Brooklyn, NY – More Than 300 Attend Candlelight Vigil For Leiby Kletzky’s Death (Video)


    From scene photo by ShiaHDBrooklyn, NY – A candlelight vigil was held Sunday night in Kensington, Brooklyn to honor the memory of eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky, who was found murdered in the neighborhood earlier this month.

    About 300 mourners gathered at the playground of P.S. 230 on McDonald Avenue at Albemarle Road in Kensington at 8:30 p.m.

    Also participating were NYS Assemblyman Dov Hiknd, NYS Sen. Eric Adams, and NYC Councilman Brad Lander who led the vigil by explaining to the crowd the Hebrew meaning of Kadish.

    Watch below video from the event. Credit SHiaHD, Hershey Rubinstein/Dee Voch

    Follow VosIzNeias For Breaking News Updates


      • Actually, I am here, and there is an impressive Muslim presence. Many Christains, too. There are heimishe mentschen, but they seem to be arriving fashionably late, which is probably why they are not in the picture. A respectable turnout, and a beautiful gesture. Many, many teary eyes, from all the Nations…

      • Why bash chasidim? In these difficult times you should focus more on peace and love between each one of us in the human race and look at everyone in a positive way. Please stop the nonsense. Thanks bro.

        • Some people never miss an apportunity to bash another sect they cant stand. A person once asked rabbi yankala from pershvorsk why are chasidim not carfull in speaking loshon horah his answer was that for a long time he didnt hear such a loshon horah he just heard.peace to all

      • What are you trying to say? And try to think before answering.

        Was there a lesson when by the levaya there were myriads of Chasidim weeping openly in the streets and just a few bnei noach?

        And by basing your comment on the picture, it is obvious you were not there. Is there a lesson in that as well?

      • Im not not sure what lesson you want chasidim to learn. We light candels friday night and then for Havdala.We walk our children to the chupa with candels and a licht is lit for a yarziht. Chanuka we light many candels. And of course there is bedikas chometz. In any case this is a nice gesture.

      • And that lesson is?
        The lesson I hear from your post, is that it is obvious that you have something against chasidim, and the young generation needs to learn that there are those that hate them just bacause they are chasidim.

        • what lesson? I took my chassidishe kids, and found it to be a tremendous opportunity to be mechanech that, regardless of skin color, religious beliefs, or livush, the signal basic tenant of humanity is CARING ABOUT OTHER HUMAN BEINGS. I happened to find myself standing in the midst of a whole gaggle of women in burqas, all of whom were crying over the senseless loss of this one little boy. I thanked them for coming, and the one who spoke English said, “Of course! Aren’t we all mothers?”
          How on Earth are we supposed to be ‘the light unto the nations’ if we go around projecting the attitude that we are the only nation of any worth, abd that everyone else is somehow inconveniencing us, or worse, wasting our good oxygen?
          The most interesting question my kids asked during the shiva was when my 9 year old turned to my husband and said, “Totty, how come when something happens to the Yidden, everyone comes to help, and when something happens to the goyim, nobody cares?” How do you answer that one?

          • It’s not that “nobody cares” it’s that we have responsponsibility to our nation FIRST! “Kol yisroel areivim zeh lazeh” is reffering to am yisrael. There are many yidden who do help goyim as well. Also, the way to be “A Light Among the Nations” is not about how we interact with non-Jews, but how we act as Jews alone by making a Kiddush Hashem!

          • Sara, I am so happy that you went to the vigil with your kids. I live in Baltimore and would have loved to have been able to go and show the goyim that we appreciate how much they care. Good for you!!! excellent chinuch for your children. They will be open minded and more tolerant of others in this world, which is what HKBH wants from us. You made my day.

          • What a beautiful post. I certainly can’t add anything more eloquent. You did a wonderful thing for your children – exposing them to the larger community and showing them that everyone can stand together for common goals. You must be a wonderful parent and B’H’ your children should grow up happy, healthy and as good role models as you are.

      • I am chassidic and I didn’t go because candlelight vigil is a minhag nozri, just look up in wikipedia “candlelight vigil” and you will se that many churches hold one on xms eve. it is beautiful to show unity to the kids, and you should show your kids the same unity towards your chassidic brothers.

    1. IT WAS INCREDIBLE! Yes, most of the participants who came, were not Chassidim. Most, possibly not even Jewish! And many of those were Muslims, who came with their kids! I have never seen anything like it! Dov Hikind was there – spoke so well, made a tremendous Kiddush Hashem!

    2. I was there and there were very few chassidim. There were people there of every race color creed and religion – seeing was believing how everyone stood side by side in unity in memory of Leiby A”H. It would have been nice to see more of our own community there

    3. common this is not a yidish thing, let the goyim do whatever will bring them comfort, we as “heimishe” yiden don’t need this to comfort us, what is the purpose of this anyway? let’s do tshivah & learn mishnayis for him, & pray for the family.

