Tuesday, December 2, 2008

די תכלית פון די גאנצע וועלט

The Holtzbergs, הי"ד

Levaya of Bentzion Kroman הי"ד

Reb Leibish Teitelbaum הי"ד

Listen to the Klausenberger Rebbe, zt"l, in 1982. His words are so shocking and accurate. They hit home and give some solace. They teach us what the Shluchim do as far as preparing the world for Moshiach, and teach us somewhat about G-d's ways.


n said...

i could be asking for much, but translated would help me and a few others....

Hirshel Tzig said...

I may have time later, N. Any volunteers?

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

I might be able to if you give me a larger typeface. Normal 12 pt. like this will be good enough.

Hirshel Tzig said...

click on the pages, they'll become MUCH bigger

Chaim Berlin tragedy said...

Searching for the implications of such a tragedy!

From the Los Angeles Times at http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/asia/la-fg-israelis3-2008dec03,0,2330732.story

How Mumbai attack on Jews unfolded

As pair who ran a Chabad center are buried in Israel and details of the assault that killed them and four others emerge, questions still swirl.

By Richard Boudreaux

December 3, 2008

Reporting from Jerusalem -- A somber Israel buried Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg and his wife, Rivkah, on Jerusalem's Mount of Olives on Tuesday, his body wrapped in a prayer shawl, hers in a shroud.

They left behind 2-year-old son Moshe, who had been with them in Mumbai, India, and many mysteries about the circumstances of their violent deaths.

The Holtzbergs were among six Jews killed last week during a terrorist attack on the obscure outreach center the pair were running in the back streets of the metropolis in western India, part of the calculated carnage that left more than 170 people dead across the nation's financial capital.

Details of the attack that killed the Holtzbergs and the four others, who also were buried Tuesday in Israel, have begun to emerge. The still murky account was provided by the only two adult survivors of the assault on the Chabad-Lubavitch center and by Indians living nearby.

The sketchy information has only raised troubling questions. Why, for example, did Indian police take hours to respond to the first explosions and gunfire at the center? Were any of the Jewish hostages killed by Indian commandos during the final assault to free them, or were they already dead?

There are reports of a terrorist answering overseas phone calls from friends of the Holtzbergs, who were frantically trying to win their release; heartbreaking accounts of a blood-soaked Moshe crying at the side of his slain parents.

And still, no clear explanation of the assailants' aim in attacking a faceless Jewish center on an unpaved back street of Mumbai.

On the day of the attack, the Holtzbergs were hosting a small group in the ultra-Orthodox center, one of hundreds of Chabad houses in 70 countries.

An unarmed Indian guard sat outside as five Jewish travelers dropped in for afternoon prayers, a kosher meal at the Holtzbergs' table and a bed for the night.

Yocheved Orpaz, a 60-year-old Israeli, was en route to join her family on an Indian vacation. Rabbi Aryeh Leibish Teitelbaum, a 37-year-old American resident of Israel, and his friend Bentzion Chroman, 28, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, were in India as part of their international work supervising the preparation of kosher food.

They were joined by David Bialka, a 52-year-old diamond trader and a frequent guest at the center on his business travels, and Norma Shvarzblat Rabinovich, a 50-year-old Mexican Jew visiting India on her way to start a new life in Israel.

Sometime before 9:30 p.m. on Nov. 26, the center came under attack by at least two gunmen. Rabbi Holtzberg telephoned the Israeli Consulate. "This is not a good situation," the 29-year-old told security officer Ehud Raz before the line went dead.

Upstairs, Bialka had just fallen asleep and was rousted by an explosion. He squeezed through a small fifth-floor bathroom window and shimmied down water pipes, hopping from one air-conditioning unit to another until he reached the ground.

Then his good fortune turned bad. Aroused by the commotion, an angry crowd had already gathered outside the building and mistook Bialka for a militant. They attacked him.

"Twice I tried to get near the building, wanting to go back in and help," he recalled. "But they put me in a cab and took me to the police."

The thwarting of that early rescue effort typified the chaos at the scene. Neighbors heard two blood-curdling screams, one from a man and the other from a woman, and gathered outside the center. A terrorist tossed out a grenade, killing an Indian in the crowd.

By the time security officer Raz and another armed Israeli arrived, the crowd was so agitated that it chased them to the police station too. They were detained for hours.

Israelis and Indians alike ask why it took police so long to respond. Kamaljeet Singh, who witnessed the grenade explosion, said that he rushed to a police station and then to a nearby naval base, but that officers told him they had no permission from higher-ups to act.

