What to tell our children?
If his advice does not fit every situation, then it fits more than most and it seems to me that this is one of the most meaningful lessons we can learn from Leiby Kletzky.
It makes me sad to say, there simply is no category of people that a 7 or 8 year old can safely ask for help. Not every man and not every woman, no matter whether they are in uniform or not, is safe to approach. Therefore to learn from this tragedy who your child can or cannot approach is, I believe, a mistake.
My Rabbi, Rav Noah Weinberg tz”l taught us a most precious lesson to give over to our children. When you put your children to bed, go through all the people who love them, at the end ask them, “Who loves you more than everyone?”
Tell them the Almighty, of course.
Naturally, my children have inherited my errant ways. And having now experienced both, I can testify that the feeling of looking for a lost child is a lot worse than the feelings a child has at being lost.
We love our children more than they love us, and we want to find them a lot more than they want to be found. Therefore, the more they know they are loved, the more they know they will be found. Alternatively, the more they try to find us, the more lost they will likely become.
Therefore, tell your child, “Whenever you are lost, just stand still and we will find you.”
But isn’t this the predicament of us all?
Are we all not lost trying to find our place? Are any of us at peace? Doesn’t it seem like the more we look the further away we become?
If over 3,000 people can gather to desperately search for little Lieby, how much more is the Almighty looking for us?
Just stand still. You don’t have to find G-d, just let G-d find you.
This should be a zechus (merit) for Leiby Kletzky.