Hikind On Levi Aron’s Psych Disorder Claim: “Unacceptable and Insulting”


dov-hikindYesterday, Matzav.com reported that a psychiatric evaluation finds that Levi Aron, the man charged with murdering and dismembering Leiby Kletzky, has a personality disorder. It also revealed that his sister died while institutionalized for schizophrenia. The court-ordered evaluation portrays Levi Aron as a troubled, confused man with a “flat” and “apathetic” mood.

New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind didn’t particularly appreciate the results of the evaluation.

“The latest revelation concerning Levi Aron’s alleged ‘schizoid’ personality disorder is nothing more than an attempt on the part of his legal counsel to lay the groundwork for an insanity defense and excuse the horrific crime he perpetrated against an innocent child,” said Hikind.

“Such a move on the part of his attorneys is absolutely unacceptable and insulting. Last week, I was present in the courtroom when Levi Aron was found competent to stand trial. That physicians at Bellevue have said Mr. Aron suffers from a ‘mental disease’ is totally irrelevant to his ability to participate in his own defense.

“Mr. Aron’s supposed disorder did not hinder him in any way from planning, plotting, and executing the brutal slaying of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky. He must be held accountable and sent to prison for life. Anything less would be a travesty and a terrible miscarriage of justice,” concluded Hikind.

{Noam Amdurski-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Well, what does Mr. Hikind think, that the guy is normal? I’m not saying that he should be let off for insanity, but he obviously is not all there.

  2. When exactly did Mr Hikind become the voice of daas Torah?

    Yes, a horrific tragedy occurred and we are all grief stricken. But that does not change the dinim involved. No Jew has the right to advocate for Mr Levi Aron to be punished by the courts. Had he been a no-name goy off the streets he probably would be processed as an insane perpertrator and treated to a few years in a mental institution before release. What gives any Jew the right to demand that Levi Aron receive a greater punishment, or even the death penalty? There were no aidem. There was no hasraah. The only din that applies is that which will ensure the safety of the community.

    Yet, Hikind and his ilk are being photographed with the DA declaring to the press that they will not allow an insanity defense and that Aron will be punished to the max.

    I, for one, am sick and tired at the exploitation of this tragedy for political points. When Martin Grossman was about to be executed we all woke up and an effort was made to get his sentence lessened although he committed a terrible murder. Are we going to let Hikind lead Aron to the electric chair only to start up a similar campaign at the last moment?

    I have great rachmanus on the Kletzky family; great rachmanus on the Aron family and NO rachmanus on Dov Hikind and the others like him who purport to represent Orthodox Judaism when in fact all they represent is a district for purposes of city ordinances. We need to send a message to these wannabe’s: Mix out of the realm of Daas Torah.

  3. From Emes L’Yaakov on Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim Simman 116:1) note 145

    Question: Should one daven in Refaenu for a person who is in prison for the crime of murder, since Lich’orah he is sick?

    Answer: Certainly not, because he is not sick rather he is a criminal.

    And we must fight against this attitude that all sins of a person are because of sickness, rather it all stems from a lack of Yir’as Shamayim, and the proof is that in front of people he would not do what he did, he just has no fear of the Ribbono Shel Olam.

  4. # 3 you are completely out of your mind!!! Someone who completes something like that deserves jail for life. Stop with your nonsense you have no rachmonis for the Kletzky family. You need to be evaluated.

  5. Listen this guy has to be locked up for life to protect the rest of us. It makes little difference to me where they lock him up. If he is insane all the more reason he needs to stay behind bars forever. We may have pity on an insane person but one can never know what an insane person will do, after all you cannot rationally predict irrationality. I don’t know why Hikind should feel insulted by the possibility that Aron may be “insane” his actions certainly defy rationality and he should never be allowed to walk free, to protect our safety regardless of whether he is responsible for his actions. This is not a question of punishment, treatment cannot guarantee our safety. bars are a better guarantee.

  6. Well said no. 3

    We are all sickened by this terrible tragedy that has struck our community and we cry out for Leiby’s innocent blood to be avenged. True vengance belongs, of course, to The RSO but in our zeal for “justice” we must be careful not to let our emotions get the btter of us lest we turn into something little better than a vigilante mob.

    Given the cocktail of drugs (including anti-psychotics) that he had at his disposal as well as a family history of schizophrenia, it is high time we consider the possibility (note I said POSSIBILITY) that Levi Aron is genuinely insane and therefore not responsible for his actions.

    I, for one, would much prefer if, in the end, that turns out to be the case. Better that he suffers from some debilitating psychotic disease than just being a cold-blooded killer, which could be construed (and surely will be by some) as endictment of the entire frum community which could produce that kind of monster.

