By Gary Buiso
You are not alone.
That’s what Rabbi Asher Berenbaum told bereaved parents Jacob and Hannah Krasny on Sunday, as he buried his 8-year-old son Avigdor following a fire late Wednesday that tore through his Avenue P home, killing the boy and injuring his five other children.
“This tragedy is not a personal tragedy,” said Berenbaum, the chief rabbi at the Mirrer Yeshiva on Ocean Parkway where Krasny is a member of the rabbinical college. “It is the whole community’s tragedy. We are together in the pain.”
Police at the 61st Precinct estimated that 300 mourners came to funeral services, held at Bais Yisroel Torah Center, on Ocean Parkway, between Avenues R and S.
Somber men with white beards bowed their heads and shed tears for the boy, who died at the conclusion of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, a traditionally festive time on the calendar.
“We tried to express to him that we realize that everything that happens in the world, is done by God,” the rabbi said Monday. “Sometimes, he has to take away someone who is very precious to us and give us a message to make us better.”
“We all believe that if God did it — it has to be the right thing,” he added.
At press time, fire officials have yet to announce the cause of the fire, though they have said that it is believed to have started in the kitchen of the three-story home, near E. 12th Street, and could have been caused by candles or a hot plate, called a blech, used during holidays and the sabbath.
According to The Yeshiva World, Krasny’s other children remain hospitalized, some in grave condition. Three-year-old Yitzchok was transferred to Long Island Jewish Children’s Hospital, and remains on life support, according to the website. Eighteen-month-old Etel remains in critical condition on a respirator in Staten Island University Hospital. The remaining children, a 5-year-old girl, a 7-year-old boy and a 10-year-old boy — were in stable condition at the same hospital.
Synagogues around the neighborhood have banded together to raise money for the family and find them a permanent home. Donation inquiries can be made at Bais Yisroel, 1821 Ocean Parkway.