The Indian response to the attacks across the city has been widely criticized as under-armed, slow and confused.

It took more than three hours for police to arrive at Nariman House, where the Chabad hostel is located, Singh said. Israeli officials believe that by that time, at least one or two of the eight unarmed adults inside were dead.

The house was quiet the next morning, Thursday, until nanny Sandra Samuel heard Moshe's cries. Leaving her hide-out in a laundry room, the 44-year-old Nepalese ran up a flight of stairs and found the bodies of the rabbi, his 28-year-old wife and two guests. They had apparently been shot, and Moshe was crying at his parents' side, his pants drenched in blood. The gunmen were apparently on the roof.

Samuel picked up the boy and fled the building.

Also on Thursday, the Mexican hostage, Rabinovich, was ordered to place two calls to Israeli diplomats and relay a demand that Indian forces refrain from attacking the building.

That afternoon the rabbi's cellphone rang. A gunman answered gruffly in Urdu.

Rabbi Levi Shemtov was calling from Washington, trying desperately to reach his Chabad-Lubavitch colleague. The gunman spoke no English, Shemtov said, so the rabbi found an interpreter and dialed again.

Without identifying a cause or spelling out demands, the gunman promised to free his captives if he got what he wanted. He identified himself as Imran Babar, age 25, and said all the hostages were OK.

Shemtov promised to put Babar in touch with Indian authorities. But efforts to patch an Indian police official into a subsequent call failed.

Israeli officials said there was never any negotiation with the two gunmen.

"I asked if we could hear the voice of the rabbi, or someone who was alive there," Shemtov said. "We only heard the voice of one woman screaming in English, 'Please help immediately!' "

That was the last reported sign of life from any of the hostages.

When Shemtov insisted again on speaking to Rabbi Holtzberg, he said Babar replied: "You've already asked for too much."

The gunman hung up and called an Indian television station. He ranted against Israel's security cooperation with India and an Israeli army general's September visit to the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir, the territory fought over by India and Pakistan.

"This is a matter between us and the Hindu [Indian] government," Babar said. "Why does Israel come in here?"

"We are tired of facing tortures and injustices. We are forced to do this."

Indian commandos flown in from New Delhi had arrived at the Jewish center Thursday morning. But Raz, the Israeli security official, said he saw no serious effort to capture the building until early Friday, when blue-clad troops slid down ropes from a helicopter to the roof and battled their way inside.

Amid broken furniture on blood-soaked floors, soldiers and medics found the bodies of the six victims. Two of the women, Orpaz and Rabinovich, were bound together. In a library strewn with red-stained pages of holy books, Chroman's body was slumped over an open Talmud. The rabbi, his wife and Teitelbaum were also dead.

The head of an Israeli medical rescue team that removed the bodies said some of the hostages may have been killed by Indian gunfire during the raid. Israeli officials disavowed the report, saying the team was unqualified to make that judgment.

Israel's Foreign Ministry persuaded the Indian authorities to refrain from examining the corpses, which would have violated Jewish religious law.

"No autopsies were performed," said Yigal Palmor, the ministry's spokesman. "So we'll never know for sure how and when the hostages died."

Boudreaux is a Times staff writer.

From New Delhi TV.com at http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/mumbaiterrorstrike/Story.aspx?ID=NEWEN20080074909&type=News

Israelis in India shaken but not scared

Rajat Kain
Tuesday, December 02, 2008 10:09 AM (New Delhi)

Israeli national Sarah Baumann is no stranger to the narrow lanes in Paharganj. She has been coming to India regularly for the last 15 years, sometimes staying on for eight months at a stretch with friends.

But this visit has been different. The very next day after she landed in Delhi, the terror attacks unfolded in Mumbai.

Three days later, Sarah got news that her friends, the Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, had been killed at the Jewish Center in Nariman House.

"I am very sad at the incident and about the rabbi family. They were very nice people. They helped me a lot when I was in Mumbai last year. And look what has happened to the two years old," she said.

Emmanuel Ghaff, a Jewish tourist, member of the Chabad House, said that the pain of losing their chief rabbi has made the orthodox Jewish community more resolute.

"I was not afraid, nor I am afraid now. Rather I could feel the pain in my heart for the victims," said Emmanuel.

Bernard Derei made Paharganj his home five years ago. An anxious phone call from relatives in Israel told the garment store owner that Mumbai had been attacked.

"I got a call from my parents and some of my friends. They asked me where I am. They were very worried, as I regularly go to Mumbai for business trips," he said.

Taking a walk in the narrow by-lanes of Paharganj main bazaar one will not find it difficult to find Jewish tourists.

