Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Naomi incident at shul

Just as the Kiddush was ending and before the Sheva Brachahs were to begin, Jennifer and I rounded up Naomi (age 4) and Gavriel Zev (age 1 and a half) and were getting ready to head downstairs to leave. As I picked up our coats, I returned to the north third floor foyer to see David trying to lodge a chair to the outside door to keep it open.“Where is Naomi?” I asked Jennifer, looking around.“I thought she was with you?” she said seeing me carrying Gavriel Zev and thinking I was in charge of both kids. I popped my head into the upstairs room where the shul workers were setting up the tables for the Sheva Brachahs and called out “Naomi, where are you?”Jennifer popped outside to the terrace to look for her. Not seeing her, she returned to the foyer. Thinking Naomi took off down the stairs on her own, I told Jennifer to head down the North stairwell while I took to the South stairwell.
Arriving on the main floor, I looked to see if Naomi was around the front door, cloakroom or in front of the Sanctuary. I saw Jennifer down the hall near the Menora heading my way, then turn around and pick up a crying Naomi behind her.Jennifer questioned her as to why she went down the stairs herself and Naomi claimed that someone picked her up and brought her down against her will. Jennifer questioned her about who it was and leading on to nearby Dan Z., Naomi said it was him. Jennifer asked Danny about it and he said that it was not him.
Later at home alone with Naomi, I asked her what happened at shul today, trying to not lead her on with probing questions. Basically this is what she said, in her own words.A man, possibly wearing a blue suit or blue clothing, called her over to him in the North stairway by saying “Come over here.” She went to him and he picked her up and started walking down the stairs. On the way down, Naomi asked if he was bringing her to her parents. He said no.At this point, Naomi may have started to cry. The man brought her into the Ladies section of the Sanctuary, then came back out to the area around the carriages and Menora. Someone nearby, possibly seeing Naomi cry harder, told the man to “Put her down” which he did. He then proceeded to go into the single washroom, and I guess this is when Jennifer and I showed up and saw Naomi crying.
Later at Shalosh Seudah, I talked to David, remembering he was around earlier. He said he knew nothing of what happened to Naomi and was genuinely concerned about her. I am sure it wasn’t him.
Naomi said that the man was a shul person, meaning she recognized this person being around the shul.Who is it? Was this a benign, innocent event? Or was someone after my 4 year old, and was taking advantage of the commotion between a busy shul schedule that morning?
I was thinking of bringing Naomi to shul next Shabbos and seeing if she could point out said person. On Richard B.'s advice he recommend I asked the person what he was doing with Naomi, hoping that there would be a simple explaination. If the person is identified, Richard wanted me to let him know who it was.

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