Dear fellow readers,
I had been following the situation with Leiby Kletzky very closely. I davened for him, and when I heard the terrible news of how he’d been found, I was devastated. I can’t even imagine what his family must be going through. It is a parent’s worst nightmare made reality. However, it also got me thinking.
When I was young, I wasn’t allowed to walk places alone at that age. When I was older, I walked my younger siblings to friends who lived only a block or two away. However, when I drive through Boro Park now, things are different.
I see young kids out by themselves. I’ve seen a 5 year old boy pushing a stroller with what I assume is his 2 year old sister in it – without a parent in sight. Kids are riding bikes in the street – without helmets. Where are the parents? Do they realize what is going on? What danger their children are in?
I once had a boy run out into the street in front of my car. I slammed on the brakes and luckily stopped in time. I got out and asked him where his mother or father was. He pointed to the house. I went up and rang the bell. The mother opened the door, and I told her what had happened. I asked her, “Why aren’t you watching your son?”
She said, “I was looking out the window.”
“Really? Tell me, what’s the license plate number on my car?”
She just stared at me. I went on, “I could have grabbed your son off his bike, thrown him into my car, and taken off – within 10 seconds. You would have no way to track me down! You’re inside, you can’t see me well, and your son is riding his bike up and down the street, without a helmet. Is this responsible?”
She had no answer for me.
Let the tragic events of this week be a wake up call for us. Too often, people are not careful with our greatest treasure. When we have a fragile, expensive item, we handle it carefully. We don’t take our crystal and just throw it into a closet. We don’t balance it precariously on top of things. Our children are so much more precious than our other possessions. Why don’t we protect them the same way? Don’t let your children out alone when they’re young. Sadly, there are many sick people out there. It only takes a few seconds, and the nightmares are suddenly all too real. Please, protect your children. They are our greatest treasures.
A Concerned Parent
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