Orthodox Jewish Boy Found Brutally Murdered

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For my many readers outside the New York Jewish community I report with sadness the following news:

The insular orthodox Jewish community in New York woke up this morning to a horrific end to a harrowing past few days. A 9 year old boy never came home from camp. A massive search ensued, uniting all types of Jews and non-Jews in an effort to find and rescue the boy. Volunteers from all over the New York Metropolitan area came to Brooklyn to assist in the search.

Eventually the FBI found the boy. But it was too late. He had been murdered and dismembered. A suspect, who has confessed is in custody. The suspect is, according to reports, an orthodox Jewish male may have been friends with the boy’s family.

It is all to much to handle at this point. Even tears seem too trite under the circumstances.

An innocent boy has been brutally murdered.

The only thing to say at this point is how my heart and the hearts of every single other human being must go out for this child’s family and friends. They say there is nothing more difficult than burying a child. I can’t imagine the pain involved. But I can imagine that it is even worse under circumstances like these.

Let us hope that the family will find the strength to cope with this tragedy and let us give each other support through this difficult time.

There is a silver lining to every dark cloud. I think I have found a silver lining**, even in this case, but now is not the time to discuss silver linings. Now is the time to grieve and support.

המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים

Link: NY Times (and others)


**Please see this post for the silver lining: Social Issues Raised by the Recent Tragedy
and please see this post to understand my usage of this idiom: 
Silver Linings: An explanation and an Apology

  • Rfespositolaw

    This is a truly heartbreaking story.  My heart is out to the family of this poor boy and they will be in my thoughts and prayers for a long time.  An innocent boy who was his parents heart.  I feel so sorry for the parents.  How do you survive this?  I have a son. He IS my heart.  I cry thinking of their grief.


    That is the unfortunate nature of this world and no one is exempt from its machinations. We are our own devils, satan lives  because humanity refuses to take responsibility for its own actions and would rather place blame on a symbol representing the “evil” in the world.  That kid should not have been brought into such a world to begin with, sin begets sin so why continue to perpetuate such a cycle. Shalom.

  • Ueou

    Oh look a jewish roaches killing one another.  Nothing was lost.

    • Antihater

      You are a waste of human life. You will pay eventually.

    • Din9med8

      What are you…..some kind of freak. This is a child we are talking about, the religion
      has NO bearing in the matter.

    • Yesenia_777

      Keep your hate to yourself. This kid had a mother and a father. God has made a note of your comment. When things in your life go bad just remember your comment.

      • Anonymous

        And if not God, Karma will always get you in the end.

    • GrimReaper

      Of course you are 6 years old and retarded!!


      • Anonymous

        You are insulting the mentally challenged people, this maggot doesn’t deserve to be called retarded.

    • Anonymous

      I was going to call you a disgusting piece of crap, but that’s too good for you. Rot in hell.

    • Leslie

      No decent human being would make that comment … it does not matter that they are Jewish … they are human beings … that is what is sad with the world … no respect for one another ….Is he not with God now? you may not be so lucky

  • g j

    really? thats all? not the predictable (finkorswim style) “why are we so upset when it was a Jewish kid?” Dont we care just as much about everyone? none of that? really?

    • Not today. Sorry. Keep coming back though. Your comments are scintillating.

      • g j

        you wrote ” At first I was disturbed. Do we care more about some poor Chasidish kids from Williamsburg than anyone else? Is this tragedy worse to us because they are Jewish? Aren’t we outraged when non-Jews do not care about Jewish tragedy as much as non-Jewish tragedy? Even if we are allowed to care more about a Jewish tragedy should we try and mask our feelings to be more politically correct? This has been gnawing at me for a little while now. Should we care more about a Jewish tragedy than a non-Jewish tragedy? Is this a good attitude? Could this bother non-Jews and provoke anti-semitism?
        Or, perhaps it is normal for us to care more about our Jewish brethren. Maybe, we should feel more compassion for our fellow Jews. After all, it is a rule of Jewish law that we are responsible for one another. ” You ask questions that Jewish theology is clear about. We do not save the lives of Gentiles except for Eiva. Hashem values 1 Jew more than an entire nation of gentiles (see for example kli yakar to haazinu – yatzev gevulot amim). Hashem cares more about this one Jewish child than any goy in the world. That is the Talmud’s take on this. If a Jew is drowning, and a goy is drowning, one must save the Jew, and let the goy drown. This is not cause of “Jews are responsible.” it is because it’s forbidden to save the life of a gentile. I don’t nesesarrily think that this is the first thing to present to people, though it is in talmud, rambam etc. But I do think that asking “should we care more about Jews,” as a question rather than a rhetorical one is wrong for a Rabbi. Its not what Torah judiasm teaches. Even if you could twist and turn and make religious christians into ger toshav – which is not simple, but some do, it still makes athiests, or anyone who has ever violated any of the 7 mitzvot at least once into this sort of Gentile. and a ger toshav is sure not a jew, or treated like one. We just save his life from drowning. mitzvah lihachyoto. Thats it. We give him the non kosher meat. no more. do you not see how taking the fact that a JEw is rightly more concerned with his fellow Jews plight, (for he would not ahve been permitted to save the life of that gentile  in that very plight if not for eiva) and questioning it is a terrible perversion of Torah.  do you actually need a lesson in the soruces about how one must love Jews, and the value of their blood in comparison to others? its not ok. it bothers me. I don’t comment that much, as you see, since you never manage to see anyone elses view at all. But hopefully, others can see you for the fraud that you are.