    As for Hilkind… well… he’s a politician, never missing an opportunity to get his name in the papers. BTW, someone might want to tell him that an insanity defense IS acceptable in the American justice system. In fact, the diagnosis was provided by the COURT APPOINTED psychiatrists, so Hilkind’s assertion that this is some sort of defense trick is absurd prima facia. Whether or not it will fly with a jury is for the jury, not him, to decide.

  7. #3: NYS doesn’t have a death penalty for this case, so no one is pushing for the electric chair. And in the case of Martin Grossman, no one was saying he should be let free – only to be allowed to live out the rest of his life in jail. One doesn’t contradict the other. We value life, and a murderer needs to pay the price. But that can be life in prison without the chance of getting out.

  8. M’Galeh Ponim BaTorah Shlo K’Halacha Ein Lo Chailek B’Olam Habo.

    We must contend with the reformist opinions of the likes of Mr. Hikind only in this world.

    There are people that are unwell and do bad things like murder.

    Then there are people that are unwell- walking around and advocating on behalf of the people – not HIS people mind you – spewing forth all sorts of nonsense.

  9. I think Mr Hikind is being extremely Vigilante.
    If it was his son that had committed the crime, I think he would be begging the public to allow the courts to go through the system of justice.
    I don’t think this lynch mob is correct.
    Maybe we should go to Germany and scream like Mishegoim. What they did was far more barbaric than this.
    These methods are ineffective and not correct.

  10. This butcher was normal? How can any normal person be so crazed? Goyim were horrified too! He is a sick, sick, sick individual! Even look at his own handwriting and his handwritten account of his heneous criminal, crazed act: you see he’s not normal. He gave the korban laShem medications that only a crazed schitzphreniac could have access to!

    The court system will run just fine without you being outraged. Charles Hynes, our esteemed D.A. is outraged and committed to seing justice be done as per the law. Let him do his job and let the Ribono Shel Olam do His job! He’s not old – didn’t retire and He’s not on summer vacation, Boruch HaShem!

  11. #3

    Is Hikind the only public figure “exploiting this tragedy” for publicity??? What about religious organizations? What about entertainers looking for publicity? It’s not right.

  12. Hey Outraged,
    I don’t know about Hikind, but you definitely shouldn’t be the voice of daas torah. Forget about aidim and hasraah for a second. If theres a guy who is both capable and prepared to murder children (not to mention in a disgusting way), a jail cell should be just as inviting as a room in an insane asylum.

  13. #11

    Reading between the lines, it is YOU who needs to “remeber” something very important.

    Mr. Hikind has shown courage that I have seen from very few with regards to Children being hurt. He is a hero. He also conducts himself with Da’as Torah in his personal as well as public life.

    It is you who is quoting nonsense. Don’t use a Chazal to back up a lie that may be difficult for you to face.

    What would YOU ave done re. Children being hurt? Allowed it to continue – “because people do bad things”?

    “Halevi” (2) you should truly be as courageous as he is!

    Btw folks, not advocatig that Aron get the death penalty at all _ but there are wonderful people who suffer with Scitzophrenia and don’t dismember children.

  14. Whats wrong with everybody??!! Even if he is crazy he needs to be in jail–FOR LIFE– bec he is dangerous. Just bec. he is crazy does not mean he can just be let off!!

  15. I for one hope that he is insane. It is too shocking for me to have to believe that a sane yid is capable of such a travesty. I am much more comfortable knowing that it is a mental disorder and that fellow yid cannot do such a thing unless he has a disorder. having said that, He does pose a threat and should be removed from society. regardless of him “deserving” it or not. I understand the anger and this is a very emotional issue. It is not for us to judge. Only hkb”h knows waht he “deserves”. we need to protect ourselves however, regardless he need to be locked up.

  16. I think #3 was trying to say that this murderer will be dealt with in a way that ensures that he does not repeat his crimes. That is what the courts will do if left to do their job.

    Hikind, by pushing for a more severe punishment and yelling against the insanity defense, is asking for a fellow Jew to be subjugated to more suffering than he would otherwise receive. This is takeh a terrible act of recklessly spilling the blood of a fellow Jew for the sole purpose of advancing his own political agenda.

  17. Hikind is popular enough – he doesn’t need to exploit this horror for political gain.

    While I may not agree Aron deserves what Hikind is calling for I DON’T believe its about furthering his own agenda. He has far more integrity than that.

    I don’t think ANYONE here is qualified to judge Hikind or lehavdil Aron. Let’s focus on bringing Moshiach.

  18. At an earlier article on this horrific tragedy athttp://matzav.com/just-in-levi-aron-pleads-not-guilty, I posted the following three remarks. I will repeat them here as the same discussion is continuing.


