A reissue from three years ago, July 14th 2011, nearing now the anniversary of the writing. I forget exactly when the news struck of little Leiby’s death. No parent can or could be indifferent. This I take to be self-evident and universal, yes, a transcendent truth we must know, must hold, in order for our humanity to remain in tact. Yes, humanity is a state of being, one of being human when being human is to be humane.
I did not know Leiby. I did not know his parents. I am not Jewish. If I were I would not be Orthodox. This is not a condemnation of orthodoxy. If I were Jewish I would most likely be like the friends I grew up with in East Flatbush Brooklyn, reformed. I am merely filtering this conception through the prism of my secular Catholicism. I am Catholic, most surely on Christmas and Easter as most of my Jewish friends and classmates at PS 208 were Jewish at least for New Year and Passover, or Pesach as 1 in 3 of them said. Belief was of a different order for us in East Flatbush, either Jewish or Christian, really Catholic because you were not likely a Protestant, yet of all my closest friends before I was eighteen, one was Lutheran and the other Anglican, Episcopalian.
Leiby’s parents have a different take…
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