      • One the one hand, I can assure you that not one person there even hummed an Xmas carrol.
        One the other hand, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that none of the Muslims there usually do tgis on Xmas.
        if I had a third hand, I’d mention that most ALL religions equate a flame with a neshama. We don’t have a monopoly on that. Every catholic church has votive candles for people to light in memory of their loved ones. With your line of thinking, our use of a yahrzeit candle may be treif because goyim do the same thing….

    4. You don’t see any Chasidim since a “Candlelight Vigil” is a Goyish Minhag!
      Our Vigil is to go to Shul and learn a Perek Mishnayos for his Neshomo or Give Tzedoko.

      • Before we paskim whether it is halachikly correct or not – ask your Rov first. Before one states it is a x-mas custom or not a jewish custom check your facts. Any gesture made by anyone , chasidim (even though you feel very few attended) muslims , whites…etc.. is beautiful and a chizuk to the family. I find it so interesting how people are so quick to criticize.

        • Happens to be that I did ask a Rav if we find any costum in Halacha or Minhagim of a “candlelight Vigil”. He told me that its a “Minhag Notzri”.
          I don’t need to add to this.
          He added that its not a “Tova” (benefit) for the Neshomo such a vigil.
          When yidishkeit was authentic a Yid never looked out to get chizuk from the Goyish world.
          Something is really mixed up here.

        • There are quick to criticize because in reality they don’t think. They don’t really learn. They run to their ignorant ravs for every little question. So they are thought to question not to think. I am horrified to see so many people speak like this. The non Jewish community chose to pray, to love, to care, and some seem to think it is to comfort themselves? Think again they did it to uplift the Jewish community. To support the Jewish community. Based on these responses, I am glad they arent aware of some of the hate speech we have in the gemara about them. And they aren’t aware that most chassidim wouldnt even want to walk on the same street of them, and that they are aware chassidim believe they are beneath animals. b”h for they do not know.

          • Your comment is similar to the first comment. The purpose of both was to express hate of other people , specifically chasidim. Do you really think that is a fitting response? Do you think that is an aliya for the neshomah of anyone, let alone little Leiby? Is this you response to the tremendous achdus shown just a wekk ago? You could not tolerate it, so let’s do what we can for sinas chinam? Oy Oy!!!!

          • Sorry sir! how you preach about while at the same time you spew a mouth full of hatred??? did you just write this: “..They run to their ignorant ravs…”
            You have to practice what you preach!! atleast in the same sentence..

    5. I dont think that this was arranged by Jewish people. It should be a lesson for all jews and all people that the only thing that matters is kindness and humanity, not the differences between people, but the common thread between all humans – a beating heart.

    6. Just because something is “beautiful” DOES NOT make it halochikly correct in the least, in fact quite usually it is just the opposite. I have no doubt this did nothing toward Aliyas Neshoma.

    7. I agree that this is לזולתנו. It might be חוקת הגוי and if not then סתם שטות. But if it makes the גוי feel better, as in “if not for the grace of g-d, go I” and that brings him to light candles, then they should continue with what they are doing. But it doesn’t really change anything. They don’t need to worry that another איד will do a similar thing. It was a pure anomaly. For us there are better ways of dealing with this. תפילה, תשובה צדקה.

    8. oh my! what a bunch of ‘nitpickers’ on this forum. It seems that someone is always looking for someone/something to bash – so no matter what is said it will always be knocked down by another, or another few. If anything, that is the biggest chilul Hashem! Don’t forget there r now plenty of secular followers on this site (esp since the Kletzky tragedy), & how about actively seeking out the GOOD & the probably pareve/positive intentions of what some comment here, instead of seeking out the negative and immediately bashing it? It’s the 3 weeks, if for no other reason, let’s approach Tisha B’av with good defenses to Hashem to finally end our mourning, not remind Him of the reason we have that day to begin with! If s/thing about the idea of a ‘candle light vigil’ doesn’t sit right with you, don’t go. But no need to bash those who did. As stated, most weren’t frum/yidden, & those that were likely didn’t violate much by standing alongside people paying respects and lighting a candle (not a foreign concept to our own religion when it comes to mourning…). Still, if you’re worried abt Leiby’s aliyas neshama, or the neshomas of those there, leave that to bein adam l’makom.

    9. I agree it’s a not Jewish thing and candle vigils is not meant for Jews

      However its nice to see how non Jews feel about what happened
      Would they have done it in Iran, Egypt , or other Arab counters probably not
      So from that prospective ITS NICE !!!!!!!

