A heartbreaking funeral

Father of child run over by bus says, 'I didn't know I was taking you to the heavenly yeshiva.'

Uzi Baruch,

Scene of the accident
Scene of the accident
Yaakov Lederman/Flash90

Yehuda Appelbaum, the 6-year-old boy killed when a bus ran him over on Thursday, was laid to rest on Thursday night.

Appelbaum was walking to school with his father in the central city of Beit Shemesh when a bus ran over the two, killing Yehuda and injuring his father. Medics who arrived at the scene attempted to resuscitate the boy, but ultimately had to confirm his death.

The elder Appelbaum attended his son's funeral, with his legs wrapped in bandages.

"G-d gave and G-d took, may G-d's Name be blessed," he said, breaking out in tears as he said the traditional phrase used at funerals. "You gave me a pure soul and I returned a pure soul to you, one whose entire being is Torah. This child only loved learning Torah. In his free time, he would study the Pentateuch. Just last night, he told me, 'I reached the last section of Deuteronomy, and I'm going to finish the Pentateuch for the third time.' Thank you, G-d, for giving me the merit of raising this child."

"I did not know [when I walked you to school]...that I was taking you to the heavenly yeshiva."

A video published on the Behadrei Haredim site shows Yehuda's last moments with his father as they cross the street towards Nachal Hakishon Street. In the video, Yehuda is wearing his blue backpack, and the father has a bag in his hand. When they arrive at the second crosswalk, an Egged bus stops to allow them to cross. The father, Rabbi Rotem, seems to place his hand on his son's shoulder and cross the street with him. At this point, they are out of sight of the camera, and continue walking towards the next crosswalk, on their way to Yehuda's school.

At the second crosswalk, a second bus which seems to have stopped for them continues driving in their direction. Initial investigations by Jerusalem traffic police show the child slipping under the bus, between the front wheels and then the back wheels. The bus driver does not notice, and continues driving as his right rear wheel runs over the child. The driver, who feels he is driving over something, stops driving, and hearing civilians call out to him, drives backwards off the child.

Yehuda was declared dead at the scene, and his father was injured.


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