Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu went to the Chabad House in Mumbai today, along with Moshe Holtzberg, who lost his parents in the 26 November 2008 terrorist attack. The Prime Minister had invited Moshe – during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel last July – to join his visit to India.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Moshe toured the latter’s former room and the site of the 2008 attack. Moshe’s late mother had indicated his height on the wall when Moshe was very young; the Prime Minister marked his present height on the wall.
Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked Sandra Samuel, Moshe’s nanny, who saved his life during the attack.
The Chabad House held a special event to mark the visit. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Moshe unveiled a plaque in memory of the 2008 attack.
Prime Minister Netanyahu:
“I am very moved to be here with you, with you Moshe. I see that you are growing up nicely. We just measured your height. You are 11; your bar mitzvah will be soon, and afterwards when you will have a family, please invite me.
The Jewish People have been with you throughout and there is a good reason for this. What happened here expressed many things. It expressed hatred of Israel and love of Israel. Your dear parents’ love of Israel, that of the Chabad emissaries here and around the world, which embraces every Jew and has a home for every Jew everywhere including here in the heart of Mumbai.
Love of Israel and hatred of Israel – the reprehensible murderers who, we regret, claimed their victims, did not claim this boy because of love of Israel, of a splendid woman, Sandra.
We know that with the force of life and our love of life, we have overcome all obstacles and the Jewish People lives. The Jewish People will continue to prosper thanks to the strength of their faith, their love and their actions which find expression in this house and in the house that Moshe will establish, with the help of G-d. I would like to thank you all for your magnificent spirit; to the grandparents – well done. Am Yisrael chai!”
I thank Hashem for giving us such a wonderful Prime Minister, who invited us to join him on his visit to India. I am returning home, I am returning to my room after a nine-year separation. On this festive occasion, I would like to thank Hashem who did a miracle for me in this place.
Today I live with my grandparents in Afula and learn in a Chabad school in Migdal Haemek. I thank you for everything. I bless my grandparents and thank Sandra who saved me – praise G-d.
In another two years, iy”h, I will celebrate my bar mitzvah. Dear Prime Minister, I invite you to join me on my next visit here on the occasion of my bar mitzvah. With Hashem’s help, I will continue my parents’ mission here.
Thank you dear Prime Minister for keeping your promise. . I thank the Chabad people and the Prime Minister’s staff for taking all this trouble for the successful event of laying the cornerstone for a museum in memory of my dear parents.
Dear Benjamin and Sara, I present you with a modest gift – a photo of a Torah scroll that was struck by the terrorists’ bullets. A bullet left a hole in the shape of a Jewish star exactly over the words ‘After the death of Aaron’s two sons, when they drew near before the Lord and died [Leviticus 16:1].’ I pray to G-d that very soon we will see my mother and father with Moshiach.”
Photo credit: Avi Ohayon