The family of murdered 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky spent the Sabbath trying to keep his grieving mom from learning the horrific details of his death, while cops scoured the alleged killer's home for evidence.
Nearly a week after Leiby was smothered in a violent struggle -- and his corpse hacked to pieces -- relatives kept the boy's mother, Esther, in the dark about his gruesome end, in hope of stemming her pain.
"The mother doesn't know the details, the terrible things that were done," the boy's grandfather, Isaac Forster, told Assemblyman Dov Hikind on Friday. "We're trying to do everything to make sure she doesn't know."
Relatives yesterday were sitting shiva, the seven days of mourning, at Leiby's Borough Park home, but the 36-year-old mother was ushered to her parents' house nearby.
Leiby's great-grandmother, who is ill, has not even been told of his death, a relative said.
"It's a great loss, and we're devastated," the boy's grandma, Miriam Forster, said before her daughter Esther's arrival.
Yesterday, a pregnant cousin of Esther's and her husband arrived from Chicago. Other visitors from the family's synagogue held a prayer session in the modest, two-story home on 15th Avenue.
Their Hebrew songs resonated through the neighborhood, drawing curious children to the windows.
"The songs praise God and remind us it is all His will, the good and the bad," said an elder worshipper.
Of the Kletzkys' five children, Leiby was their only son and very close to his father, Nachman.
"He was the apple of his eye," the grandfather told Hikind.
And though very young, Leiby was already devout.
"He took his Judaism so seriously," Hikind said.
The boy attended Sabbath services with his grandfather, standing with him for the 18 blessings, a cornerstone of the ceremonies.
"The grandfather would finish and sit down, but Leiby would just go on and on. He was so into it and serious about his prayers," Hikind said.
The NYPD spent yesterday searching the Kensington home of Leiby's alleged killer, Levi Aron.
Crime-scene cops in white coveralls hauled out two mattresses wrapped in brown paper from the East Second Street house where Aron, 35, lived with his dad, stepmom and uncle.
They also took out a large brown bag of evidence marked with a biohazard sticker.
Last week, another mattress was removed from the house, along with bags of computer hard drives and other items.