Just before the funeral for Leiby A"H last Wednesday night, there was a (hail) storm in Brooklyn, followed by a double rainbow.
[*How to pronounce Leiby's name - Leiby is pronounced Lay-bee or Luy-bee*]
Some blog readers had questioned what the meaning behind the sudden appearance of the double rainbow coincidentally before his funeral could mean. Was it some kind of sign or message and if so what might that be?
No one can know for sure, but just speculate and theorise. To help inquisitive minds understand this better here is a viewpoint that I hope will be of some comfort and help the healing process somewhat.
It is customary when seeing a rainbow to pronounce the blessing, "Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who remembers the covenant, and is faithful to His covenant, and keeps His promise".
Leiby's savage captor (his name doesn't deserve mention) violated 3 of the 7 Noahide Laws as well as of the 10 Commandments. "The Prohibition Of Theft (Kidnap)" - "The Prohibition Of Murder" and "Do Not Cause Any Kind Of Pain Or Suffering To Any Living Creature".
He also violated giving any ounce of respect, honor and dignity to the deceased and his corpse.
The rainbow is a timely reminder of the value to society that by observing the Seven Noahide Commandments they serves as a basis of healthy communities and functioning societies as these are the tools and guidance we need to live by. They are the pillars of human civilization and are the eternal value to uphold an ethnical, moral, valuable, meaningful, truthful, and just society!
That said, Leiby's disappearance, heartless and cold blooded murder and subsequent barbaric mutilation of his corpse affected alot of people who never knew him. The loss was felt around the entire world. His 8 precious years of life cut so senselessly short. (He never reached his 9th birthday which would have been in about 2 weeks time).
Now to address the rainbow. Even in the gloom a rainbow will occasionally appear. The definition of the rainbow is - "A colorful curved band across the sky seen when the suns rays pass through falling mist".
The particular double rainbow seen on Wednesday sometime before Leiby's funeral, the higher arched rainbow represented Leiby A"H who is up in a holy Heavenly place where all the magical colors in the universe are created . In the middle of the two rainbows is a void. The higher rainbow separated by the lower rainbow this lower one representing his bretheren - the people of Israel who are down here on the lower realm of the world, planet earth.
Those "suns rays" passing through would be Leibys precious and pure Soul and holy rays brightly shining down and radiating through the entire Universe from one end to the other.
Leiby's Soul lit a spark in everybody elses. Entire communities got together in unity, a chain reaction that followed from the beginning of Leibys disappearance and continues even after his untimely and unnatural death. Communities and individuals worldwide took part in prayer services praying for the welfare of Leiby A"H (a complete stranger to most up until that point) while he was missing. Another particular case in point, the food and water that was generously and wholeheartedly donated for the volunteering and official search parties racing against time to find Leiby A"H. We all became a part of this together united as one extended family - regardless of religion or race.
The colors of the rainbow glisten so pretty in the sky. They color our world in these dismal dark times. Challenging the forces of gloom, in a struggle to keep the world bright and colorful, and to keep our hearts hopeful and happy. Just like the rainbow arches from one end to the other, through courage, kindness and friendship we can bring hope, happiness and healing to everyone at the farthest flung corners of the universe. One good deed leading to another. Changing the world, one simple act at a time.
The "falling mist "- So many countless tears that everyone cried, including Leiby's own tears when he was vunerably at the mercy of his captor. One can only assume the poor frightened little child had tears rolling down his cheeks as he pleaded for his life to the man he had trusted him to help in his time of need. Now up in Heaven he cries out to God for his slain and slaughtered body and that God avenge his blood that was so callously and senselessly spilled with no regard or respect for the deceased body. Justice for Leiby will never truly be served until God Himself deals with the callous murderer.
The region between a double rainbow is dark. And darkness certainly decended into the community that dismal day when the black news broke and we all learned the unspeakable reality of the barbaric act involved that absolutely no one saw coming - the tremendous shock, pain and anguish gripped with terrible grief.
The Jewish community has one heart, but today the heart is shattered into a million pieces, but that can't be said for our spirit. Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
Just like light and darkness succeed each other so to after the worst of the worse circumstances we need to believe that better things are sure to come.
Through this horrendous and inexplicable grisly tradgedy that defies human logic, Leiby actually lit up the world so to speak and put the world in motion through unity and acts of kindness with people taking upon themsleves learning and good deeds that in the merit of the action we are doing Leiby's Soul will be elevated to higher realms. We pray that Leiby's Soul will have a closer place to God due to our positive actions in his merit.
Altho hardly an easy process , let's focus away from the pain, gutwrench and gruesomeness and take it upon ourselves to do something positive so Leiby HY"D didnt die in vain. Get involved;
Learn For Leiby A"H http://www.learnforleiby.com/
Be Part Of The Sefer Torah In Memory Of Leiby Kletzky A”H
In the spiritual reality, nothing is lost: Not the beloved one's purpose, nor their goodness, and nor even their real existence. The Soul continues to exist eternally. At the end of life, every soul returns to its unique "place" in the "world".To Nachman and Ita Esther Kletzky and daughters (may you live many healthy long purposeful filled years) I say this from the depth of my heart "May the Omnipresent comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem".
