenged. That’s a silence we will continue to break.

Increasingly, Sweden is becoming a country where anti-Semitism & supporting terrorism is acceptable.

Rabbi Pfeffer points out that at his site, there are no one-line answers. “We want to show the people we’re interested in their questions,” he says.

The problem with US treatment of Israel did not start with Obama but with birth of Jewish State

The pathetic failure of the Marianne to reach Gaza is the best thing that has happened to Israel since Hamas mis-fired a rocket on its own civilians.

Wonder why Israel has the world’s most insane rules of engagement imposed on its military? Read on..

More Articles from Rabbi Yakov Horowitz
jewish psyciatrist

Those of us familiar with the do’s and don’ts of accepted practice in the mental health profession saw similar blaring warning lights in our minds, as should have occurred when the facts were made public regarding the accusations against Nehemia Weberman. This case may very well be our community’s most important abuse trial during our lifetimes. It is imperative that we have a huge turnout in support of the victim, a courageous young lady who, may she be gezunt andge’bentched, is determined to see this through to the end so others won’t suffer like she did.

Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

In part the altered lives victims of abuse and molestation live are a result of the abuse itself. But it is in part also because of the unfortunate negative reaction to the victims by their own community.

These lines are written in loving memory of our dear father, Reb Shlomo Zev ben Reb Baruch Yehudah Nutovic, a”h, whose first yahrzeit is 7 Menachem Av. May the positive lessons learned from this essay be a zechus for his neshamah.

All responsible leaders in our community have roundly condemned the recent violence in Beit Shemesh and Meah Shearim.

A surefire way to gauge the generation in which a person was raised is to have him or her fill in the following sentence: Where were you when ?”

Baby Boomers would ask, “When President Kennedy was shot?” Thirtysomethings would respond, “When the space shuttle exploded?” Today’s teenagers would reply, “On 9/11?”

One week ago on my website I announced my intention to attend the next court appearance of a man who was arrested last year and is now standing trial on 10 felony charges of child abuse.

Dear Rabbi Horowitz:

We were taken aback when our 18-year-old son just called us from Eretz Yisrael (we live in Europe) and told us that he was coming home and wants to immediately go to work. He said that he is wasting his time in yeshiva, and just can’t take it anymore. He said that he will “run away from home” if we don’t allow him to go to work.

Digital images of the profoundly disturbing computer-smashing ceremony conducted by Rabbi Aaron Feinhandler have been viewed by countless thousands of Jews worldwide over the past few weeks.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/our-911-what-will-we-learn-from-the-leiby-kletzky-tragedy/2011/07/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: