I have not written about the Mumbai terrorist attack for a variety of reasons. There is a half-finished essay that is waiting for the right words before you can see it. One of the things I wondered was why the terrorists didn’t murder Moshe Holtzberg. They never stopped at murdering children before. Today, I discovered that the reason: They probably thought they had killed him.
Samuel says she emerged early the next afternoon, when she heard Moshe calling for her. She found the child crying as he stood between his parents, who she says appeared unconscious but still alive.
Based on the marks on Moshe’s back, she believes he was struck so hard by a gunman that he fell unconscious at some point as well.
Sandra Samuel is a righteous woman. She stands very high in contrast to the subhumans who killed Rabbi and Rebbetzin Holtzberg. And Moshe? Well, he’s been traumatized. He may get over it, but rest assured, he will always know that his parents were murdered by terrorists. As to how this will cause him to react when he is grown, well, only time will tell.
In the aftermath of the attacks, Moshe asked for his mother continuously, Samuel says, and he is learning to play again — though he likes the nanny close by. And while she still has nightmares of the horrific siege that took hold of Mumbai, Samuel, a non-Jew and native of India, said she will stay in Israel for as long as Moshe needs her.
Time, and thoughts like these:
“I vow that we will avenge the deaths of Gabi and Rivki,” announced Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of Chabad’s educational arm, from New York, referring to Mumbai emissaries Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka.
“But not with AK-47s, not with grenades and tanks. We will take revenge in a different way,” Kotlarsky said.
“We will add light. We will add good deeds. We will make sure that there is not one Jewish man who does not put on tefillin. We will make sure that there is not one Jewish woman who does not light candles.
Remember that, when you look at this, and then think of the funerals of Palestinians, and the howls for revenge you hear from the crowds there.
I don’t always light Shabbat candles. I will make sure to do so tonight, to honor their memories.