The Father I Saw Get Hit by a Car (4-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

The Father I Saw Get Hit by a Car (4-Minute Mommy Peptalk)

Why did Hashem want me to see that car accident?

This past Thursday, at 7:50 in the morning, I was walking Yoni to gan when suddenly I heard a crash and then yelling. Then I saw a young man lying in the middle of the street, in front of a car.
I walked over to him and asked him if I should call an ambulance. B”H he was conscious but in a lot of pain. Yes, he did want me to call him an ambulance.
Back on the sidewalk, somebody pointed to a baby in a carriage next to me and said, “Geveret, this is the baby of the man who was hit by a car. Could you please keep an eye on her?”
Then somebody handed me the man’s phone to speak with his wife. She was already on the bus, on her way to work. I told her what had happened, and that the baby was fine. And that I would meet her at the site of the accident in 5 minutes.
As she was rushing back, I took the baby in her carriage along with me while I took Yoni to gan.
By the time I got back to the scene of the accident, the mother was there. They were a young couple, this was their first baby. The baby’s name, I was surprised to hear, was Hadas, the name of my oldest daughter too.
For those of you who don’t live in Israel, I need to explain that Hadas isn’t a common name. If there are, let’s say, 800 children living in my neighborhood, there are maybe 10 Hadases. How many of those Hadases are oldest children?
Probably two. My Hadas and this Hadas whose father had just been hit by a car.
Maybe it wasn’t a coincidence, I started thinking, that I had found myself at the scene of a car accident that morning.
Before she went off with her husband in the ambulance, I offered to take Hadas to her babysitter. The mother couldn’t remember the babysitter’s exact address, just the name of the street and the babysitter’s name.
But as I headed towards the babysitter’s street, I ran into my friend (and reader) Emuna and I remembered that she had once sent her daughter to a babysitter on that same street.
When I told Emuna what was going on, she told me that she did know that babysitter. And she walked me over to show me where the babysitter lived, and pointed out, “You should know, it’s really strange that I happened to be walking by at that moment. I’m never on the street at this time, but my baby woke up really early today, so we were.” The babysitter, it turned out, lived in the final entrance of a huge building on the fourth floor. I would have never found her on my own.
I went home feeling completely worn out, thinking about what a huge miracle it had been that nothing had happened to the baby.
A few hours passed. And I calmed down a little bit. And I started thinking about why Hashem had sent me, davka me, into that situation.
And it occurred to me, I’ve done a little bit of lobbying, trying to make the neighborhood’s intersections safer for children.
Maybe that was why Hashem had put me there at 7:50 that morning to hear the crash and the yelling and to watch little Hadas?
So I sat down and wrote 2 Emails to the people I’ve been in touch with in the past. One, a woman from the municipality, wrote back the bureaucratic equivalent of “we’ll see.” But the other person, the community center’s urban planner, wrote back a few minutes ago, that he would recommend to the city’s engineer to move the crosswalk at the intersection where the accident had taken place to make it safer for pedestrians.
Hundreds of kids cross that street every day. And the current crazy traffic pattern there, G-d forbid, endangers them all.
So maybe something good can come out of this accident after all?
I heard a funny story today from Rabbi Fischel Schachter. A wealthy man was once giving a party, and he offered $5000 to any person who was willing to take a swim in his pond–which was populated by 5 hungry alligators. Right away, one man jumped into the pond, and swam as fast as he could, narrowly avoiding the alligators’ jaws.
Afterward, the wealthy man handed him a check for $5000, and said to him, “I’m very impressed by your courage! Is there anything else I can do for you?” The man said, “Yes, you could tell me who pushed me in!”

And that, Rabbi Schachter said, is what life is like. Over and over, we find ourselves in ponds full of alligators, pushed into all sorts of situations that we didn’t plan or wish to find ourselves in–ever. And then we need to say, OK, Hashem, You pushed me in here. This is not where I want to be, but You clearly do. What do you want from me now?”


  1. JewishMom

    About the current condition of the man in the accident, he had surgery on his upper leg, but beyond that I don’t know. His name for davening is Sagi ben Iris

  2. The Baal Shem Tov said that everything you see and hear is a lesson in serving Hashem. thank you Chana for always showing us how to extract the most profound lessons for personal improvement from everything that you come across!

    • JewishMom

      thank you rebbetzin mina, coming from you that’s a big compliment:)

  3. Scary!! Just reinforces why I insist that my almost 8 year old is walked daily to and from school. I hate that intersection!

    • JewishMom

      the accident happened right next to your daughters’ school. drop off and pick up times are so crazy there

  4. May he have a refuah shleimah. B”H you were right there to help! Thank you for sharing your insights.

  5. There is alot of extra open-to-see hashgacha in eretz yisroel. That you and your friend were there at the right time. Refua sheleyma to the man!

  6. just when i’m struggling with the sharks in the water and “why am I here???” thoughts, I read your essay on hashgacha protis. but it’s not just about the “coincidences” of life, it is a message for me–and everyone–that we each have a job to do, and that is the best anti-dote for our feelings of helplessness.
    Knowing that I have a job to do, even if that job is difficult, gives me a sense of “control” over my situation, thus removing that paralyzing feeling of being a victim.
    kol hakavod, chana jenny! once again, you have provided the refuah before the “makah” took over my life!

  7. savta ima

    Wow, how Hashem choreographs his world. Hameichin metzadei gaver. You were chosen as a shaliach, and megalg’lin zechut al ydei zakai, so tizki lemitzvot!

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