Ima, Ima!

Cross posted from Monkey in the Middle

For 2 year old little boys the cry Ima (Mommy) comes when they are hurt or scared. And their mother comes running to see what is wrong. But for 2 year old Moshe Holtzberg, Mommy will not be coming to heal his hurts. His mother, Rivka Holtzberg was murdered at the Chabad Center in Mumbai, India last week.

Just before the body of Rivka Holtzberg, 28, her husband, Rabbi Gavriel, 29, and four other Jews killed by Muslim terrorists in Mumbai last week were flown back to Israel on Monday, her father promised that his family would continue her emissary work for Chabad in the same city where she died.

“My wife and I will continue their [Rivka and Gavriel’s] mission, to carry out the work of the Rebbe here, at least until [their son], Moishe, grows up and then he will continue it,” Afula’s Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg told reporters, breaking into tears as he spoke.

His son, Yossi, told The Jerusalem Post from his Haifa home that it was still unclear whether it would be his parents or other members of the Holtzberg family who would return to Mumbai in the name of the couple who had lived there and operated the Chabad house since 2003.

“There is no comfort for what happened. But we can remember Gabi and Rivki if we are connected to the place where they lived. My parents are taking full responsibility for the continuation of my sister’s work,” he said. Shimon and his wife, Yehudit, had flown to India immediately after hearing of the attack.

One cannot stop good people from doing good deeds or works. Tragedies like these only reinforces the resolve of those trying to bring joy and peace to others.

They were due to arrive back in Israel late Monday night on an IDF plane that carried the six bodies, including those of Aryeh Leibish Teitelbaum, 37; Bentzion Chroman, 28; Yocheved Orpaz, 62, and Norma Shvarzblat Rabinovich, 50.

Upon their return late Monday night, the state was scheduled to hold a small private ceremony for the victims, after which a number of the families planned to hold burial ceremonies on Tuesday. The Holtzbergs’ funeral will begin in Kfar Chabad on Tuesday. Mourners will proceed from there to Jerusalem to bury the couple on the Mount of Olives.

Among those on the flight back to Israel Monday night was Holtzberg’s two-year-old son Moshe, who was saved from the building by his Indian nanny Sandra Samuel, to whom he has clung since the rescue.

An Interior Ministry spokeswoman said Monday that no formal request had been made as yet for Samuel to receive either permanent or temporary residency in Israel.

However, she added that Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit was willing to find a solution that would allow the woman, an Indian native, to stay here, at least for the short-term.

In Mumbai, Samuel worked on obtaining an entry visa up until the last minute and so missed the ceremony held earlier in the day at a Mumbai synagogue for the six victims.

If ever there was an angel during this massacre, it was the nanny, Sandra Samuel. She gathered up little Moshe and dared the terrorists to kill her and the child too. There are no words of praise that one could use in regards to this fine lady. No reward on Earth is too good for her, and her greatest reward will come from God. For she has saved a life.

During the ceremony, Shimon Rosenberg quoted from the book of Job, and said, “The Lord giveth. The Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Wearing a green T-shirt and clutching a red ball, Moshe had a hard time sitting still in the synagogue as he sat on the lap of Samuel’s friend and looked about for his missing parents.

“Mommy, Mommy,” he cried out, with his head flung back, in a voice that echoed through the sanctuary and was filmed by Israeli television and showed a number of times in Israel throughout the evening.

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What sorrow for these families. The 6 Americans and the 6 Israelis murdered. Killed in the name of Islam. How proud the murderers families must be! What great deeds they accomplished!

The true great deed came from Sandra Samuel who did the most courageous thing that day. She saved a little boy’s life. It is written in the Talmud:

He who saves a life, saves the world entire.