        • Jewish theology is clear about saving people. Yes. It is clear about who has kedima for certain things as well.

          But that isn’t what the post was about, was it?

          I wrote about one’s reaction to tragedy. You could have saved yourself the trouble of your lengthy comment if you would just read a little better.

          • g j

            aaargh. you questioned whether it was ok to care more about a jewish tragedy than a goyish one. i tell you that it is an obligation to care about a Jew. And that you would not even be allowed, ever to prevent that from happening to a goyish person, except for eiva – which means the fear that they will wipe us out in a pogrom. and you answer with kadima, which was not really even mentioned in my comment? and then you just say “you didnt read well.” well, Rabbi – YOU did not read well.

            • I didn’t say you mentioned kedima. I said there are laws that detail how to deal with kedima.

              And again, I am only speaking of compassion in one’s heart and mind. Not action. So your citations are not really relevant.

          • g j

            in other words – you think that it is possible that the talmud teaches that one is meant to have the same amount of compassion for a gentile tragedy as a Jewish one? that is a real possiblity? you know so little… how are you a Rabbi?!

            • Again your reading comprehension is lacking.

              What I think is that the Talmud does not comment on the issue of how to feel when tragedy hits a non-Jew.

              Further, the issue I was probing in the post is not what the Talmud says, rather it is the social ramifications and considerations of tribalism.

          • g j

            Can you explain how on earth kadima got brought up by the way? the mishna that thalks about the order to save people “haish kodem lisha” never mentions a gentile. that is a totoalyl differnt sction. its never permissible to save a gentile if not for eiva. where the heck did you get kadima from? [there are an overwhelming amount of sources that tell us not to care about the gentile. You know that. You must know how the rishonim write about he doctor who helped a gentiel woman give birth (yashar kochacha sheeata marbeh zaro shel amalek.) after all, it is brought by the nosei kelim on the tur and shulchan aruch, which you are quite knowledgable in. (sic) give us all a break. there are tens of sources, all readily available in the basic mussar sfarim, as well as in shas to tell us that we do not really care all that much about those people as compared to a Jewish soul. that a “rabbi” could be caught not knowing this sort of basic Jewish theology is devastating. A teacher of mine, Rabbi Avigdor Miller would say, when an ambulance would intterupt his shiur with it’s siren, “Hashem if that is a member of our nation, please grant him a speedy recovery.” To know notihng about all this is sad. You certainly know about pop culture, television, movies, and all sorts of things other than Torah. It saddens me. I wonder what your father thinks bout all this. and why he does not defend you on the blogs ever, though he surely reads them. THat his material appears herein (honestly the only attempt at Torah in the las couple years on this blog at all) makes me think that he agrees with what you are doing. I know him. But that he could be party to this makes me sad.

            • So in your (imaginary) world Jewish doctors don’t treat non-Jews? Please.

              Look, your IP address has you in Israel. You may not be aware of what America is like, but we live amongst non-Jews and your worldview just doesn’t work here.

              Further, your entire premise is flawed. There is eiva, there is darkei shalom. In practice one should save a non-Jew. So I focus on the practice not the theory.

              I am certainly AWARE of the “R’ Avigdor Miller brand of Judaism”. I CHOOSE not to embrace it.

              Also, I post a weekly shiur on this site. (I have been a bit lax lately, so I am a few weeks behind.) You are welcome to listen to those if it is Torah that you seek.

              And I don’t usually finish preparing my divrei Torah for Shabbos until Friday afternoon so it seems superfluous to post them at that late hour when it is shabbos already in every other Jewish community in the world.

              If you’d like, you can ask my shul members to say them over or I can email you the roshei teivos.

          • g j

            how can you distinguish between theroy and practice? we are talking about feelings. in my world, it is a regrettable fact that a Jew has to help a non-Jew due to eiva. thats what the talmud and halacha say. it means that really we would not. and that tells us what we should think. we should think that though we ideally wouldnt do this, we must since otherwise it will cause eiva. isnt that straightfroward. I have lived in israel for years. But come on. Its a real place too. We are having children and granchildren here, going to dentists, having operations, making and losing money dealing with gentiles. please.  be serious. when talking aobut what one hsould think, shouldnt we look to the sources, rather than ignore them with a “i look only at the 1/2 of the rambam that talks about practice” and then in the next breath say “so then i was wondering…” about the very thing that you ignored? such silliness. i wonder if there are many people who really learn from you. I would be fascinated to hear a couple of them back you up here. people who could say, “Rabib Fink is a Rabbi who teaches me torah and helps me connect to Hashem. He is knowledgeable and caring and intellectually honest.” You seem like none of that to me. And finally – what is your problem with Rav Miller Zt”l?

