The Matzav Shmoooze: Can We Mourn in Peace?


levaya-of-leiby-kletzky-11Dear readers,

I write these words with pure sincerity, but from a place of pain. I don’t mean to offend anybody, but at the same time, I am hurting so much and hope you don’t mind if I share some of what I am feeling.

I am mourning the terrible tragedy that took place last week. I am in constant mourning even though I didn’t know little Leiby or his family. But we are all Yidden; we are all part of one family. I haven’t gotten past what occurred. It is simply too gruesome and hellish.

But please, can we be allowed to mourn in peace? Can we be allowed to mourn without countless directives of how to mourn, who to mourn over, and when to mourn? Can we grieve without endless instructions and proclamations from anyone who has a platform to promote their thoughts and agendas? Do I have to be force-fed all types of messages that people have decided I should learn from the tragedy?

What happened to mourning the way one should mourn? What happened to respecting a tragedy for what it is? What happened to sitting in a corner and simply crying into a Tehillim?

I am sure that those who are pushing for increased awareness in safety, tznius, shemiras halashon, child abuse and anything else they can think of means well. I am sure that entertainers who have jumped on this opportunity to make “tributes” and videos and all kinds of things mean well. I really believe that their heart is in the right place. But this is really not the place and time. Please, please, just let us regular Yidden grieve in peace.

An acquaintance told me that he saw that a publication has put out a “call to its readers” for ideas and responses to the terrible tragedy. Why must we hear from every person what he or she thinks should be our response or interpretation of what occurred? When has that been the way we frum Yidden operate?

If you have spoken to a gadol and have a pertinent message to share, please do so. Otherwise, please withhold your observations and don’t issue public calls for every person’s take on what happened. Allow rabbonim and manhigim to be the ones to share guidance and direction. Let us be allowed to properly mourn this travesty and pay tribute to the memory of hakadosh Yehudah ben Nachman.

May we only share news of simchos and good tidings.

Praying for the geulah and an end to all tzaros,

A Yid in Mourning


The Matzav Shmoooze is a regular feature on that allows all readers to share a thought or analysis, long or short, one sentence or several paragraphs long, on any topic, for readers to mull over and comment on. Email submissions to

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  1. i really understand you and fully agree. people out there mean well but our sensationalizing the whole situation and doing things while well intended, seemingly though are only thinking about fulfilling their needs. i think the whole sefre torah thing is so insensitive and missed the boat. its way to soon. we should all mourn with them like u said tehilim and all. we all want to do something lets do and think about meaningful things we can do for “them” not us. unfortunately because of the world wide attention to this case, there is alot of publicity, but you are right people need to back off, of course do chizuk things talk about safety, all great but dont forget the kletzky family and all who mourn with them and respect that by not media everything and not mitva cases that make us feel good about ourselves. its sad but what you are lamenting is a problem in frum world everything is distorted and mitvos and treating ppl properly all the basic real deal of being a yid is lost, and we become attention grabbers and mitva choppers, but we miss what doing the mitvos is all about. we forget what does hashem want from us. Hashem wants us to feel another yids pain, to cry about it to daven about them, to want to help them, and this is being like Hashem and thats what he wants. I commend you ” a yid in mourning” for speaking up. i too am a yid in mourning!

  2. WHat bothers you so much?
    You dont like the mussar- ignore it! If someone sdays there is a lesson/ or lessons to be learned, its an avera? Are they keeping you awake at night?
    What kind of cynical reaction is this?
    People are aroused, to all sorts of good things, teshuva, safety, or whatever it may be- thats to be criticized?
    You dont take it that way, so be it! But why are all these well-meaning ideas bad??

  3. Nothing in this world happens without meaning. And therefor it is extremely relevant to not be at peace with the situation and try to better ourselves in one way or another. A yid has to learn from everything in life! And we ought to take something upon ourselves from this story. We should not mourn in peace!!

  4. The writer of this letter took the words out of my mouth.

    Of course when things happen we need introspection, we have have been hit with a thunderstorm of preachy ideas etc. etc. and it really is too much. Like the writer says, let us mourn in peace.

    Excellent letter. Thank you.

  5. What would Harav Avigdor Miller Z”L said?
    Look deep into youreself, you know what Hashem wants of each and everyone of us!

  6. According to this letter writer, Tisha Baav should be a time for “private” mourning. We should not gather in shuls together to say kinus and to hear drashos about the churban.
    You make no sense at all. People should hear from different perspectives and different ideas. If everyone just shuts up and keeps quiet, what use is that? What is wrong with having a variety of ideas and suggestions presented to us? I have a feeling this individual wants to ignore what has happened and not learn anything constructive from it. Thats my opinion

  7. While the letter writer is clearly in pain, and has his own way of grieving, there is a very important hashkafa that should not be overlooked. “Allow Rabbonim and Manhigim to be the ones to show guidance and direction”. The speeches and Kinnot ARE under the guidance of our leaders. When something so sad and bizarre happens in the heart of our community, we need to, at some point, take a closer look at ourselves and MAKE A CHANGE. Yes, grieving comes first and for every person grieving has its own time frame. But at some point the grieving should lead to introspection. Some people have the need to grieve ‘in peace’ for a while, but many, many of us have the need to grieve and introspect; and appreciate direction in HOW to change immediately. We are scared to ‘just grieve in peace’ because when the grieving feeling ebbs, are our broken hearts mended as if nothing ever happened? Or did we become greater BECAUSE of what happened.