Yehuda Ben Nachman may your precious and pure Soul find comfort in Heaven amongst our Heavenly Father, sisters and brothers. May we all be united sooner than soon with the Righteous Messiah. Amen.
* HY"D - Is the abbreviation of the Hebrew words meaning "May His Blood Be Avenged" *
*A"H - Is the abbreviation of the Hebrew words Alev HaShalom meaning 'Peace Be Upon Him'**How to pronounce Leiby's name - Leiby is pronounced Lay-bee or Luy-bee*
*The name Leiby (Leib) means Lion in the Yiddish language*
By R' Shefa Gold
Our consciousness holds in it a memory of utter catastrophe, of the death and rebirth of this planet. The story of the Flood represents this awareness which awakens us to the preciousness of Life. And the story ends with a great blessing, a great promise.
It is upon this blessing that our spiritual life rests. God touches our memory of devastation and says, "This will never happen again." He makes a covenant with all of life and places a rainbow in the sky as a sign
of that covenant. "I will look upon the rainbow and remember."
The blessing of the rainbow is the remembrance, the assurance, that we are ultimately safe. This deep unquestioned sense of security and trust in the essential goodness and rightness of reality becomes the foundation for the process of awakening. This sense is so basic that changing circumstances and events cannot disrupt it. A. H. Almaas calls this quality, "Basic Trust". Its presence allows you to relax and just be with whatever is.
Basic trust gives us the capacity to surrender, to let go of doubt and step into the unknown. As limiting ego-structures dissolve and we open to an expanded perspective, it can feel as though everything we know is falling apart.
The rainbow reminds us that whatever happens, we are safe. Even when terrible things happen, when the outer structures are destroyed and we are seemingly paralyzed by fear, the rainbow appears and reminds us of a deeper safety. YES, EVEN DEATH IS SAFE! And that sense of safety becomes the springboard for our next step. This innate and implicit trust ultimately manifests as a willingness to take that necessary leap into the unknown.
And so "Basic Trust" manifests in the courage to be with what is, and then instead of being a reactive victim of circumstance, you learn to live your life from a deep wisdom, from a wide perspective.
The portion of Noah (in Genesis) blesses us with yet another Rainbow: The story of the tower of Babel. The tower of our arrogant singular purpose topples and we are given the rainbow of diversity in its place. As we seek to touch the Unity (prompted by a hunger for mastery or control), we are answered with multiplicity. We are sent on the rainbow journey to acknowledge every shade of experience, to recognize the whole spectrum of what it means to be human. We are blessed with complex beauty, confounding paradox, and the opportunity to know and enjoy all the separate colors that together form the magnificent white Light of the One.
The Spiritual Challenge
The Slonimer Rebbe describes the three levels of faith:
There are three rungs of Faith: Trusting Mind, Trusting Heart , but there is a rung still higher, Trusting with your limbs/embodiment: where Faith penetrates every fibre of your being, where horror can't seize you, for your whole body feels the protective Divine presence.
Complete faith occurs when it unfolds in all three dimensions. As King David said, 'My heart and my flesh [my body] sing to the Living God. Not just the heart, but also the flesh, our skin and our muscles, our bones and limbs also sing to the Living God, for faith suffuses our entire being.
The spiritual challenge is to suffuse our entire being with a sense of ultimate safety, to integrate into our very bodies, the promise of the rainbow.
THIS SENSE OF SECURITY is our inheritance. And yet at some point we become disconnected from our Source and lose our "Basic Trust". We feel betrayed and lose our footing. The spiritual challenge is to re-connect with the truth of our safety, no matter what happens, so that we can again feel "held" by the goodness of Life, the Ground of Being. Then we can rest in the Divine embrace.
Almaas describes the challenge like this:
"It means experiencing the factors which brought about the profound disconnection from reality, and experiencing repeatedly the fundamental truth of non-separateness, to the point where the soul can again rest in the knowledge of that truth. Each new experience of essential truth deepens the soul's contact with her own basic trust."
As we receive the blessing of the rainbow we are challenged to remember God's promise and dedicate ourselves to living our lives in its light. Whatever blocks that light must be examined with compassion, and dissolved through dedicated practice.
When the tower of our singular will for power topples and we are left with the multiplicity of languages, systems, conflicting stories, and values, our path becomes confused and scattered.
Yet the spiritual challenge is clear. Diversity must not be ignored as we seek a vision of Unity. The shining vision of our Unity should not fade as we celebrate our differences. We must not betray the Many for the One, or the One for the Many.
Sometimes experiencing God's faith in us allows us to find our own faith.