The entire Jewish world and its friends amongst the nations stand together in shock over the horrific massacre of six Jews in the Nariman Chabad House in Mumbai, India. In addition to Rabbi Gavriel and Rebetzin Rivka, four other Jews who were at the Chabad House when it was attacked also gave up their lives to the terrorists' brutality: Rabbi Aryeh Leibish Teitelbaum, Rabbi Ben Tzion Kruman, Yocheved Orpaz and Norma Shvartzblat Rabinovch, all of blessed memory.
Thousands of Jews have passed through their doors since the Holtzbergs came to India five years ago. This page is a tribute to the slain couple that founded and directed the Mumbai Chabad House, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, of blessed memory.
In the words of Rabbi Gavriel's direct superior in the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky:
"He was the finest and nicest gentleman that you can imagine. Never saw him without a smile. In the most trying of times, he was always cheerful. He greeted everyone pleasantly, and the reports that we always heard from around the world were of him being a real mentch [a warm individual of sterling character]. He was a very very special person, him and his wife."
More features and information will be added to this page daily.
Please send your story and/or pics of a personal encounter with Rabbi Gavriel
and Rivka Holtzberg to: chabad-tribute@IsraelNationalNews.com. We will publish your full name and place of residence [not email] unless otherwise noted.
I travel abroad for work frequently and benefit from Chabad hospitality around the globe. During customer visits in India (printing industry) I was a guest of the Holtzbergs, of blessed memory, in Mumbai. I was thrilled to find my way to them, just before Purim.
Located in the old Jewish community of Mumbai, near synagogues built by Indian Jews over the past century, they lived and served in a difficult environment, surrounded by poverty, squalor and, nearby, a huge Muslim neighborhood with dozens of mosques.
It was a little scary for me, but I remember Rebetzin Rivka going out alone into the open market to buy vegetables, and thought: "What courage, faith and fortitude they have to be welcoming strangers, fellow Jews from abroad and from across the street. There are so many poor Indian Jews still in Mumbai; who would take notice, other than holy Jews like Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg?"
May their son, Moshe, a survivor, grow up strong to carry on his father's faith and love of God and the people of Israel.
DORON BEN AVRAHAM
(courtesy Doron ben Avraham)
- More photos of Mumbai Chabad activities and related
- Photos from inside the Mumbai Chabad House after the massacre [warning: graphic photos]
Recent News Stories
- In Memory of Gavriel and Rivky - "I feel compelled to write because I want the world to know who Rivky and Gabi Holtzberg were in Life," writes a visitor to their Chabad House.
- Torah Answers Mumbai Bullets - The verse in the Torah that was pierced by terrorist bullets in the Mumbai massacre speaks of the death of the high priest Aaron's two sons
- Ceremony Held for India Terror Victims - A ceremony took place Monday in the Knesset Eliyahu Synagogue in Mumbai for the Jewish victims of the Mumbai terror attack
- Chabad House Victim Was Slated to Make Aliyah Tuesday - The Mexican citizen killed in the Chabad House massacre had planned to immigrate to Israel on Tuesday. Her grieving son learns in Bnei Brak.
- Holtzberg Family, Victims' Bodies En Route to Israel - Rivka Holtzberg's parents boarded a plane Monday with the bodies of the six victims of the Mumbai massacre, including their daughter.
- Doctors: Terrorist Torture of Jewish Victims 'Beyond Words' - Doctors said that Muslim terrorists tortured Jewish victims before killing them. A picture of the revered Chabad movement's Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson was unharmed.
- Photos of Mumbai Chabad House Massacre -Warning: Graphic Content - Images inside the Mumbai Chabad House after the Nov. 26 massacre. Warning: Some of the photos contained on this page are explicit and graphic.