Wednesday, July 13, 2011


I woke my little boy up this morning, and I had to tell him the news.

How do you tell a child something like this? How do you explain it? How do you even understand it?

My son walked out of the same camp building on Monday, at the same time as Leiby. Maybe he even walked in the same direction. My son came home. Someone else's little boy did not.

I'm a mother. I can't possibly feel the indescribable pain his parents must be suffering. But I can't stop crying. He's our child. We're one family, and their pain is our pain.

I want an explanation. I need to understand. Why, Hashem...why?

Perhaps there is a reason. Maybe I'm just too spiritually weak to understand. Maybe I don't want to understand. Maybe I don't want to hear that there can be something positive in this kind of horror - that I am merely seeing things from my small perspective, and I am unaware of a larger picture, of why this might be necessary.

I drove my son to camp this morning. As I will do every morning for the rest of the summer. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. He's old enough to walk. He's ready for that little bit of independence. I don't want to hover. I want to raise a secure child. I want to prepare him for adulthood, and keeping him tied to me is probably not the best way to achieve that. But I'm going to be selfish now. I'm scared. It could have been him. It could have been anyone.

I just have to believe that ultimately what Hashem does is good. Even if my small mind can't comprehend it. 

So I wait. I wait for the day, some day in the future, when my questions will be answered. When my human mind will understand and appreciate. And meanwhile...I struggle.


  1. There are no words...this is such a horrible story.

    Here are two links: one is a post I wrote and another is an aish article-both about this tragedy. I found it interesting that the same passuk from Pirkei Avos that came to my mind after this happened (and someone asked me what message we can take from this story) is in that article as well.

    May we soon be comforted with techiyas hameisim when all of us will be reunited with our loved ones!

  2. Thank you for this. I really connected to the idea of not wanting to understand the place of the evils in this world.

    I hope your son is doing alright.

  3. Thank you, Devorah. When I posted this, I was thinking that, on the one hand, I need Devorah to come here and explain this to come up with some answers...anything to help me understand this. But on the other hand, I didn't want to hear those explanations. I don't want to understand. I don't want to hear that there was a good reason for this...or some message...or some teshuvah we should be doing.
    So thank you for coming up with the right words, as usual.

    Staying Afloat...

    Thank you. He's ok - now that I undid the damage caused by some very well meaning professionals who came to talk to the boys at the camp.

  4. MW-When I read your post, I felt that you were asking me for an explanation, an answer, something...but at this point, how can something so horrific be explained for the good? We don't understand and this is something I will never be able to understand.

    May the day come when all our pain and suffering end-and soon!

    What do you mean the damage caused by well meaning professionals?

  5. Devorah...


    I talked to my son in the morning, and he was ok - or as ok as can be expected. Then the camp had some professionals come down to talk to the kids, and he came home pretty shaken up. I'm not a professional...I'm just a mom...but I don't agree with the approach they took. I don't want to post here what they told the boys, but you can email me.

  6. The best I can do is hebrew instead of yiddish... Maybe if I have time il write a short synopsis.