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July 14, 2011 4:40 pm

Levi Aron Is Not a Religious Man

avatar by Ronn Torossian

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Confessed killer Levi Aron.

There are no words to describe the horror of the murder of Leiby Kletzky, the 9-year old who was killed in Brooklyn on Tuesday. As a father, and as a human being, it is simply sickening, tearful and just horrendous. As a Jew it is infuriating to hear how the murderer was identified.

Discussing this matter with others in the Jewish community, and hearing rabbis and media comment on the murderer Levi Aron, it angers me to hear Aron referred to as a “religious Jew.”

What Makes a Jew or any person religious? One cannot be a religious Jew when he lures, murderers and dismembers a nine-year-old child – any child. Aron is being charged with felony manslaughter and deserves the most painful form of punishment, any decent person must stand up and demand the same.

In this world, evil exists in many places and in many forms, including to the shock of many, in Borough Park. I have spent time in the insular, close-knit community of Borough Park and I wonder if anyone knew anything about Aron before this tragedy. I wonder if anyone would have said anything, and I suppose we may discover soon enough if in fact Aron brought the young boy to a wedding as he said he did, and no one raised any concerns.

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For me, as a father, as a Jew, as a human being; at the age of 36, being religious means being a good person, not hurting anyone, being honest, being decent, and caring about my family and my community. Those who see horrors of young children being molested in schools and don’t say anything – are not religious, nor are those who pray three times a day and then steal. Levi Aron is not a religious man.

I pray for the day that being a religious Jew means being a good, honest, decent ethical person, and not simply someone who dons a certain garb or attends synagogue.

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  • Ronn, your points are well taken. Unfortunately, your petty swipe at “religious” jews is not appreciated. Any well meaning journalist knows not to generalize. I believe that even you know that there are deviant individuals in every group. Those individuals do not delegitimize the group or its beliefs. I sense a great deal of guilt among jewish writers who follow this practice. Maybe you should start exploring your roots in greater detail. Often people of your ilk make disparaging remarks based on ignorance. It is easy to make light of another’s beliefs if those assumptions are based on personal prejudice.

  • Yehudi Am

    Crying when thinking of this tragedy. Awful.

  • Meyer Goldstein

    Amazing that a Public Relations man, one who works in a fickle media business is the one to stand up and say we need to ask ourselves questions about what decency means. Not just prayer but decency. Thank you Ronn Torossian

  • Larry Bone

    There have been comments that if Levi Aron had been forced to continously take psych drug meds to improve has mental state of mind, the murder would never have taken place. Unfortunately, Levi Aron’s wife said he was already on psych drug meds previously so it would be worth investigating what his state of mind was before and after being put on psychiatric drug meds. Did they induce a more homicidal state of mind after he was started on them? The apparent danger of psych drugs is that again and again they seem to effectively induce the very homicidal/suicidal state of mind they are supposed to prevent. They are the outside influence dangerous to the Jewish Community, urban, suburban and rural communities and the world at large.

  • Noah

    While I agree with a lot of what he writes… the murderer is not ” a none religious man” he is none human!!! And Ronn you need to start going to Shul being a good person is a precursor to geeing a good Jew but it’s a precursor not the whole thing.

    • Yoni Blau

      Noah: Where does the good Jew who goes to shul but protects child molesters stand ? How about the Rabbis who protect these bad people ?

  • Yohanan johnson

    Can it be that religious Jews simply are cowardly and pray to gd but dont help man. Religious people tend to steal lie and cheat more than others in the secular world. Borough Park has rabbis molesting children and say nothing – they go nuts if the hechser isnt perfect or someones a minute late with shabbat – but child molestors or stealing from people. oh thats ok.

  • Gedalye

    Ronn is right. Yet he missed the very important fact that in the Chasidic community there is overwhelming trust and naivete. A guy with a beard and a kangol hat in Borough Park is not necessarily a good frum Jew. Sadly, the very thing that keeps the centered – their virtual insularity – also keeps their kids in the clouds or dark about the world.

    Now. Levi Aron is a sick man who never should have been near a child like this. The fact that no one else saw this behavior is normal in this community where odd, single lonely people roam, crafting schemes while the rest of the world ignores them (not my problem syndrome).

    Painful and sad. The charge ought to me Murder One not manslaughter as seems to be the case. He admitted to suffocating, dismembering and hiding the body parts – who cares what his “intention” was.

    He kidnapped a kid, murdered him and then cut his body into pieces and stored half of it in his fridge then says “I understand this may be wrong.”

    On what planet is this a MAY HAVE BEEN? Take him away and do the same to him. Capital Punishment MAY wrong, but not in this situation.

  • Barry Leonard

    I see a psychiatric defense.

  • Menachem A.

    Murderer he should be fried

  • Akiva

    This is just posturing. According to the Lubavitch Rebbe OBM, all Jews are equal, garb or no garb. But just being “good” does not let you off the hook. Being Jewish means doing Mitzvah given to us found in the Torah. Being good and lighting Shabbos candles on, say, Tuesday is a no go. We are all in process. No one know who is religious other than God. Anyway we are all hurt and disgusted by this man’s acts. if I follow the author’s recommendation then Judaism would cease to be. I look forward the day that being a religious Jew means being a good, honest, decent ethical person and goes to shul. Garb is not important but going to Shul is.

    • Sarah M.

      My Thoughts exactly. I actually hate when writers use opportunities like this to convolute reality.

  • Jonathan Glickstein

    Ronn Torossian is right on. His PR Agency clients should be proud.

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