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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 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.”


Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg: Two Brief And Shining Lives

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Editor’s Note: On Nov. 26, 2008 – the Hebrew date was Cheshvan 29, which this year fell on Monday, Nov. 16 – Islamic terrorists went on a savage killing spree in Mumbai, India, murdering 179 people including Chabad emissaries Rabbi Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg. The following tribute to the Holtzbergs was written by Rabbi Holtzberg’s sister.

The lives Gabi and Rivky led were beyond comprehension; there are so many people they touched, so many stories they inspired. I have selected a few personal recollections and touching moments that exemplify just how truly amazing they were.

I thought I knew my brother. I was proven wrong during the week of shiva and the difficult days that followed, as incredible stories kept pouring in about him and his eishes chayil Rivky. I feel so privileged to have been his baby sister and I treasure the special closeness we shared. I will always remember all those heart to heart conversations we shared as teenagers that would last all night.

I will never forget the time I was in high school and Gabi was studying in yeshiva in Jerusalem and he agreed to do my 40-page research paper on the topic of ahavas Yisrael, love of a fellow Jew. How he exemplified this great deed!

We believed it before, but to hear from so many complete strangers whom he helped not only reaffirmed and strengthened our love and

appreciation for him, it empowered us to be better ourselves.

The mitzvah of mikveh exemplifies the self-sacrifice of Gabi and Rivky. Before they eventually constructed the beautiful Mei Menachem in Mumbai, Rivky would fly six hours each way to use the mikveh in Thailand. I remember how proud they were at their own mikveh dedication. Until their last day they dedicated all their energies to ensure the mikveh in Mumbai was in tip-top shape. In fact, Gabi and Rivky both stayed up until 3 in the morning on November 26 cleaning and preparing their mikveh.

Gabi had such strength of character. He was utterly selfless, never putting his feelings in front of anyone else’s. There are two incidents that stand out as I think about his childhood years.

When my brother was 14, fresh off his bar mitzvah, he was sent to yeshiva in Argentina. One morning he went into the shul and was shocked to discover his precious new tefillin were gone. Stolen.

Gabi never informed our parents of this until much later. He taught himself how to read from the Torah and found a local shul in need of a weekly reader. Every week he would save the $50 he earned until he was able to purchase a new pair of tefillin for himself. He didn’t have the heart to ask my parents to buy a new pair again.

The other incident occurred when the Jewish center (also known as the Amia), right next to the yeshiva, was bombed by terrorists.

Understandably, my parents were frantic to hear from Gabi. My mother immediately called the yeshiva and asked to speak with him. We were shocked to hear that Gabi – a boy of 14 – had volunteered to participate in the rescue and recovery efforts, helping to locate bodies among the rubble of the collapsed building. His noble character was evident even as a young child.

Gabi and Rivky chose to live in Mumbai because that was where they were needed. They went there knowing the difficulty of being so far away from family and friends and the comforts of the community.

Rivky would bake bread every day from scratch. Gabi would shecht and kasher hundreds of chickens every week. They chose this way of life because Mumbai needed a rabbi. Mumbai needed a rebbetzin. There were Jews in need and Gabi and Rivky heeded their call.

Gabi and Rivky’s Chabad House was a beacon of light, the home away from home for so many. There was not a Jew who went to Mumbai who was not welcomed. Gabi, like Avraham Avinu, literally went out into the streets to bring people into his home.

Two years ago, my parents were fortunate to spend Pesach with Gabi and Rivky. Looking at their worn-out couches, my mother asked Rivky, “What happened to your couches? They were brand new!” To which Rivky responded: “They are not our couches; they belong to everyone here!”

To Gabi and Rivky, nothing was impossible; the word was not even in their vocabulary.

They were so excited when their offer of $700,000 for the purchase of the six-story Chabad House was accepted. They would finally have the necessary space to expand and to offer more programs to the Jews of Mumbai. It was a dream come true for them.

They were still overjoyed when told they would have to pay for it all in cash. Even when the owner wanted a million dollars more and everyone thought Gabi would drop the idea and move on, he did not. He became even more determined to make this dream a reality. The additional million was raised in an astonishingly short period of time and the building was paid for, in cash.

Nothing – nothing – was too hard or overwhelming for them. Their love of and dedication to their work knew no bounds.

Gabi paid out of his own pocket for coupons enabling incarcerated Jews to buy necessary items in prison. And he spent much of his money bribing prison guards to let him enter so that he could visit around Jewish holidays.

He ignited the spark in so many Jewish souls – even those who might have thought they had been forgotten. Gabi was there for them. He was there for everyone.

My mother recalls how, when she was there for Pesach, a female prisoner was released after years of incarceration. Rivky threw a party the way only she knew how to. She cooked a gourmet meal and greeted the woman as happily and warmly as if she were her own sister.

During shiva week, someone sat down and told us that when he was in India, he, like all too many Israeli youths backpacking through the country, became addicted to drugs. His emotional health deteriorated to the point where his father had to come to India to bring him back home to Israel. His condition was so bad that when he arrived at the airport he was not allowed to board the flight for fear of endangering passengers and crew. The father didn’t know what to do. No hotel was ready to admit them either.