            • You’re really asking me to go and recruit the people who like me? Seriously?

              Email me offline and I will give you some email addresses.

              R’ AM was a great man. I don’t have a problem with him. But his students have taken his approach and turned it into a brand of kanaus that is “darchei noam”.

              As to your point, I disagree. The straightforward halacha is not-applicable when living amongst non-Jews, it is equally not relevant in determining attitudes. When the situation changes (ie Moshiach) my feelings will need to adjust.

              But you see this is a reasonable disagreement. Not one borne out of ignorance, or ineptitude.

          • g j

            It is not really reasonable. Shas and rishonim are clear one way. A rabbi should know that. And be presenting that. No more no less. you seem inept. I may email you offline sometime or may not. I am not sure. this whole thing is bizzarre. But your inablility to make clear points or address things with more than “see your reading comprehension is of neener neener,” like a child bespeaks your immaturity. Perhpas you will come of age sometime. Regarding the R. Miller approach, none of your inseciruty with authenticjudiasm and his lunacy should have anything to do with this. The fact that you are not at all in line with anyone who would be considered part of “mainstream orthodox judiasm,” is te reason you don’t like the Rav Miller “brand.” you are at best modern orthodox, and in my opinion Reform. Today you disagree with the Rabbis of the talmud on the issue of women, and claim they are wrong. Tomorrow it will be something else – i think redefining “mishkivei Isha,” and you will say “the rabbis of the talmud were wrong when they said that homosexuality was abhorrent. they thoguh it was, and that is understandable. but we know better. and the verse does not really indicate what they think.” after all, you are not some sort of wacky conservative like your predecessor Lapin – no you are a liberal. a wonderous Obama-like vision of left-wing ness. This all seems to me the direction that you are going. And people that can not see this are truly blind.

          • Okay. Thanks for sharing.

    • Anonymous

      It’s there only subtly.  You have to read between the lines.  The silver lining will be discussed.  He can’t post without finding some way to make it about himself.  There is no need to even mention a silver lining at this time.  Leave it as the tragedy it is now, and revisit the topic in a few weeks when the family, friends and world have had some time to grieve and find a way to get through such a terrible time.

      • Idiot

        • Anonymous

          I may sound like an idiot but understand this. As a close relative of the boy it pissed me off to see the words “silver lining” used. It is insensitive to say the least. Let’s leave it at that.

          • I’m sorry for your loss.

          • g j

            I thought he would takr the angle of “Jews are not the chosen people, we shouldnt care about them more than others even though God does value a Jewish life more. I, the “rabbi” don’t.” Thats what he did with the “chasidic kids from williamsburg elevator tragedy” that he reported on. check that one out…

          • Anonymous

            @7525c11767b621c561b5765ef5956bbc:disqus I was expecting something like that too.  Either way he is an idiot. He doesn’t have the decency to apologize for an  insensitivity but has the time to tweet to the world about his haters.  He is so narcissistic it borderlines on a personality disorder already.  He has been this way since the day I met him.  Unfortunately, the internet gives a voice to every fool.  But what is more bothersome is that he is a rabbi in a shul.  He doesn’t even post any Torah thoughts only liberal hogwash, mostly about nothing that has anything to do with “teaching Jews about their heritage”.  We cannot force people to change, I just hope he doesn’t cause lead too many astray.

            • Do you have a point to make?

    • Idiot

  • Kevin Blois

    My heart goes out to the family…sending my thoughts and prayers for your little boy and godspeed in your healing process…this a horrible, horrible crime against humanity…I truly hope the family can survive this…

  • Bobcanfet

    I mean forget about what religon he is regardless this is an act of true animal. No person with a soul wheter he.she is white, black, muslim,hindu, budest, jewish, Spanish or italian can commit an act like this to an innocent child none the less.

    • g j

      i like the “budest” one myself.

  • Yesenia_777

    Sorry for your lost. Evil will pay.

  • Anonymous

    What is really strange about this most horrifying story, something along the lines of jeffrey dommer, is that it was plastered all over the news until the murderer was found ???  What has happened to the story since????    Does it have anything to do with the fact that it was a jewish man within the community ????   I thought it was a hate crime when first reported.  Lessons could be learned here for everyone and it should be reported because being part of a religious community doesn’t make one immune to this type of horrific crime and coverups will only create a false sense of security and easy prey for the most maniacal humans. 

  • John Lisk