I wasn’t planning to tell my children about it. They are unusually sensitive kids, and I didn’t want to traumatize them. That’s what I decided as I drove to pick them up from school, passing police cars still Ready or not, as Mom, I had to address the tragedylingering at the site of the recent incident, in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel. But my plans were dashed when, upon entering the car, my 8-year-old daughter got straight to the point. “Mom, I heard a little boy was hit by a bus today on the way to school and died. I’m scared.”

Indeed, little 6-year-old Yehuda Applebaum was hit by a bus as he and his father, who accompanied him daily, crossed the street (legally, at a crosswalk) near the town’s busy shopping center en route to school. In chilling footage taken from a security camera at a nearby synagogue, one can see Yehuda and his father crossing a busy intersection while an intercity bus waits for them to arrive safely at the other side before making his right turn. Investigations are still ongoing, but somehow, as they began crossing the next street onto which the bus was turning, that very same bus hit them. Yehuda, crushed under the massive wheels, quickly succumbed to his wounds, while his father was rushed to the hospital with moderate injuries.

For years, residents have complained to the city how dangerous that particular intersection is, yet despite promises for increased safety measures, nothing has been done to date. (In the aftermath, a group of fathers have been taking turns volunteering as crossing guards.)

Well, ready or not, as Mom, I had to address the tragedy. I took a deep breath.

“Guys, listen up. That particular intersection (which I named) is a little dangerous. If you are ever walking there, I want you to cross at a nearby corner instead (that was directed at my oldest, the only one who periodically walks unattended). However, I want you to know that little Yehuda died today not because he wasn’t being careful, and not even because the bus driver necessarily did something wrong. He died today because that was G‑d’s plan. G‑d decided that Yehuda was supposed to live for only six short years, and if he wouldn’t have been hit by the bus this morning, he would have died in some other way.”

My kids were uncharacteristically quiet while they processed what I said. I continued.

“And I want you to know that this was decided even before Yehuda was born. Yehuda obviously finished his job in this world during the short time he was here.” Even my 5-year-old was listening intently.

“Now, even though all that is true, we are still obligated to be careful, and that is why I don’t want you crossing the street at that particular intersection, if it can be avoided.

I thought I would be bombarded with a dozen questions, but surprisingly, my kids just seemed contemplative. Clearly, the knowledge that this was not a random freak accident, but rather an orchestrated plan from Above, was a comforting thought amid the pain and anxiety. Thankfully, my kids are growing up with the reality that G‑d controls everything that happens—from the good to the seemingly bad.

I couldn’t fall asleep that night, thinking about the terrible shock and pain the grieving family was going through. There was also a nagging thought that disturbed me. Everything G‑d does is planned to the Our children are our most precious commoditiesminutest detail, and He chose for this little boy’s death to be carried out through a motor vehicle accident. During early morning rush hour, when parents are rushing to get their children to school while trying to get to their own jobs, meetings and various appointments on time. While I consider myself a careful driver, I nevertheless resolved to be less rushed on the road, even if it meant my kids would be a few minutes late for school.

The next morning dawned, and it seemed everyone else on the road had undertaken a similar commitment. It is known that Israeli driving culture is anything but slow and cautious, and yet that day, drivers were being downright patient and courteous. I did not hear one horn beep in annoyance, when on a regular day I might have heard a dozen by the time I reach my corner. I wondered how long this improved driving etiquette would last.

My husband returned home later that day and told me that upon hearing about the accident, his rabbi walked to the front of the synagogue and said he had an announcement to make. The congregation was surprised at the simple directive he gave:

“Hug your kids more. Appreciate them. Love them.”

Let’s not let Yehuda’s death be in vain. Remember that our children are our most precious commodities. Stay focused—on the roads and off—focused on the most important people in our lives.