Realizing he had no other choice, he turned for help to the Israeli ambassador in India. The ambassador sent them to the Chabad House where they were welcomed with open arms. My brother spent days and nights with the young man and helped him through rehabilitation. All this simply because he was a Jew who needed his help.

Gabi was not a social worker or a psychologist, but the nature of his job required that he be one to so many lost souls searching and yearning for some sort of connection.

This young man then told us, “Gabi introduced me to my wife, with whom I live so happily today. I owe my life to him.” At that point he began to weep.

During the tsunami that ravaged the region in 2004, Gabi risked his life by traveling five days across the country just to locate a missing American girl. He took a satellite phone with him so the girl would be able to call home and comfort her worried parents, who had contacted Gabi directly when they saw the news.

So many people owe their lives to my brother and sister-in-law. A cousin who spent six months at the Chabad House was a witness to the following story.

There was a man who resided in the Chabad House for two years while waiting for his son to be released from prison. While there, he became very ill and had to undergo a heart procedure. He begged my brother to take him to the local hospital. My brother refused.

Instead, he took him to a fully modernized medical center and hired a private surgeon to provide the man the help he needed. He did all this happily and without a second thought, though it cost him thousands of dollars. There was no dollar amount in the world that would impede Gabi from fulfilling his mission, that would prevent him from assisting others.

Another woman who came during shiva week told us how a friend of her daughter had come to the Chabad House and mentioned to my sister-in-law that she would be leaving the next day on a long trip up north.

“Don’t forget to stop by and say goodbye before you go,” Rivky said to her. When the girl returned the next day to bid farewell, she was shocked to find no less than thirty sandwiches waiting for her to take along on the trip. Each sandwich was carefully wrapped so that it would last a long period of time. Each roll was hand baked with so much love. The flour was sifted so carefully and the spreads were all prepared from scratch.

“My daughter’s friend,” our visitor related, “was so touched that she promised she would always keep kosher. She said if you could do it in India, you could do it anywhere.”

When we were walking away from the burial at the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem, a diamond merchant by the name of Naava came over and told us how Gabi would come to her hotel room and personally deliver Rivky’s warm, delicious food. Once when he came she noticed he had butterfly stitches on his forehead. When he told her a board fell on his head, she said, “Oh my! That’s terrible!” Gabi responded with his signature smile, “Don’t feel bad! I am so happy that it fell on me. Just imagine – it could’ve fallen on another Jew, God forbid.”

That was my brother.

i would like to share a few words about my nephew Moishele. It is known that before Hashem sends a makah, an illness or tragedy, he first creates the refuah, the cure. Moishele is our refuah – the miracle the world witnessed as his brave nanny Sandra rushed out from the Chabad House clutching him tightly in her arms.

Moishele gave us reason to hope. He continues to give us the strength to endure.

He was Gabi and Rivky’s miracle child even before this episode. He was the light of their lives. He shared and continues to share such an amazing connection with his parents. He feels their presence constantly. Recently, in preparation for his third birthday, Moishele, as is customary, began wearing tzitzis. He was so excited, running around the house kissing them right and left. He stopped in front of a picture of his parents and put his tzitzis to their lips so that they too could partake in his mitzvah.

My parents recently spent a month with Moishele over the summer in Israel. My father sang niggunim, chassidic chants, with him for hours. There was one particular niggun Gabi loved. It was the niggun of my ancestor, Reb Michele Zlotchever. This niggun also happened to have been chanted by the thousands of mourners at the burial on the Mount of Olives.

After completing the song, my father noticed a change in Moishele’s demeanor. He was in another world, a sad expression clearly visible. And so my father prepared to sing a more upbeat niggun. But before he could begin, Moishele asked that they sing Reb Zlotchever’s niggun gain. Upon finishing it, Moishele wanted to repeat the niggun yet again. They continued singing the niggun together over and over.

That Shabbos, while sitting at the table, Moishele began singing. He was singing his father’s beloved niggun.

Baruch Hashem, every day provides us with renewed strength. Life must go on and it is up to Gabi and Rivky’s family to go forward with their special work. We therefore must take it upon ourselves to continue where they left off. Thankfully, they provided us with a great blueprint.

Gabi and Rivky, you gave so much to the world and accomplished so many great things during your relatively brief lives. We promise to avenge your blood. We will do so by continuing your mission: making the world a better place. We will wake up each morning and realize that every second we have on this earth is not just a gift, but a special opportunity for us to make a difference.

I would like to close by asking everyone reading this to take upon yourself one more mitzvah, one more deed, in Gabi and Rivky’s memory. May we merit from this to see the ultimate revelation of goodness in the world with the coming of Moshiach, speedily in our days.

Rikal Kaler lives in Baltimore with her husband and their daughter Rivky, born nine months after the tragic events in Mumbai.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/gavriel-and-rivkah-holtzberg-two-brief-and-shining-lives-2/2009/11/18/

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