Violence Against Children

Leiby Kletzky

“It is only a matter of time before a child gets killed”, a member of the Bet Shemesh police force told me recently.

He was specifically referring to the spate of reports of systemic violence by rebbeim (teachers) against their pupils.

It is still accepted practice, even encouraged, in some religious circles, to “potch” (spank) a child for disciplining purposes.

Unfortunately, this can result in behaviour by teachers which breaks all boundaries of ‘reasonable’ corporal disciplining (if you’ll excuse the expression), and becomes downright thuggery.

The horrific story today of Leiby Kletzky, aged 9, murdered in Borough Park, NY., allegedly by Levi Aron, re-affirms the Bet Shemesh policeman’s worries.

Of course, know-one yet knows what drove the murderer of Leiby to kill.

But, here in Bet Shemesh, we have been served with a sobering warning.

No more excuses. No more cover-ups. No more harassment of victims. No more protection of perpetrators.

Children must be better protected from abuse, before a child is killed here too. 


  1. This Bet Shemesh cop obviously doesn't know the rabbonim here.

    None of this ever happens under their watch and it is all a fabrication of twisted people like David Morris.

    Rabbonim know better and can handle things better.

  2. David - this case did not have anything to do with someone giving his child a "potch". This was a random stranger who abducted and killed a child. If anything, I'd say that this is more related to a community not doing enough against aleged molesters - we need to speak up before someone is killed by an individual of that type.

  3. Anonymous 00:27 - you have a good point.

    The case in Borough Park was different than the case in the cheder. A stranger picking up a child vs rebbeim beating up children they teach.

    Most child abuse is by people known to the child (I believe 80%). Stranger danger (such as Borough Park) makes bigger headlines but is *relatively* unusual.

    Whether the abuser is or is not someone the child knows, there needs to be Zero Tolerance of child abuse, across the board.

  4. This is such a sad thing, an innocent was taken. 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

  5. Leiby's murderer had a history of luring children to his car, public lewdness, a 2006 restraining order and an unfolding revelation of other absences of mental health.

    Levi Aron had a sociopath's history being swept under the rug. The symptoms of his mental illness - threat to society were evident long before he snatched Leiby.

    I suspect that Levy Kletzky's case is now a cause celebre for NEVER waitng for a rabbi to decide if anyone should report attempted molestation or other inappropriate involvement with children or adults. Molesters capitalize on those delays. Leiby's murderer proved it.

  6. David - 00:27 here. My point was not stranger vs. familiar person, it was occasional potch vs. community inaction on someone who is clearly "off", and, at least according to some reports, who had tried to lure children in the past. I think this serves as more of a warning against not reporting suspected molesters than anything else. I don't disagree with your general concern about what the police officer told you; I just don't think that this case illustrates the point.

    FYI - I did not know the murderer personally. I did, however, know his older brother, and know the family background a bit. They may not have been the standard family, but there was nothing in their background that would lead one to think this would happen. As to the previous charges against the killer and the Order of Protection that was taken out by his ex-wife - he was previously only charged with public urination (not exactly "public lewdness"), and his ex-wife has said she took out the Order on the advice of a friend who told her it would speed the divorce proceedings along. The murderer was known to not be terribly intelligent (reported IQ of about 80), and was also known to be somewhat unstable emotionally (prone to suddenly flying off the handle), but there are a number of "nebachs" like that around in the Frum areas of Brooklyn, the overwhelming majority of which never do anyone any harm. Many of them are emotionally immature, and therefore feel more comfortable with children - and not generally to prey on them sexually. I recall several such individuals from my youth growing up in Flatbush, and they never did anyone any harm. Basically, there were no warning signs that this individual would commit this awful crime.

  7. Yocheved Golani17 July 2011 at 08:26

    There were ample warning signs that Levi Aron was dangerous. Scroll down to the end of the article at to see the proof. More will likely be revealed over time.

  8. Yocheved Golani17 July 2011 at 08:40

    BTW, anonymous, the wife's order of protection apparently had a sound basis:

    The wife has been in sound clips on news shows, nervously smoking, contradicting her statements and coming across in confusing fashion. But evidence is mounting that the murderer had given signs of his dangerous ways long before he butchered the child. Customers of his butcher skills at chain store KROGER, the psychiatrists prescribing pills for his hallucinations and hearing voices and police records all agree on that:

    See this

    And this

  9. Yocheved Golani17 July 2011 at 16:04

    Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein advises getting a different rav if yours is against reporting molesters to legal authorities without rabinic permisson. Any rav who ever helped to hide Levi Aron's perversions is as guilty of Leibby Kletzky's murder as much as the hands that butchered the child

  10. Yocheved - anon00:27 again. You can believe what you like. I looked at the articles you referenced, though, and found nothing about the killer's history that would give rise to suspicions of previous pedophilic offenses - in fact, several of the stories state explicitly that there is no evidence whatsoever that the victim was molested. Re: the wife - you note that she does not seem all that credible, but you give great weight to her supposed story of the danger she felt from her ex - despite the fact that she has also said that she filed the order of protection to tp speed the divorce process. On the whole, I see no way that this horible episode could have been prevented by early reporting, as it seems that there was absolutely nothing to report that had not already been reported.

    As I stated, you can believe what you like, and I in no way whatsoever minimize what has happened. There is limited indication, though, that anyone could have forseen the danger and done something to prevent it.

  11. Is he for real? Thank you for leaving that posting up of complete denial. It was a great reminder of the cover up in RBS. Makes me glad to be off that derech, free from that cult mentality.

    Child abuse is sort of like tzaras, in that sometimes it takes getting it on ones own person to really 'get it'. It's clearly in the schools and neighborhood. I hope that when the rabbeim wake up to see it's even in their own home, affecting their own children, perhaps they will finally 'get it'.


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