Today, We are all Shluchim

Maybe it seemed a foregone conclusion, from the moment the two-year-old child of the directors of the Chabad House in Mumbai, Rabbi Gavriel & Rivka Holzberg hy”d, was reported to have been removed from the house with “blood-soaked pants.” But we hoped (and prayed) against hope, and the moment on Erev Shabbos when the news reports confirmed that they had been killed was very painful. At such moments, internal differences of opinion are completely irrelevant. These were Jews dedicated to G-d and Torah, who died al Kiddush HaShem, in sanctification of G-d’s name — selected for slaughter for being Jews… and, as one news agency described it, the “crime” of offering help to Israeli travelers and others in need.

No one of intelligence doubted for a moment that they were targeted. Do we need further evidence that the “grey lady” has severe Alzheimer’s? Who could justify the NY Times reporting with a straight face that “it is not known if the Jewish center was strategically chosen, or if it was an accidental hostage scene?” It was obvious within minutes that this was a well-planned attack on a variety of pre-selected targets, and for a group of terrorists to coincidentally stumble upon the Chabad of Mumbai would be somewhat less likely than their winning the PowerBall.

In the video below, the Chabad shaliach in Atlanta, Rabbi Yossi Lew, talks about the need to respond to this evil by filling the world with goodness. And there are unconfirmed reports that new Shluchim have already been selected to return to the site, rebuild, and continue the work of the Holzbergs, zichronam livrocha. May they meet with much hatzlacha in all their efforts on behalf of all our Jewish brothers and sisters.

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12 Responses

  1. Fern says:

    “At such moments, internal differences of opinion are completely irrelevant.”

    Thank you for making this point. So many of the statements of “solidarity” are fraught with qualifications and reiterations of well known disputes about some Chabadnik’s beliefs. As if retaining the right to quibble over who believes what is more important than expressing profound sorrow that two wonderful people were murdered solely because they sought to bring a spark of holiness to a far away land.

  2. Toby Katz says:

    What happened at the Chabad House in Mumbai is unbearably painful to contemplate, heartbreaking. The young couple who were murdered in cold blood were idealistic, hospitable, dedicated, sincere, devoted to the Jewish people. It is not Chabad’s loss but Klal Yisrael’s loss that we have suffered. May Hashem avenge their blood. May Hashem comfort the bereaved families besoch she’ar aveilei Tzion v’Yerushalayim.

    Jews have always rebuilt after pogroms and I have no doubt that the Lubavitch community will rebuild the Chabad House in Mumbai. I wish them hatzlacha raba.

  3. Chaim Fisher says:

    Interesting that even in a eulogy for some really selfless Jews the writer could not resist sticking in a political dig against the NYT, however justified it might have been in some other forum.

    Surely the Jews that were lost gave just as much help to NYT staffers as they did to anybody else…

  4. anonymous says:

    I am not sure if anyone picked up on this point that was written about on the websites etc. The martyred gentiles were shot at. The Jews at the Nariman Chabad center were bound, tied and shot. There is definately a difference even in their last hour the way they were treated. Unfortunately the NY Times questions this Chabad center even beiing targeted specifically. Well, the murderers had to have brought rope or other materials to the Chabad center and not to the Oberoi Hotel and the Taj and the women and infants center etc….
    May Hshem avenge the spilled blood of all who were murdered.

  5. The Contarian says:

    My daughter participated in a project callled Nmmes not Numbers. The goal of the project was to put a human face and name on each of the 6 million kedoshim.

    In Mumbai we have a case of Names and Numbers. The Lubvavitch couple HY’d vs the 7 Other Jews HY’D who seem to be only bit players in the tragedy.

  6. Big Maybe says:

    “need to respond to this evil by filling the world with goodness”

    The world needs to respond to this evil by wiping it off the face of the earth. Filling the world with goodness is encumbent upon us, evil or no evil.

  7. LOberstein says:

    The rescue of 2 year old Moshe by his non Jewish nanny is a story that seems out of a history book, something that took place in Budapest in 1944.Things like this weren’t supposed to happen in 2008. Alas, the Holocaust didn’t end anti semitism and the establishment of the State of Israel did not accomplish what Herzl forecast, the end of anti semitism. Is there any reason for hope that we will not be history’s eternal victims?
    There is a saying “moshai yagiah maasiy l’maasei avosai” when will my deeds approach those of my ancestors. When one learns the laws of Kiddush Hashem in the Rambam, it isn’t supposed to be something we will be actually experiencing, it is something that happened a long time ago. Alas this is also not true.I cannot imagine a bigger tzadik than the person who prior to his immenent death wrapped others in prayer shawls, showing kovod ha mes as a last act of life. This person is a tzadik on the level of our ancestors of yore.

  8. Zalman says:

    As a Lubavitcher I am very impressed to see that sincere respect for Chabad and the work it does in this time of sorrow, from the frumer velt. I can only hope that this attitude of respecting other yiddens derech (even if we have our differences) and the feeling of being one mishpocho will continue, and not only at times of trouble.

    If Achdus is the end result of this tragedy then that would be the biggest tribute we can give to the Kedoshim. If the churbon was a result of sinas chinam then the geulah will come as a result of Ahavas chinam. In this moment of hisorerus Lets put our differences aside and resolve to respect and revere ALL Yiden. Regardless of which nusach he happens to follow.

  9. anonymous says:

    Yes, Zalman, this is so true. Harachamon Hu zikaynu limos haMoshiach Ulchayay olam Habo.

  10. MIriam Shear says:

    Thank you for this article. We need more of these articles to bring more achdus. While we may have our differences, ultimately, we need to end up in the same place. Let’s just respect each other on the way there.

  1. December 7, 2008

    […] may have read it here first, but the NY Times’ nonsensical, even demented speculation that the Mumbai Chabad house might […]

  2. December 15, 2008

    […] and more subtle than obfuscation of the terrorists’ identity as Islamic radicals and their Jewish victims as deliberate targets. What exercised the Jewish Week is that the news reports called the Chabad shluchim […]

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