In the aftermath of Leiby Kletzky's tragedy our attention should be directed to the hundreds, if not thousands, of single yong men from all over the world who live in the basement apartments and studio flats of Borough Park and Flatbush. Every once in a while, when something happens, their existence bursts onto our consciousness, and then they fade away. The great majority of these yong single men moved to Broklyn to pursue shidduchim, to complete their education and at the same time, grow as Jews. Some, however, have a variety of issues...and no one to whom and nowhere to take them. Their families are far away, they do not always have friends or mentors, and they daven in shtiblach where no one pays them heed and they have no community or a Rav. A few, have difficulty in creating and maintaining a relationship. Some grow increasingly strange and isolated, as their psychological issues come to fore, and no one knows, no one notices.
Remember Gideon Bush? He was one of such men. Alone, slowly descending into depths of emotional illness, with no one to take an interest or to get him help, he acted more and more bizarrely, until he attacked a group of policemen with a hammer on which he engraved the Name, YKVK, and was shot to death.
Levi Aron was another such man.
About 15 years ago, I attended a shiur in Faltbush. I desperately wanted to master and understand dikduk but was finding it very difficult to break through. Existing seform were hard to understand and I knew that I needed a teacher. I heard of a half-hour shiur by R. Eluzer Bruger, the author of Sefer Hadukduk L'Ramachal that was being given in a shul in Flatbush between mincha and maariv. I adjusted my commute to use the Belt and every night for several months I would eat supper at Chap-a-Nosh, then learn in a nearby Beis Medrash and then walked over a few blocks to the shiur.
I met single angry young men at Chap-a Nosh. They s me there every night and thought that I was also a single angry young man, like they. They came over to chat, while we consumed our evening meal. There was Shmuel, who every few months left observance and then, for a few months, returned to it. There was Moshe, who did not communicate, though he craved company and gave me the creeps.There was Duvi, a bright and sociable young man, cynical and battered beyond his years, the full extent of his bitterness and anger I could then not even begin to fathom.
Had I been at a different point in my life, had I understood more, had I not already been burdened with a myriad responsiblities, perhaps I whould have made this my shlichus. I did not. No one did.
No one did.
And we had Gideon Bush. And we had Levi Aron.