  8. I agree one thousand percent with the author of this letter. There is no question that every Jew is in mourning over this horror. But why does it all have to be so public? Doesn’t this sensationalize the situation rather than give it the respectful mourning it deserves?
    Think about the family. Do they want to have their lives so globally visible? Where is the proper kavod that they should be receiving at this horrific time in their lives?

    This is a perfect example of “too much information.” No one needs it. Have we forgotten how to be mentchen and act in a bekovadik manner?

    This has nothing to do with guidance, direction, etc. We’ve simply forgotten who we are and how to behave. Respecful silence, introspection, and tehillim are much louder than the press.

    May Hashem help this family (and all of us) find a nechama.

    Thank you for the letter that was so well stated.

  9. the pasuk in nechemia and gemarah says that when there are tragedies we should take mussar. (see yevamos 63a)
    obviously there are those who feel the mussar we should take is what they feel are most important.
    that’s life.
    ask your rav what he feels you should take from it.

  10. No one is forcing you to watch any videos or read any articles that you don’t wish to see or read. But there are people out there who do welcome a little direction on how to deal with their overwhelming grief. It’s not all about you.

  11. T o the letter writer and those who agree: If you don’t want to know what others think, don’t read or listen to what they have to say, but let them mourn the way they feel they want or need to!

  12. There is something so ironic here that if it weren’t that this were such a massive tragedy, I’d almost think that this was a spoof.

    Please don’t take offense. I don’t mean to mock. I’m just very confused by your letter.

    Because you think that too many people are writing letters, expressing their opinion on how handle this, you’ve written a letter about how to handle this? Do you here the irony?

    On a certain level, I agree. I also don’t want to hear everyone’s opinion (especially well meaning entertainers). But, because I have also needed to go inside, I’ve avoided calling the Chizuk lines and reading all of the articles. (I did listen to Rav Avrohom Schorr and read a piece by R’ Pinchus Friedman.) So, don’t read the articles or listen to the shiurim. I truly don’t understand.

    If you don’t like how public things have become, do yourself the biggest tova imaginable. Stay off of the internet for longer periods of time. I don’t write this with the biting tone that I know it could sound like. I’m a gentle person who is also lost a bit as to how to handle this. (Though less so from hearing his shiur and reading the one piece.)

    Everyone needs help now. (And if you don’t think you need help, you need it the most.) But, some need it by going outside of themselves, and others need it by going inside. Either direction, Hashem can be found, but why is there a problem with so many of our erudite and sensitive souls leading us in such a dark time?

  13. If you don’t like it, ignore it. Pick and choose what you want. That’s what I’m doing. Some people however do get chizuk from others perspectives.

  14. The situation in Eretz Yisroel & in the Diaspora is very bad from Terrorists to the entire Economy going down etc… If anyone should ask why all these Tzaros are Happening to Klal Yisroel he only needs to look at what the Rambam says. Saying that as long as we remain ignorant of the present troubles that we have & what the reasons are that they are happening. The situation can only get worse until Mashiach comes. With the society we are living in today we (sadly) CONSTANTLY need reminders (wake-up calls) from HASHEM for us to do T’shuva & return to HASHEM so all this Tzaros can end & Mashiach comes.

  15. everyone has their own way of coping. If all the kinus and shuirim aren’t appealing to you, no one is forcing you to go or listen. I am sure there are many out there who are happy there are people who they can turn to to help them cope.

  16. We have no way of knowing how and why a calamity of this proportion befell Klal Yisroel , and for every “YUcKEL” to come, rationalize and speculate is very disheartening. We need guidance but from the gedolim and not from the “comment” people on

  17. #12 well said but i would say it even stronger Hashem sent us one strong message after another this month, with the passing of 3 Gedolim. It seems we didn’t quite utilize the first messages. Finally something so strong that shook up all of us young and old. “WAKE UP! LOOK AT YOUR WAYS AND DO SOMETHING! Please Klal Yisroel, save Me from having to remind you again.” This article and the attitude in it is dangerous. Hashiveinu Hashem ailecha v’nashuva chadeish yomeinu k’kedem.

  18. Saddly to say getting up from the shiva is not
    going to confort this family.
    The prophet says: Nachmu nachmu ami yoimar Elokeichem :(. That after that original nechoma we gave them they still need a second nechoma! when midos ha din (Elokeichem) will say also nachmu we will know that they will be conforted from above.
    Let it be SOON!!!!

  19. What did Rav Chaim Kanievski have to say?! I’ve been waiting to hear what he said!!!!! I personally feel the need for some direction. I’m waiting for Matzav to post that!!!!