    10. To all you brilliant people who claim “this is not a Jewish thing to do …. or “this is a goyish minhag…” You are all incorrect. A candlelight vigil is in fact a Jewish custom. It is called a yartzheit candle and we tend to do it once a year as a “vigil” to the deceased person. The only difference here (and many other stories in past years that moved a community) is that people were terribly moved by this tragic event and took a night that is not his yartzheit to light a candle in his memory and stand together in unity. There is nothing wrong with that and it is not specifically Goyish and has nothing to do with Christmas. For those who did not want to participate … that is fine. I would just say let alone those who did not want to be there, the same way we can applaud those who did. Stop taking a beautiful moment of unification to once again speak in such a divisive manner.

    11. There was a story with the Brisker Rav, how one motzei Shabbos they were removing a stillborn baby’s body for burial from his home. One of the members of his household was crying, and he explained to the person that the Ramba”m says regarding a “nefel” that “one does not mourn over the nefel at all”.
      The lesson is, that as frum Jews, our response to events, are limited to how the torah, as interpreted by our chachamim, instructs us to respond. Not by how the media, nor our neighbors, expect us to respond. Candelight vigils, in response to tragic loss, have no source in our mesorah, thus they don’t draw us.

      • did the Brisker Rav determine that lesson or did you? It’s just unreal how many people become instant, anonymous Rabbis (or not) and give lessons, psaks and moral directives on this site. If you are going to tell others what they should/should not be doing according to halacha, please QUOTE directly from a makor. And before everyone listens to such directives, remember that when a nation/different people are in a state of mourning (i don’t mean the 7 days) there is no specific way that they have to behave, don’t let anyone else tell you how to cry or how to live or how to die – unless it’s your Rabbi or an respected authority whose name you know. Candle light vigils according to this post, MAY “have no source in our mesorah” (though many will beg to differ as to the source of candles in times of mourning), however they certainly are not HEPECH halacha and therefeore I don’t think anyone should be told NOT to participate or endorse, certainly not Gentiles, but even Jews. Everyone becomes SO holy when it comes to judging others, but how are you when you judge yourself? Going to amusement parks, watching movies (gasp) & going to restaurants also has no source in Halacha.

    12. where does it come in whether chassidim were there or not????
      chassidim, litvish, sefardim…..all yidden had plenty of our own vigils/ chizuk speeches and memorials for Leiby Z”L.
      this vigil was a BEAUTIFUl gesture by the non jewish community which we truly appreciate and feel extremely touched that they care so deeply about Leiby and klal yisrael’s loss and pain.
      i was planning to go just to show them my appreciation but was unable to make it…there really is no need to bash chassidim or any yidden ever….come on….remember the levaya- AHAVAS YISRAEL!!!!!!!!! its what LEIBY died for!!! to bring achdus amongst us!!! we r in the 3 weeks because of SINAS CHINAM!!!!! ENOUGH!!!!!!!! just look for the good in your fellow jew.
      since Leiby’s passing i have tried sooooo hard to make ammends with people….yet no matter how sincere i am….it seems not everyone in klal yisrael is feeling the same pain…..(i still cant sleep at night…leiby is on my mind 24/7)…..yet i have been met with such cold hearts!!! am k’shei oref- mamesh its unbelievable!!! i am so broken!!! that in the face of such tragedy- ppl still cannot even try 2 learn the definition of the words Ahavas Yisrael!

    13. people will focus on what a terrible tragedy it is…..but the message….the message…..teshuva….ahavas yisrael….the opposite of sinas chinam- the reason we will be fasting in two weeks….why isnt anyone heeding the message???? 3 gedolim tzaddikim died….we didnt get the message….a poor sheifele was makriv for klal yisrael….yet life goes on…its not my problem ppl think….but it is!!!!!!!!!!!!Leiby Z”L died for klal yisrael!!!! if i write you an email, a text straight from my heart sincerely apologizing for things that you feeel i did to hurt you, ( although i was the one wronged…i said i will do this for Leiby Z”L, for HaShem, for Mashiach…) why can’t you acknowledge my email, text, olive branch???? i have a whole in my heart!! not because of your rejection but bec. what will be??? how can mashiach come when ppl are sooooo stubborn!!!! am kshei oref!!! how??? we say ani mamin for mashiach but if most ppl take the message for only one day and move on right after the levaya- we don’t want more messages from HaShem- CHAS VESHALOM!!!! brothers sisters- i am crying begging from my heart and soul please let us be more mevater,, more forgiving, more peaceful ….

