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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Mumbai’

Two Religious Girls Box-Kick Their Way to World Champions (video)

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Two religious teenagers, one a convert from India and the other born in Baltimore, have won the world championship in Thailand-style kick-boxing for their weight class.

Officially known as Muay Thai, the combat sport is known as “the art of eight weapons” because of the use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet.

One might expect that world champs in the kick-boxing sport would be huge gorillas from the Amazon, but two winners in the girls’ championships held in Thailand recently are none other than two religious girls from Israel.

One is Nili Block, who was born in Baltimore and moved with her family to Israel around 15 years ago. The other is Sarah Avraham, whose family was close friends with Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, two of the six victims of the Muslim terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008.

Having already been acquainted with the Jewish religion through their association with the Holtzbergs, they decided to convert and move to Israel after the terrorist attack.

Nili and Sarah train five times a week at Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, attacking a punching bag to sharpen their skills under the supervision of a coach. Their rigorous regime paid off in Thailand, where they were crowned champions after Nile defeated her Bulgarian opponent in the flyweight class of 112-118 pounds, while Nili beat her British opponent in the 125-138-pound class.

Nili is an all-round athlete. Before flying to Thailand for the championships, she ran in the 6-mile Jerusalem Marathon in March and win first place in the women’s 16-19 age group, finishing ahead of 500 runners in her category. Later the same month, she won the 10th Amateur-Pro Muay Thai Championships in Bangkok.

“Nili is amazing − slim and tall, she’s built for this sport, and she possesses quite an array of weapons. She can devastate an opponent with her hands, knees and feet, and she has perfect technique,” said Shuki Rozensweing, an Israeli boxer who won the World Muay Thai Association and World Muay Thai Federation unified title in April 2011.

He told the Thai BigChili website, “She is a complete fighter with a high IQ for the sport…. A fight is not only won on strength. Nili won all three rounds against the Bulgarian girl, who was physically stronger, by virtue of her superior technique.”

She is in the 12th grade and has to decide this year whether to enlist in the IDF or serve in “Sherut Leumi,” national service.

The IDF would love to have her in its ranks. She says she is not sure if she wants to miss out serving as a regular soldier and suspend her boxing talents, but Shuki thinks she has a good chance to receive the IDF’s special athletic status, which would allow her to continue to train.

Besides that, let’s see what happens if an Arab terrorist starts up with her.

Nile discovered Muay Thai through her other after the family moved to Israel.

‘‘My mother was at that time a volunteer police woman attached to the Jerusalem police department and she was looking for some kind of martial arts which would be beneficial for her work,” said Nili. “I went with her as she looked for a Muay Thai training camp and I started to train with her. I stopped training for two years while going to school and resumed when I was 13.” Her father, a dentist, supports and encourages her to box.

So much for stereotyped-orthodox families.

The most thrilling moment in the Thai championships was hearing the Israel national anthem Hatikvah two times, once after Nili won her gold medal and the second time when Sarah won.

Sarah’s story is no less spectacular than Nili’s.

Her father is a doctor and was the family physician to the Holtzbergs, who ran the Chabad House in Mumbai.

Sarah was 14 years old when the family converted and then moved to Kiryat Arba, where she learns at a religious “ulpana” high school.

Hevron resident Michael Pollack spotted her talent and put her in touch with Thai boxing coach Eddie Yusopov.

Keeping in mind that Abraham and Sarah were buried in the Patriarchs’ Cave in Hevron, Pollack told the Times of Israel last year, “She draws her strength from where we live in Kiryat Arba. That gives her an inner strength that explodes in the ring.”

The Final Deaths of the Mumbai Massacre

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

In an odd conflation of coincidences, Israeli and Indian violence have been ricocheting across the continents.

Mira Scharf, the wife of a Chabad rabbi in India and a “shlucha” (a female emissary) to New Dehli, India, returned home to Israel this month for a memorial service for the Mumbai Chabad Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka.  The Holtzbergs were brutally murdered in the Mumbai massacre exactly four years ago.

While in Israel, Scharf, a pregnant mother of three, became one of the first Israeli victims of this current Hamas-Israel violence. She and two others were killed in a rocket attack in Kiryat Malachi on Thursday, November 15.

And tonight, the circle closes with the hanging death of the last surviving Indian gunman from that brutal three-day rampage on Mumbai that claimed the lives of 166 people, including Rabbi Holtzberg  and his wife.

Pakistani citizen Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab was hanged during the night in a secretive procedure in India, following a four year trial.  Kasab was sentenced to death by the Bombay High Court last October.  He was convicted on various charges, including waging war against India.  His mercy petition was rejected by the President of India, on November 5.

Sentenced to death by the Bombay High Court in last October, Kasab was convicted on charges ranging from treason to waging war against India. His appeal in the Supreme Court was turned down in August.

“It is a warning for those trying to instigate terror attacks in India, as well as succour for those who have suffered due to these attacks,” said BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.

As many as 166 people were killed when Lashkar-e-Taiba militants attacked different targets in India’s financial hub on Nov. 26, 2008. Over 300 people were injured in the attacks.

Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab before his capture.

Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab before his capture.

Kasab was filmed walking through Mumbai’s main train station carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and a knapsack on his back.  During his interrogations, many of which were filmed, Kasab admitted his involvement in the murders, described his role in the massacre.

When police asked Kasab, 21 at the time, what he understood about jihad, he told them, “it [Jihad] is about killing and getting killed and becoming famous.” “Come, kill and die after a killing spree. By this one will become famous and will also make Allah proud.”

Muslim Pakistan and Hindu India are locked in violent religious hatred similar to that between the Arab Palestinians and Israel. The Pakistani government chose not to claim Kasab’s body, and consequently he was buried in India.  His was the last death of the Mumbai massacre.

Moshe Holtzberg’s First Day of School

Monday, August 27th, 2012

On Monday morning, like many thousands of other Israeli kids, little Moshe Holtzberg, resident of the town of Migdal Haemek, about halfway between Haifa and Tiberias, went to school for the first time.

It was a happy ending and a happy beginning.

Little Moshe’s parents, Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, who was five months pregnant at the time, were murdered by Muslim terrorists during the November 2008 attack on Mumbai, India.

Their two-year-old son Moshe was saved by his Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel.

That’s a lot of history for a six-year-old to carry, along with his schoolbag.

But he looks ready for the big day. He looks well groomed and cheerful and loved.

Not a small thing.

Good luck, Moshe Holtzberg, you’re doing us all proud. And a little tearful.

Go ahead, run, run, don’t be late to school.

Police Arrest Leader of Mumbai Terror Attack

Monday, June 25th, 2012

The Times of India reports that following more than three years of investigation, Indian security forces have arrested Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Hamza, alleged member of Lashker-e-Taiba (Army of the Righteous) and the Hindi instructor of 10 terrorists who executed the murderous attack in Mumbai in 2008.

The 30-year-old Ansari, aka Abu Jindal was arrested on June 21 when he arrived in India from one of the Gulf states, police said on Monday.

Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai, were killed during the attack. Through the heroic actions of his nanny, the Holtzberg’s toddler son, Moshe, managed to escape.

According to The Hindu, the Mumbai Police on Monday obtained a warrant from a local court to get custody of Ansari.

“We will ask for his custody after the Delhi Police exhaust his custody on July 5,” a Mumbai Police source said.

The suspect is accused of crimes involving the use of weapons, explosives and terrorism.

Sources say his was the mysterious voice recorded during the conversation between the terrorists and their handlers in Pakistan.

In the recording, Ansari allegedly told the terrorist team to tell the media that the “attack was a trailer and the entire movie was yet to come.”

In the intercepted tapes, Ansari was directing the terrorists to conceal their Pakistani identity and identify themselves as Hindi.

Police said Ansari’s participation was also confirmed by Ajmal Kasab, the terrorist arrested during the Mumbai attack. Kasab told an Indian court that one person by the name of Abu Jindal had tutored 10 terrorists on how to speak Hindi.

The Mumbai Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told The Hindu that “the 10 men who attacked Mumbai left Karachi in Al Hussaini (boat), after which they hijacked the Indian shipping boat. Kuber. Kasab had said in his confession that Abu Hamza was one of the four persons who had come to see them off on Al Hussaini.”

Indian security agencies say they interrogated many terrorists to get to Ansari, who had been operating from terror camps in Karachi and Kashmir.

Roundup: Organ Donation, Abomination, Beer Nation, Cross-Davenation, Plus the Settlers of Tel Aviv

Friday, May 4th, 2012

It’s the 12th of Iyar. On this day in the year 70, Roman General Titus breached the middle wall of Jerusalem (it was June 5 back then). It’s the yahrzeit (in 1778) of Reb Shmuel Shmelke Halevi Horowitz of Nikolsburg. On his first day as the Rabbi of Nikolsburg, he made it rain. It was downhill from there… In 1910 on this day, the tiny settlement of Ahuzat Bayit outside Jaffa, with 66 families of Jewish settlers, changed its name to Tel Aviv. The fledgling settlement was sacked by Arabs, also on the 12th of Iyar, in 1917. The Turkish governor announced it was time to purge Palestine of its Jews. But, lo and behold, on the 12th of Iyar, 1949, Israel was admitted as the 59th member of the UN.

Let’s blog!

Craving: I’m going to have to make it Ever have a craving for something you just can’t get? I’ve got a craving for something that can’t be shipped. It can’t be bought. It can’t be found here, there, or anywhere any longer (the place that sold it closed after the owner died). I’ve got a craving for the best damn pizza I’ve ever had in my life and it didn’t even have any tomato sauce. It was a “twice-baked potato pizza pie” sold at a little pizza place in Athens, Ohio. It. Was. To. Die. For. Pizza. Yael K, Life in Israel

Mumbai Wedding As the afternoon sun hit its peak, Haran and I pulled up to his small one-and-a-half-bedroom flat on the outskirts of East Mumbai, India, some 20 minutes from the airport. The building’s shiny tin roof showed that money was in short supply. But inside the apartment, with Indian hospitality, Haran’s wife Geeta (a surprisingly non-Jewish name) served me perfectly spiced hot tea. She sat down next to her husband, and they began telling their story. Joseph Mayton, Jewish Ideas Daily

