The kehillah in Antwerp was shaken on Tuesday when two young sisters were tragically struck by a truck on in the street, and were killed immediately.
The girls, 9-year-old Hindel, a”h, and 18-month Gittel, a”h, were the children of, lhbch”l, Mr. and Mrs. Gavriel Adler, a well-known family in the kehillah. Mrs. Adler was accompanying her daughters to day camp Tuesday morning, with Hindel giving Gittel a ride on a scooter. As the girls reached the junction of Lange Leemstraat and Sint-Vincentiusstraat, the traffic light was green for both pedestrians and traffic turning the corner. Tragically a truck came around the corner and failed to yield to the children, striking them.
Hatzalah and medical staff from a nearby hospital came to the scene immediately, but the girls had been killed instantly. Mrs Adler was treated for shock, and the truck driver was taken to the hospital suffering from shock. The police have suspended his driving license for two weeks, pending an investigation.
The area was cordoned off and reopened later in the day, when shocked members of the kehillah could be seen visiting the site of the tragedy. The Antwerp kehillah is very close-knit and the whole community has been heartbroken by the tragedy.
The levayah of the young sisters was held in the afternoon, allowing time for their brothers to return from yeshivah. It began with a large crowd from across the kehillah outside the main community building of Machzikei Hadass on Jacob Jacobsstraat. Harav Aharon Schiff, shlita, rav of Machzikei Hadass, was maspid. He shared divrei chizuk, saying that this was not a time to look at other people’s faults, but a time for introspection. Such a tragedy occurring so soon before Rosh Hashanah must be a prompt for everyone to make a cheshbon hanefesh. Harav Schiff declared that the girls’ petirah was a korban tzibbur.
The levayah continued to Putte, The Netherlands, for kevurah.
Yehi zichram baruch.
Baruch dayan ha’emes.
Updated Tuesday, August 24, 2021 at 5:15 pm .