Parents of Mumbai terror victim: We may take Rivka's place as Chabad envoys
Bodies of Israelis slain in Mumbai flown home for burial; Last two missing Israelis found alive and well.
MUMBAI - Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg and his wife, Yehudit, on Monday said they are considering becoming Chabad's new emissaries to Mumbai, Army Radio reported.
Earlier on Monday, the bodies of Rivka Holtzberg and five other Israelis killed last week when Islamist terrorists attacked the Chabad House were flown from Mumbai to Israel.
Government officials planned a small ceremony upon the plane's arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport late Monday, with funerals scheduled Tuesday.
Also Monday, the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem announced that the final two Israelis who had been unaccounted for in Mumbai since a small army of terrorists struck the city have been located alive and healthy.
Seven members of the Israel Police's victim identification unit had flown to India on Sunday to assist in locating the two missing Israelis, who were feared killed in one of the terror attacks that struck the city.
Meanwhile, dozens gathered at the Knesset Eliyahu synagogue in Mumbai for an emotional ceremony in memory of the six Jews killed last week when Islamist terrorists attacked the city's Chabad headquarters.
Rabbi Rosenberg, whose daughter Rivka and son-in-law Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg both died in the attack, called on the mourners to continue the work his children had begun as the Lubavitch movement's emissaries to Mumbai and vowed that Chabad would continue to operate in the city despite the bloody acts.
Among the participants at the ceremony were Israel's ambassador to India and members of the Israeli rescue team, but all eyes in the room were on the Holtzberg's 2-year-old son, Moshe, who brought the room to tears when during the ceremony he cried out: "Mommy, mommy!"
Mark Sofer, the Israeli ambassador to India, also paid tribute to the victims.
"This is a tragedy for India and a tragedy for Israel, but above all for the families," he said. "We, our Indian friends and the rest of the civilized world will continue to fight terrorism, until we win."
They were killed because they were Jews, simple and plain'
Two-year-old Moshe Holtzberg was accompanied on the trip back to Israel by his maternal grandparents, Yehudit and Shimon Rosenberg, who were reunited with their grandson when they arrived in Mumbai on Friday.
"It was pure raw emotion, tears of joy, tears of sorrow, incredible emotion, understandably out of control," said Robert Katz, a New York-based fund-raiser for an Israeli orphanage founded by the boy's family.
Asked about Moshe's condition, he said: I don't know that he can comprehend or that he will remember seeing his parents shot in cold blood.
Moshe's father, Gavriel, was a dual American-Israeli citizen and his mother was Israeli.
The couple lived in Israel and Brooklyn before they moved to Mumbai in 2003.
The toddler has one older sibling who has Tay-Sachs, a genetic disorder particularly prevalent in Jews of Eastern European origin. He is permanently hospitalized in Israel, Katz said. The couple's first-born child died of Tay-Sachs.
Sandra Samuel, an Indian resident who was the boy's nanny in Israel, will live with Moshe in Israel "so at least he has someone he knows and recognizes and loves," said Katz.
During the siege of the Chabad House, Samuel had locked herself in a laundry room when she heard Moshe's mother Rivka screaming, 'Sandra help!' "Then the screaming stopped, and it was quiet," Katz said.
She cracked open the door of her hiding place and saw a deserted staircase. She ran up one flight and saw the rabbi and his wife, covered in blood and shot to death. She snatched the crying boy, bolted down the stairs and out of the building.
"She's been there with him throughout," Katz said.
Though Samuel has no passport or papers, Moshe's grand-uncle, Rabbi Yitzchak David Grossman, helped arrange for her to get a visa to Israel. In a sad coincidence, Grossman is founder of the Migdal Ohr, which says it is Israel's largest facility for orphaned and disadvantaged children.
The Foreign Ministry said the government would arrange official funeral send representatives to the ceremonies, as it does for victims of attacks at home.
"There are going to be thousands of people at this funeral," said Katz, executive vice president of Migdal Ohr's fundraising arm in New York.
"This couple wasn't living in the West Bank. They weren't settlers. They weren't occupying anyone's land. They were killed because they were Jews, simple and plain.'