    14. If most of the first two dozen comments above don’t tell you how insular and prejudiced the frum oilam is to non-Jews, nothong will. Here we have caring, sensitive people of all colors and religions gathering together to tearfully mourn the murder of a little chassidic boy, and what is the response? Sarcasm, smugness, we don’t care, it’s a goyishe thing, etc. Of course the fact that few chassidim showed up was bad enough, as they once again showed by their actions that they’re not interested in amicable relations with their neighbors, but what’s worse is the attitude among commentors here that it’s somehow against Torah to do so. Are you saying Dov Hikind was vioalting halacha by being there? If I was one of the non-Jews who organized or who simply showed up at this beautiful event and then saw many of the comments here, I would throw up my hands and say, to hell with it, no matter what we do, no matter how we extend a hand of friendship, we get this kind of arrogant, hateful response.

      • Sorry, but all those comments were in response to reckless comment #1. Nobody says its a bad thing, in fact it shows so much, and gives everybody the great feeling of mourning together, regardless the race or religioun, but the fist commentator threw a stupid hateful comment that brought a different reaction.

    15. It was a beautiful thing that was organized and kol hakovod to all attendees, jew and non-jew alike. It was supposed to be a gathering of unity among neighbors regardless of race or religion and that is something that could be an aliyah for Leiby a’h’s neshama, a spreading of achdus.

    16. This was an impressive outpouring of grief and sharing in the pain of the Kletzky family and of all Jewish neighbors. Ladies and gentlemen, this was a beautiful gesture on part of our neighbors, Muslims, Christians, and from all backgrounds. Reform Jews, too, participated. This was their way of saying to us that they feel our pain. I honor their effort. I appreciate their emphaty. I thank them. May G-d bless them.

    17. I think this was a beautiful display of unity by ALL people who were so deeply affected by the tragedy of little Leiby A”H. It brought the entire neighborhood together: Jews and non-Jews, Blacks, Whites, Asians, Christians, Muslims and Jews. For those who grumble that this is a “non-Jewish” custom, SO WHAT? It was NON-JEWS who organized it!

      And with that in mind, there is a little girl, Mariah Smith, 5 years old, who is missing in Detroit.

    18. The people who put this “vigil” together, Veronica Guzman, Maggie Tobin and Abu Khaliquzzaman had no other agenda then bringing the Kensington neighborhood together to mourn for Leiby A”H there was no politics or religion involved and as I understand it was done on Sunday night and not as originally planned on Saturday night so that the religious Jews of the community could participate as well. And quite a few Jewish residents were there. Thank You Veronica Thank You Maggie Thank You Abu for making it happen. Let’s keep this unity going in our community we all sure need it..

    19. Actually, it was Veronica Guzman, Jole Carliner and I that organized last night. Our intention was to have our community and extended community come together in silence and reflect on the life and death of Leiby Kletzky who died a few blocks away. It was a very beautiful evening and everyone’s heart was open. At the risk of sounding corny, it was an evening of shared spirituality which is different from religion-
      Last night, a lovely hassidic woman and I were chatting. She asked me if the candles were somehow related to our celebration of Christmas. Funny that it had not even occurred to me as candles are used for so many celebrations in so many cultures; both religious and secular(think happy birthday)
      . A big thanks to all of you that showed up.

      • And a big thank you from us sane Jews who don’t overanalyze wether this is a “minhag nozri” (christian custom) as someone up above put it. Everybody accept it for what it is. An outpouring of sadness & sympathy that all people can relate to. Remember, yidden, we are in gulos and sometimes we should give hakorus hatov when it is warranted.

      • Thank you Maggie, and please pass on my thanks to Veronica and Joe. I am a Chassidish mother who lives in Marine Park. I was so inspired by the unity and love of humanity that this vigil represented. My daughters and I were planning to come, but our car ride did not materialize, and I deeply regret it. I cried as I watched this video. As an Orthodox Jew who, like most of the Chassidic community, is a descendant of Holocaust survivors I am so heartened by this event. It is comforting to know that here in America, we are surrounded by so many people who are free of the hate and prejudice that was so prevalent in the countries from which our grandparents escaped. I apologize for some of the ignorant comments that I just read, and I hope you know that most of us in the community do not suscribe to those views.
        If there was not a significant Chassidic presence, I believe it was primarily due to the fact that over the past week, most of the community has already participate in so many events in response to Leiby’s loss. It is certainly not because we do not welcome and appreciate this beautiful gesture.

      • I would like to add, that over the past week and a half since Leiby’s death, I have been glued to the news, via the internet. This is something that I do not usually do, and the radio and Jewish newspapers are my sources of news. As I perused comments in response to many articles in the secular press, I found myself deeply distressed.
        There appeared to be so many commenters who took this opportunity to focus on the otherness of the Chassidish community, and often, Jews in general. I encountered many real anti semitic statements. It was shocking and disheartening to me.
        This vigil reassured me, that like me, most people, especially parents, do not have time to waste commenting on the web, and when push comes to shove, in America, a majority of people are not only tolerant, but truly full of love and goodwill. Thank you again.


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here