Mumbai Chabad House ‘home’ for Baby Moshe, say grandparents

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

MUMBAI - Baby Moshe, the cherubic face of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, still remembers his slain parents, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, and considers the Chabad House here as his home even as he grows up in Israel, his grandparents said here Wednesday.

Moshe’s grandparents Nachman and Frieda Holtzberg visited the Chabad House on the eve of a special 26/11 memorial prayer service they will hold here Thursday.

Moshe, who turned four years old two weeks ago, is now living with his maternal grandparents and his Indian nanny Sandra. He misses and remembers his parents everyday, Nachman Holtzberg told a gathering at the Chabad House, which is now being rebuilt exactly two years after the terror attacks.

Holtzberg said that as part of Jewish traditions, people keep small boxes in which family members can put in their small savings for the benefit of the poor.

Moshe also puts in some money daily in the boxes in memory of his parents. One day somebody said to him, ‘Let us go home.’ He replied, ‘My home is in Mumbai, Holtzberg said in an emotional voice.

Moshe became a household name worldwide after he was rescued by Sandra, who managed to hoodwink two Pakistani gunmen holding them hostage and escaped from Chabad House.

Later, Sandra was accorded a hero’s welcome in Israel and even conferred with an honorary citizenship.

The Holtzbergs praised Sandra lavishly. She has sacrificed her own private life here in taking care of Moshe. She wanted to return after six months, but she became so attached to him that she keeps postponing her return. We are truly grateful to her. We also hope Moshe returns to Chabad House here after he grows up, said Frieda.

On Thursday morning, the Holtzbergs will hold a memorial prayer at the Chabad House and then attend a court hearing on the dispute over the reconstruction of the five-storey building, alternatively known as Nariman House, situated in a quiet corner of Colaba in south Mumbai.

The Holtzbergs want it to come alive and working, like the Taj Hotel and Hotel Trident-Oberoi, as soon as possible.

We want the light that Gavriel and Rivka represented streaming out of here as a message for the terrorists, Nachman Holtzberg said.

Besides a legal battle over the redevelopment of Chabad House, the duo have also moved a Federal Court in Brooklyn, US, against Pakistan’s ISI and the terror group Laskhar-E-Tayiba, for killing Gavriel and Rivka and other US nationals in the 26/11 terror attacks.

Filed under: Terrorism

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