Father of Slain Mumbai Victim Says He Joined Israel's Family of Bereaved


by Zalman Nelson - Jerusalem , Israel

April 28, 2009

(lubavitch.com) Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg, father of Rifka Holtzberg who was murdered alongside her husband Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg during the attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai last year, addressed a Memorial Day ceremony at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Flanked by Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanayu, President Shimon Peres, and Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, Rabbi Rosenberg spoke of "a pain and longing that does not heal" while addressing the large crowd of bereaved families who lost loved ones to war and terror.

"This year, me and my wife Yehudit and our whole family have joined the family of the bereaved who know the pain and yearning which never cease – and with every day that passes the pain grows," he said. "On the other hand, our faith and confidence in the Holy One blessed be He is what gives us the power and moral strength to face all the difficulties."

Rabbi Rosenberg shared the pride he felt in his daughter’s and son’s-in-law life accomplishments and their work to help all Jews. "I was fortunate that my children Rivka and Gabi were sent as emissaries of the Lubavitcher Rebbe to Mumbai to help the people of Israel. To help any Jew in the Diaspora get in touch with their roots, with the people of Israel and the Land of Israel," he said.

Nine people were murdered in the attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai, all of them Jews. The Holtzbergs’ toddler son Moshe was saved by his Indian nanny Sandra who rescued him from the besieged building. He is being cared for by the Rosenbergs.

"God has given us a miracle, and has left us a piece of the family, little Moishe, who all of Israel has embraced," Rosenberg said. "Little Moishe is the son of all of the people of Israel and he symbolizes our perseverance."

Rabbi Rosenberg vowed that he and his family would continue the work of his children.

He ended his remarks with a fervent prayer for the speedy release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, and recited the Ani Maamin, the traditional Jewish affirmation of faith in the redemption followed by the Shema.

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