Friday, November 28, 2008

Those Jews Killed in Terror in Mumbai Were Good People, Did Good Work. Remember Them With Goodness. Shabbat Shalom.


As I leave my blogging in anticipation of preparing for Shabbat, my mind is upon the lives lost senselessly in the Mumbai Terrorist attack.

In last week's Parasha, we have the image of Avraham and Sarah providing for the needs of those around them. Avraham and Sarah's home was an outpost of dignity and warmth in the world. a home where everyone was welcome, a home where hospitality was so important and so part of every-day life that when three angels came to visit, Abraham didn't even blink an eye. He and his wife ran to provide them the best of everything they had.

Most Chabad houses seem to be based upon the same concept of welcome that were Abraham and Sarah's home. They welcome those who are in a hostile world to an island of Jewish warmth and hospitality. I hear that the Chabad Rabbi in Mumbai and his wife, Rivka, were very popular--not only among the Jews of Mumbai, but also among their neighbors. They were living a life of service to the ideas of Torah and of Hashm before they were senslessly slaughtered by terrorist thugs.

So, as I work on making Shabbat for my family and for those guests we will have, I think upon the fact that everyone who will sit down to eat a Shabbat meal tonight, who will keep Shabbat, who will pray and celebrate, will be honoring the memory of these brave and welcoming people.

Shabbat Shalom. May we all conduct our lives as if today is our last. May we all welcome those who are in need. May we all say kind words to one another.

For Shabbat, at least, do not dwell on the evil. Dwell upon the good.

Nov 28, 2008 20:50 | Updated Nov 28, 2008 20:52
'They made the ultimate sacrifice'
Nov 28, 2008 20:50 | Updated Nov 28, 2008 20:52
'They made the ultimate sacrifice'

"Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg made the ultimate sacrifice," said Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch, the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch as news of the young couples' murder at the hands of terrorists clarified from a pessimistic assessment to a bitter reality.

"As emissaries to Mumbai, Gabi and Rivky gave up the comforts of the West in order to spread Jewish pride in a corner of the world that was a frequent stop for throngs of Israeli tourists. Their Chabad House was popular among the local community, as well as with visiting businesspeople.

"For five years, they ran a synagogue and Torah classes, and helped people dealing with drug addiction and poverty," continued the statement. "Their selfless love will live on with all the people they touched. We will continue the work they started," Kotlarsky was quoted on the Chabad Website as saying.

At a press conference in the Jewish Children's Museum in Brooklyn, a visibly grief stricken Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, chairman of the Educational and Social Services arms of the Chabad-Lubavitch Movement, eulogized the Holtzbergs, describing their charitable work as "selfless" and describing the young couple as "two of our finest."

The couple leaves behind a single baby boy, Moishe, who will be marking his second birthday on Saturday, as an orphan.

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