    We can be 100% sure that from the minute this horrific calamity occurred, our contemporary Gedolay Torah, Sh’lita, have been seriously examining this question: According to the Torah, does this Mr. Levi Aron have the status of such a Shoteh – a severely insane person, who is not liable for punishment for his deeds?

    If, according to the Torah, he is NOT a Shoteh, then, what punishment should he be given? Should he be given the death penalty?

    If, according to the Torah, he IS a Shoteh, then, what should be done with him? He obviously has to be PUT AWAY! But how? Should he be put in jail for life? Should he be put in a mental institution for life?

  19. (footnote to my above comment #12)

    About a year ago, there was the tragic case in Florida of Mr. Michael Grossman, A’H. (Every step of the story was extensively reported here at Matzav.) He had brutally murdered a woman park officer and was given the death penalty and actually executed. Before his execution though, the Bnei Torah communities very heavily petitioned the Governor of Florida to not execute him, for there were indications that he had been insane with mental retadation when he committed the bizzare murder. The Bnei Torah call was that, instead of death, HE SHOULD BE KEPT IN JAIL FOR LIFE.

  20. (second footnote to my above comment #22)

    In 1981, there was the very major tragic event of the attempted assassination, Rachmana Litzlan – May G-D save us, of the President of the United States! (Boruch HaShem, the President, Ronald Wilson Reagan, did survive the attack. The gun injury to him though, was very severe and he thus had to undergo immediate surgery to remove the bullet. He did recuperate pretty quickly and quickly resumed the duties of his office; however, from then on, he was greatly weakened. He did though continue to serve two full terms as president, and was considered to be one of the “giants” of American presidents.)

    The slime bag who did the shooting, John Warnock Hinckley, Jr., was an individual who was obviously greatly deranged. At his trial, the court declared him to be “not guilty” because he was insane.

    This lenient verdict brought much anger across the country. I well remember sitting in the dinning room of the Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn and hearing the “table talk” about this bizarre news. One of the senior Chavrei HaKollel exclaimed: “Well, anybody who kills someone is obviously ‘not normal’!!” (I privately told this Kollel man the further issue of the case: That even if Mr. Hinckley would be put into a mental hospital, latter on, if he would get better — at this, the man cynically exclaimed with heavy cynical laughter: “Oh, so they’ll say he had a ‘Refua Shelayma’ and let him out!!!!!”)

    The Rosh HaKollel, Rav Eliezer Ginsberg, Sh’lita, expressed the outrage in the sharpest way of all. In a Sichas Mussar, he was referring to conditions in the Europe of previous centuries; there, if the king even had a carriage accident — that was his fault — on your property, you were marked for death! As he described this, in a sharp voice, he angrily declared: “THIS WAS NOT AMERICA, WHERE YOU CAN SHOOT THE PRESIDENT AND GET OFF!!!!!”

    This national dismay prompted significant revisions in the rules for the usage of the insanity defense.

    Anyway, Mr. Hinckley was committed to one of the major psychiatric hospitals in the Washington, DC area. The statements about it were that he would be there for life. In effect, the authorities were saying to him: “You want us to say that you are crazy?? OK, we will say that you are crazy!! But that will include that WE ARE GOING TO TREAT YOU LIKE YOU ARE CRAZY!! WE ARE THUS GOING TO PUT YOU AWAY IN A MENTAL INSTITUTION FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE!!!!”

    However, over the last several years, involved doctors have said that he no longer presents a threat to people, and the courts have given him several permits to leave the hospital to visit his family for longer and longer and longer periods of time.

    (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Hinckley,_Jr.)

  21. Mr. Hikind is making a serious strategic error. By magnifiying his feelings of outrage he risks creating the impression that Aron is being “railroaded” and deprived of a fair trial. Whether Aron is insane or not is a matter of medical opinion. Whether he is convicted or judged insane, the result will be the same – long-term imprisonment in jail or a mental ward, and a high-security ward for dangerous patients is no country club.

    Mr. Hikind has done some good work for the Yidden of Brooklyn, but in this case he is going beyond the bounds of what is advisable. And this can create another problem – what if lawyers can exclude frum Jews from a jury on the grounds that they have been prejudiced? If it comes to trial, do we really want a jury of all non-frum Jews?

  22. Why is Hikind “outraged” that Levi Aron claims to be mentally ill?

    Would a sane person do this?

    No! He is obviously a very pathetic sick man.

    That being said, he is a very DANGEROUS pathetic sick man, and as such, must be locked up for LIFE.

    But sick he is. I agree with some other commentators that it more reassuring to know that he is a sick, sick man, than to consider that a Jewish community spawned such horrendous achzoreyuskeit.


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