Throughout the morning and afternoon on Friday, a stream of visitors entered the Kletzky family’s brick apartment building on 15th Avenue in Borough Park. Almost all were somber, as if on a mission they did not relish.
Shoeless and sitting on a low chair, Leiby’s father, Nachman, received the visitors alone in a narrow dining room while his wife, Itta, and their four daughters clustered in a bedroom off the kitchen.
Around the apartment, there were so many gifts of fruit and cakes that the family had been forced to send some back. But these were no consolation, visitors said.
“They’re trying to cope,” said Jonathan Schwartz, 42, a close friend. “They keep on saying that God gave them the privilege to raise this child for nine years.”
Though most visitors had attended shivas before, several observed that no gathering had approached the shock and deep grief of Leiby’s.
“If you had a dad go, 90 years old, it’s understandable,” said one family friend, who asked that his name not be used. “This is harder to comprehend, the worst of the worst.”
Saturday, July 16, 2011
At New York Times, "Ritual Mourning for Slain Brooklyn 8-Year-Old."