Nine killed in Chabad House terror attack
The Chabad center was one of 10 targets attacked by terrorists across Mumbai starting on Wednesday night (November 26), including also the railroad station, a tourist restaurant, two hotels and hospitals. By Saturday morning the total death toll stood at 195. Nine people were killed in the attack on Chabad House.
|The whole world must answer Moishe, who is asking, "Where is my mother?"|
Two-year-old orphan Moshe Holtzberg crying during memorial service in Mumbai (Photo: Reuters)
GovXParagraph3Eulogy by President Shimon Peres at burial ceremony for victims of terror attack
President Shimon Peres took part today in a burial ceremony that was held at Kfar Chabad alongside the Chief Rabbis of Israel and other prominent rabbis. President Peres gave a special eulogy in memory of the six victims of the murderous terror attack at the Chabad House in Mumbai.
For several days now, the whole world has had to answer the question of a small child, Moishe, who is asking, "Where is my mother?" We all need to be able to answer clearly why little Moishe’s mother was murdered. The world will not know calm, and will not be able to be a world of quiet and peace, a world of believers, a world of decent people, until we can give a clear answer to Moishe’s question.
I saw Rivky’s face, I saw Rabbi Gavriel’s face; modest people, glowing faces, who had nothing but nevertheless gave everything out of an uncommon generosity. They did not seek wealth or prestige, only the light of the Torah, which they brought forth to the ends of the earth as emissaries of the Jewish people to bring salvation and hope. They did not want to force anything on their fellow man and they did not ask for anything. This was the greatest mission for a believing person, a Jew.
I was privileged to see the Lubavitcher Rebbe and to meet with him and I know that the Rebbe would not let anybody despair, nor would he let anybody cast doubt; in this way, faith will triumph. But Moishe’s question is still awaiting an answer. Throughout the world are scattered hotels, kindergartens, schools, and houses of prayer, and no state is immune to terror. The world is divided into two: places in which people are as cruel as animals, and places in which people know that they were created in the image of God.
We need to tear out terror at the root without hesitation and without equivocation. I don’t understand how it is possible to accept a state like Iran, which constitutes a nest and a hotbed for terror and which calls for the destruction of Israel, as a member of the international community and of the United Nations. If the whole world cannot stand up to one man with a strong, meaningful stance, and if the world will not fight with a war of boycotts against all places in which there is money that is financing terror, then the peace and quiet of the world will be in danger. Terror represents an epidemic that we must stop and we must eradicate.
We, the Jewish people, have known sadness and martyrdom. We never lost our humanity and we never supported murder. Terror is not just a problem for the Jewish people or for the State of Israel; it is a problem and a danger for the entire world. From this point must emanate a clear cry to stop the insanity, to stop the terror and to provide a clear answer to Moishe. The answer to Moishe needs to be given by the whole world, because if not, we will not be able to live in a world of peace and security. The world must answer why a wonderful woman like Rivky was killed, why a holy man like Gavriel was killed, and why Moishe is left an orphan.
We will not rest and we will not relax until an answer is found. With us today are the Ambassador of India and the Deputy Ambassador Of the United States to Israel. It is incumbent on us to remember today that together with those of the Jewish people who were killed, Indian citizens, American citizens, and citizens of many states throughout the world were also murdered.
In the name of the Jewish people, we offer our condolences to all of the victims of the terror attack in Mumbai. Our hearts grieve over the murder of those innocent of any crime. We also seek to comfort the Indian families whose loved ones, in their attempts to save our loved ones, were killed during the terror acts. We are one people, we are one world.
Nonetheless to the family – to the grandfather and grandmother, Moishe does not just bring a question; he also brings consolation, that he will grow up and will continue the important mission of Chabad, which travels to all corners of the world to save souls through the compassion of their emissaries. The whole nation weeps today, and together with Moishe all of our people ask his question: "Where is my mother?"
President Peres also transmitted a special letter to the President of India, Mrs. Pratibha Patil, in which he expressed his sadness over the murderous terrorist attacks that took place in Mumbai and offered his condolences to the victims. He also thanked the Indian government for their rescue efforts during the attack and promised that Israel will stand beside India in the fight against terrorism.
Victims buried in Israel
Six of the victims were identified and flown to Israel for burial:
– Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and his wife Rivka, 28
Gavriel Holtzberg was born in Israel and moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., with his parents, when he was nine. A prodigious student, he studied at yeshivas in New York and Argentina, and as a rabbinical student served communities in Thailand and China. Two years ago, the Holtzbergs raised funds to purchase the current location of the Chabad Center, a five-story building in Mumbai’s Colaba market area.
Rivka Holtzberg, born Rivka Rosenberg, is a native of Afula, Israel. The Holtzbergs’ two-year-old son Moshe Zvi, was rescued from the house by his Indian nanny.
Leibish Teitelbaum, a U.S. citizen who lived in Jerusalem, served as a kosher supervisor at the Chabad center.
Bentzion Chroman, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen who resided in Bat Yam, Israel, had gone to India at the request of his friend, Rabbi Leibish Teitelbaum, to help supervise kashrut. He left a wife and three children – aged five, two and eight months.
Yocheved Orpaz, of Givatayim, Israel, had been traveling in India with her daughter and grandchildren.
Norma Shvarzblat Rabinovich, a divorced mother of three from Mexico, had been traveling across India for the past two months. She had planned to fly to Israel on Monday to celebrate her youngest son’s 18th birthday and to make her home there.