Own a Mossad Director’s Watch! Yes! Always wanted one! And not just any Mossad Director’s watch but the one worn by none other than Isser Harel who was the director of both the Shin Bet and the Mossad. The watch is coming up for auction on Sunday… CK, Jewlicious

Facebook and the End of Organ Donation Facebook’s recent introduction of an organ donor status, to boost donor participation, affords a welcome opportunity to discuss a recent comprehensive work on Judaism and the definition of death. Gil Student, Hirhurim

Long Hot Summer, Election Mode I guess it’s pretty official by now. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will end shiva (the Jewish week of mourning) for his father and announce that there will be new elections, a bit early, in Israel. Ever since Bibi put together his coalition the media and opposition have been predicting that his government wouldn’t last. Batya, Shiloh Musings

Brother, Can You Buy Me a Beer? When it comes to the nonviolent tactic of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, the United Methodist Church now has B and S covered. But without the D, is it just BS? No, not entirely. Jewschool

I Am a Cross-Davener Week after week and year after year of meaningless socializing and feeling lack of meaning in my prayers. I decided to try out Kehillat Hadar. An open orthodox style minyan with mixed seating. DovBear

Anti-Semitism in America I am absolutely convinced that in all of Jewish history, there has never been a country like the United States – that is built entirely on religious tolerance and – in the 21st century is living up to that principle. There is so much evidence of it – that I reject the notion that America is no different than any other country both past and present – countries that have made life very difficult for a Jew. To say the least. Harry Maryles, Emes Ve-Emunah

United Church Report Shows How Israel-Haters Have Lost the Argument According to a new report from the United Church of Canada, “the deepest meaning of the Holocaust was the denial of human dignity to Jews.”

Oh, really? Actually, I’d say that the “deepest meaning of the Holocaust” was the slaughter of six-million human beings. Being strip-searched by police for no good reason is an infringement of one’s “dignity.” Getting thrown into a gas chamber is a little bit more serious. I’m guessing the last thoughts of the victims at Auschwitz, as their silent shrieks left their throats, wasn’t “Oh my, but this is undignified.” Steve Lieblich, Jewish Issues Watchdog

The Life of Julia The entire paragraph seemed like a horrible parody made by Republicans to poke fun at Obama’s policies by showing that a woman could basically live her whole life off the backs of taxpayers …and then I realized that I’d skimmed too quickly and missed a few key words. Ezzie Goldish, SerandEz and Friends

U.S. Citizen Charged in 2008 Mumbai Attacks

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

According to the NY Times, an Indian court on Saturday approved a request by prosecutors to charge an American citizen, David Coleman Headley, in connection with the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The decision, which is the first step in seeking an extradition, sets up a possible confrontation between the United States and India.

Mr. Headley has confessed in the United States to playing a major role in the Mumbai attacks, which killed at least 163 people, but he testified against another man tried in the attack to avoid both the death penalty and extradition to India.

Mumbai Doctor, Wife Complete Conversion In Israel On Holtzberg Yahrzeit

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

JERUSALEM – An Indian couple completed their halachic conversion and remarried in a Jewish ceremony at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron last week, on the first anniversary of the murder of their friends and spiritual guides, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg.

Dr. Aharon Abraham left his position as director of the ICU Medical Center at British Kennedy in Mumbai, India, after terrorists killed the Holtzbergs.

Abraham was born Vagirds Frads to a Hindu cleric who worshipped idols, and a mother who prepared food for them. Like the biblical Abraham, young Vagirds could not understand why his father honored a man-made statue, or why his mother would cook for them.

Unlike the patriarch, however, he waited until after graduating high school to confront his father, asking how he could believe “such nonsense.” But when there was no reply, his anger led him to take a hammer and smash the idols, exactly as Abraham had done.

“The gods are angry!” his father shouted at him, he recounted, and recalled his reply: “If they’re angry, let them do something .”

It was while studying medicine at the University of Mumbai that he first read a Bible, given to him by Christian students. “A new world opened before me,” he said.

The woman he married, a nurse, was equally interested in his Bible studies, and after their wedding the couple changed their family name to “Abraham” to honor the patriarch. Vagirds became Aaron, because “the priest was a wonderful person, full of glory,” he explained.

Eventually the couple decided to convert, and began studying Judaism in earnest with the Holtzbergs, Chabad emissaries in Mumbai.

“Our whole life centered around the Chabad House,” said Abraham. “It was the only place where we could get kosher food. Gabi and Rivky were our guides, we did not move without them. We began a process of true conversion and found the extraordinary beauty of the Torah commandments.”

It was the brutal murder of the Holtzbergs and their four guests at the Nariman Chabad House that changed their lives forever, however.

“They took away my Master,” said Abraham. “But what we learned from Gabi and Rivki will accompany us and our children forever.”

(INN)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/mumbai-doctor-wife-complete-conversion-in-israel-on-holtzberg-yahrzeit-2/2009/11/25/

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