These terrorists seized hold of the Chabad House around 9:45 PM on Wednesday, November 25th, and were reported to be holding several hostages. Rabbi Holtzberg had been on the phone with the Israeli Embassy when the terrorists stormed the house. His last known phone call was to the Israeli Consulate Wednesday night to report that gunmen were in his house. In the middle of the conversation, the line went dead. US Chabad official Rabbi Levi Shemtov attempted to negotiate with the terrorists on the phone, but the terrorists would not allow any officials to speak to any of the hostages. Sometime on Thursday all of the Jewish hostages were mutilated & murdered for the "crime" of being Jewish!
The Chabad house served as a haven for Jewish life in Mumbai .... they provided full-time kosher food, synagogue services, and shabbat services for anyone who walked into their home. The Holtzbergs both taught Torah classes in Mumbai to the Jewish community, whose population is close to 4,000 & provided tens of thousands of meals to all the different types of people who entered the Chabad house, in addition to performing funeral and wedding services for the Jewish community.
Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg said, “The Torah says to love your fellow Jew as yourself. Our work here is not just our job, its our pleasure!” The Holtzbergs had told the Jewish community of Mumbai that they were always there for them. The Holtzbergs represent people that don't just say, but do. A tragedy such as this, may destroy the Chabad family in Mumbai, but while it is human to grieve, it is also important to move forward, and take lessons out of everything. In fact her friends always described Rebbetzin Rivkah Rosenberg as always having a positive outlook and a kind word for everyone, with a Smile!
May their Neshamot have an Aliyah!!!!