Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Moshe and his (new) Imma

....candles mark the spot where Rabbi Holtzberg was shot dead....pictures adorn the stairwells......Rabbi Kotlarsky helped rebuild the centre....."You can overcome challenges, even the most horrific of challenges.....You can and must rebuild....hope that evil will not prevail"....
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Six years have gone by, in the blink of an eye. Today (August 26) is the grand re-opening of the Chabad House, in Colaba, downtown Mumbai (same location where the 26/11 attacks took place). It all looks quite gorgeous and we do not doubt the sincerity of the folks involved. Having said that, it does seem that these people have some sort of a death wish.
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Given the hostile relationship between Indian and Pakistan (only 960 years of warfare left) it will be a brave man who can guarantee that 26/11 will never repeat. From what is known about the current state of (safety) preparations, we have grave doubts.
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The little orphan boy (Moshe Holtzberg) is now 8 years of age (he looks to be a complete cutie pie) and his nanny (Sandra Samuel of Mumbai) is with him. For a person who is so unfortunate as to lose his mother (and father) as a baby, it is sure nice that he has a mother-figure to love him and make him feel loved. A thousand cheers for the Imma (mother in Hebrew) and her boy.

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Moshe Holtzberg, the Jewish toddler who survived the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, is "doing well", growing up in a "complicated situation" with his grandparents, and Tel Aviv thanks Indians for saving him, the Israeli envoy here has said.

"He is going to school. He is a very healthy, happy and a strong kid, growing up under a very complicated situation," ambassador Alon Ushpiz said during an hour-long meeting with editors at the IANS office here.

"He is growing up without his parents. This obviously isn't easy. He's staying with his grandparents," the envoy said. "Also, in this case, an Israeli was saved by an Indian citizen. His nanny took him out."

When IANS spoke on phone to Moshe's grandparents in November, he was with them in Afula, a city in north Israel, 140 km from Jerusalem. They said he was growing into a self-assured lad and was like any other seven-year-old boy.

Moshe escaped thanks to his Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel. She risked her life to rescue the toddler who was sitting beside the blood-soaked bodies of his parents, crying. Since then she hasn't left him and was given Israeli citizenship.

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On Tuesday, Aug. 26, surrounded by guests and more than 25 Chabad emissaries in Asia who will be there for a regional conference, Chabad of Mumbai’s headquarters—also known as Nariman House—will open its doors once again.
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“This will definitely be very emotional for many people,” affirms Rabbi Yisroel Kozlovsky, who now co-directs Chabad of Mumbai together with his wife, Chaya
“This six-story building was continuously operating until the attack. We’re not moving into a new building; we are returning to our original building, and we will be continuing all of the activities that took place here, and hopefully, grow even more. “We remember what happened, but we are working for the future.”
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Kozlovsky explains that after a year-and-a-half of living and working together with his wife in Mumbai, he more fully understands why Gabi rushed to purchase a large building for his operation.
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“There are so many possible complications here, bureaucratic and otherwise, that it becomes very difficult to work without a permanent base,” he says. “Now we will have security rooms, a synagogue, offices, guest rooms, a restaurant and a commercial kitchen. 

It will be very different than running things out of a 1,200-square-foot apartment, but it will, G‑d willing, allow us to grow. And it is, of course, fitting that we do this in the same place as Gabi and Rivky.”
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He adds that the official opening will also serve as the starting point for the next phase of reconstruction: a $2.5 million museum to be built in the apartment where the Holtzbergs lived and on the floor where most of the murders occurred.
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“I think this is really a message for the whole world,” adds Kotlarsky. “You can overcome challenges, even the most horrific of challenges. You can and must rebuild, and this project serves as a beacon of light and hope that evil will not prevail.”

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By all accounts, Jewish life in Mumbai has benefited a great deal since the Kozlovskys arrived. And the size of the community itself has grown, including the new addition six weeks ago. Chaya Kozlovsky gave birth to their second child, a baby boy, whose brit milah was celebrated at the Knesses Eliyahu Synagogue in the city.
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“I think it’s the first Indian Menachem Mendel,” jokingly observes the new father.
While continuing ongoing Chabad projects, many of which were initiated by the Holtzbergs, the Kozlovskys have worked diligently on increasing their activities. 

A Jewish kindergarten will open in time for this school year, and with the recent opening of Mumbai’s new diamond district in a different part of the city, they have established a satellite Chabad center in that area to serve business travelers.
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Link (1): 6-years-after-the-horrific-26/11-attacks-Mumbais-Chabad-House-reopens


Link (2): Jewish-toddler-survivor-of-26/11-attack-doing-well

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regards