The sentiments here are overwhelming. They are not afraid but there is a prayer for ones who were killed in Mumbai attack and a determination to fight the terror as bravely as they can.

"I was not afraid, just felt really bad about the fact that I cannot do anything to help the victims. You see terrorist attacks can happen anywhere in the world. We just need to fight it. I am not afraid. I am going to stay here and not going to leave India," said Bernard.

And neither are Jewish visitors who are changing their plans of coming to the country.

"There is a bit of cancellation from Israeli tourists. About 10 per cent have cancelled their plan but that is not much of a loss," said Ronny, a travel agent.

At the Judah Hyam, the city's lone Synagogue, there is concern over the killings of Jews. But its rabbi, a Jewish settler from Maharashtra, says they will overcome.

"It is for the first time that Jewish people were targetted in India. The community is a bit worried by this but we know that they will overcome. We haven't asked for the security. We will see if we need; we will take it up with the government," said Ezekiel Isaac Malekar, Rabbi, Judah Hyam Synagogue.

From Agence France Press at http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hgsnone1FjIj0dBxqsVZrd0uCLFg

Ultra-Orthodox websites thrive after Mumbai tragedy

1 day ago

JERUSALEM (AFP) — Bloody images and screaming headlines of the tragedy at Chabad House in Mumbai have drawn an unprecedented number of visitors to usually low-key Jewish ultra-Orthodox websites.

The dramatic events in India have highlighted the web's growing role in the reclusive ultra-Orthodox community, which had long shunned the Internet as a potential threat to its traditional way of life.

Some websites have crashed as readers sought updates on the attacks that left more than 170 people dead, including six Jews killed in the cultural and outreach centre run by Chabad, one of the world's largest Jewish religious movements.

The couple who ran the cultural centre, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, were killed by their captors as commandos stormed the building to rescue them on Friday.

Dozens of Chabad websites based in Israel, the United States and other countries have posted near real-time news, pictures and videos of the attack and the repatriation of the victims' bodies.

Chabad webmasters say the coverage has drawn hundreds of online comments.

"We have had unprecedented exposure in recent days. The entire world has visited our websites," said Menachem Mandel, a spokesman for Chabad's headquarters in Israel.

Members of the ultra-Orthodox community expect ratings to reach a peak during Tuesday's funeral ceremonies at the Chabad centre near Tel Aviv, which will be broadcast online.

Headlines on all the Chabad websites screamed horror as the standoff at the Mumbai building unfolded and the extent of the tragedy was revealed to the world.

Pictures of the bullet-riddled and blood-splattered walls and synagogue of the Jewish centre quickly made their way to the homepages of the sites.

The horror gradually gave way to shock and disbelief after the identity of the victims -- four Israelis, one US citizen and one Mexican citizen -- were revealed.

"What has happened here?!" was splashed across the Chabad On line Website (www.col.org.il).

"Why?" cried a headline on www.chabad770.org against the backdrop of a blood-soaked floor of the cultural centre in Nariman House, one of several sites targeted by the militants.

A video clip in memory of the victims featuring a religious festival at the Mumbai centre became so popular that the Chabad On Line site collapsed for several hours.

Prayers and lessons by Chabad rabbis have drawn dozens of responses from readers who posted their thoughts and condolences to the victim's families.

Founded in the 18th century in Russia, Chabad is one of the largest Hassidic sects, whose members remain profoundly attached to their traditions and keep televisions, and in many cases computers, out of their homes.

Unlike other ultra-Orthodox movements, however, Chabad leaders approve of the use of the Internet for non-entertainment purposes.

"Of all the ultra-Orthodox communities, Chabad was the first to adopt the Internet as a work tool," said Rabbi Menachem Brod.

"We follow the teaching of Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson who said that technology was invented to serve positive needs and one should use it for the general good."

Chabad uses its website as an effective way to communicate between the movement's more than 3,000 centres similar to that in Mumbai across the world, which draw many Israelis and other Jews.

"The Internet is not recommended for homes. If someone needs it at home he must have his rabbi's approval. But for some families whose children live abroad, this is a most effective way to keep in touch," Brod said.

"The Chabad communities across the world are like a family, and the Internet is the easiest way to communicate news and information which everyone wants," he said.

The community will have a special service on Friday for all the victims of the Mumbai attacks.

Anonymous said...

There is no doubt in my mind that these views he got from his holocaust experience, It took him out from the small mindness of the Shtetel.

Hirshel Tzig said...

maybe, but some of the shprach sounds very much like they spoke in the shtetel! not very Rebbish at all...