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“The Story of Leiby” − by Lipa Schmeltzer

Popular Hasidic singer writing song in memory of slain Brooklyn boy
By: Sammy Hudes
Published: July 21st, 2011 in Culture » Music » News
Lipa Schmeltzer

Lipa Schmeltzer, a high profile Hasidic singer, says he plans to write a song in memory of eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky, the Brooklyn boy who was brutally murdered last week. Schmeltzer’s tunes were a favourite of Leiby.


According to the New York Daily News, the man known as the “Jewish Elvis” will call the song “The Story of Leiby.” Schmeltzer, who says that he was moved to tears by what had happened to Leiby, visited the grieving family of the child this past Sunday, to comfort them in their home in Borough Park, Brooklyn. He chanted the lyrics to a Yiddish song that he had made, called “As Long as You’re Alive,” to Leiby’s sister, Nechama.


Schmeltzer’s upcoming song will be part of a larger album.


“I wanted to write a song about this little boy. This was a special, holy boy,” said Schmeltzer. “His story came to an end because of this black day that we had. Future generations of Leiby have vanished. All the goodness that came from Leiby is now vanished.”


Schmeltzer spoke of Leiby’s father, who is heart-broken over the loss of his son.


“There are no words I can tell him,” said Schmeltzer. “He is keeping very strong. He said he had the honour to have this soul for nine years.”


The singer also said that he was amazed by the vast number of neighbours who visited the family on Sunday. Visitors were sure to tell plenty of remarkable stories about Leiby.

“The stories we heard are unbelievable,” said Schmeltzer. “One story is that they were playing a game in class. At the last minute, Leiby switched teams. Why did he switch? He said, ‘Because my team keeps winning and they keep losing, and I want to help them win.’ He was a very smart boy.”

Earlier today, it was reported that Levi Aron, the man arrested in the murder, was indicted on eight counts, including two of first-degree murder, three counts of second-degree murder, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, and one count of second-degree kidnapping. Leiby was found dead last week, as his body had been dismembered and scattered in a dumpster and in Aron’s freezer. The 35-year-old suspect has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“This is all of our tragedy,” said Leib Glanz, a neighbour of the family. “This is not just a loss for the parents, this is a loss for the entire Jewish community.”

Related articles: Lipa Schmeltzer, The Story of Leiby, Leiby Kletzky, Brooklyn, Levi Aron
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