Friday, November 28, 2008
........מ' נעמט נאר די גוטע
הר' גבריאל נח ומרת רבקה הולצברג הי"ד
I remember when the Holtzbergs arrived in America. Gavriel was an eydeler bochur who I would see when I frequented Crown Heights, and when his name was mentioned in Chabad media and such I would have that mental picture of him a young bochur in 770. We don't need to speak about their mesiras nefesh; things that like are self-understood. There's no "ideology" here other than the fact that they're making the world a better place and helping lost Jews and those there on business and such have a place to call home. One cannot imagine what such a life is like unless part of it. We sit today and mourn these Yidden because they're all our family. The outpouring of worry, support and tehillim that we saw these last 2 days is encouraging. I'm not here to preach love and happiness now; I realize we're all human and how quickly we forget, but if there's one thing we take from this unspeakable tragedy it's that - well, I don't know what it is we learn. I'm speechless. We really should all tear Kriah and sit shiva, but somehow protocol doesn't allow for it. May Hashem comfort their grieving families and may we see the ends that justify all these means already.
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My feelings right now, frish geshriben:
I look for comfort in the numbing review of news report after news report, dulling the senses with an overload of irrelevant information and inconsequential information. Yet my senses will not be dulled.
I look for comfort in today's portion of Rambam (as the Rebbe might), discussing the removal of ashes from the Mizbeach, a reminder of the ashes of Yitzchak's sacrifice and all sacrifices which lie piled before G-d begging for mercy. Yet I am not comforted.
I look for comfort in the talk of the Rebbe after the brutal murder of a Jewish woman, looping it and hear it beat its message of futility and hope in this world bereft of Redemption again and again. Yet Redemption does not come.
I wonder, will dropping the bomb on Pakistan bring any comfort? Will tight security for every representative of Chabad bring comfort? Will the future of a young two year old boy, granted by a courageous woman, bring comfort? Perhaps, but I strongly doubt it. Not one of these will bring back these pure Neshomos, or our shaken confidence.
Watching Rabbi Krinsky and Rabbi Kotlarsky in press conference, holding on to their composure by a thread, I recognize the terrible knowledge that has come to every shliach. We thought that the time of danger of death that accompanied every representative of Chabad had died with Stalin. Every Shliach has now been viciously confronted with a new level of self-sacrifice. How is comfort possible when faced with a breach of trust of this magnitude between G-d and us?
There is only one solution that will bring an end to this frightening new world before it gets worse, and may it come soon.
There are no words I can say. With the loss of such a precious couple, my world is a smaller place.
All I can say is " Rachel Mivaka Al Baneha.....Ki Aiynena.
MOTZEI SHABBOS - ERETZ YISRAEL - Details Begin to Emerge Regarding Mumbai Kedoshim
November 29, 2008
Following are some of the facts being released shortly after Shabbos in Eretz Yisrael pertaining to the Kedoshim in Mumbai HY”D. information is sketchy as ZAKA volunteers on the scene continue working to expedite the kvura of the victims.
• It appears that Rebbitzin Rivka HY”D was killed the first night of the attack based on the state of her body when it was recovered on erev Shabbos, referring to rigor mortis. The body was covered with a tallis when rescuers arrived, which we presume was done by the rav, whose body was found on a different floor. Rav Gavriel Noach HY”D appears to have been murdered shortly before the event ended. ZAKA volunteers reported his body was still warm when they received it from local officials on erev Shabbos.
The body of Rabbi Leibish Teitlebaum HY”D was found in the library slumped over a open Gemara Brochos.
• The bodies of two females HY”D were found with telephone cord wrapped around them.
• The body of R’ Bentzion Chroman HY”D was brought by local authorities to ZAKA at the entrance to the Chabad House. All they know is that he was murdered on the 5th floor.
• Terrorists placed booby traps and hand grenades in the hands of the victims, making their identification and evacuation significantly more dangerous and complicated.
• A local physician who knew the Holtzbergs assisted in identifying their bodies. He appears to be working with ZAKA as they try to prevent autopsies.
• ZAKA head Yehuda Meshi-Zahav remains in constant touch with Maran HaRav Elyashiv Shlita as he did erev Shabbos pertaining to the many questions, which included how and when to notify the Toldos Avraham Yitzchak Rebbe Shlita.
• Shabbos was the second birthday of Moishele Holtzberg, who no longer has parents to celebrate the day with him. May HaKadosh Baruch Hu give him the strength he will require during this difficult period, along with his grandparents, the entire family and the extended family of Chabad shlichim worldwide.
• According to a Kol Chai Radio report on Motzei Shabbos, the entire five-story building that housed the Chabad House was trashed. “There was not a room that was not destroyed. Every book in the library was ransacked and items thrown around. The entire building was destroyed. The only thing that remained untouched was a picture in a glass frame of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZT”L on a wall in the library.”
• Shimon Grossman, a member of the ZAKA team in Mumbai and a relative of Rivka Holtzman reports dealing with the removal of the bodies is extremely difficult due to the fact the building and bodies are booby trapped. He also reports authorities are insisting on performing autopsies but they continue efforts to prevent them.
Chabad has set up a fund to help the family and rebuild the Chabad House in Mumbai which was seriously damaged in the terrorist attack.
Donations can be made online at http://www.chabadindia.org.
On a personal note: For those who recall Parshas Vayera (1994). It was a Friday night, not too long after Shabbos began in Eretz Yisrael. A failed rescue attempt by an IDF Sayeret Matkal unit resulted in the deaths of the team leader Captain Nir Poraz HY”D and the soldier they tried to rescue, Sergeant Nachshon Wachsman HY”D.
The point – for those who remember that week, the entire global Jewish community was united — davening on his behalf. Shabbos candles were lit with tears streaming down the eyes of b’nos yisrael, who davened for Nachshon.
There was achdus!
This past week, Parshas Toldos, the scene was the same, achdus! Yidden around the world were not interested in the political or religious affiliation of the hostages. We were one!
Jews around the world davened for the safe release of the Chabad Shaliach, his wife, their children, the mashgichim and the others. Their hashkafa became irrelevant. They were Jews in trouble.
YWN worked round-the-clock to provide readers with up-to-date information in the hope of permitting readers around the world to ‘be there’ with the hostages as much as possible.
The ending was tragic, but if we lose the achdus brought about by the Kedoshim, it will be even more tragic.
9:01PM IL – Israeli media is reporting that officials in Mumbai are now agreeing to back down from demands to perform autopsies on the Kedoshim.
The terrorists were preparing for seven months before the attack and two of them were employed in the Taj Hotel, explaining their familiarity with the building.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)
Why no comments about the other Yidden killed. Yes I know you don't know them personaly, but not all of what you wrote was personal reminices
We appreciate that you seem to publish all the comments but sometimes it is too painful to read comments like those of Anon 9:38:00
To Anonymous 9:38 PM
Here are so comments about other Yidden that were killed.Can you now sleep better.
Written by Effe Goldstein
Mumbai - Outrage. Anger. Pain. Tears.
What can we even say?
How can we fathom a two-year-old who won't see Ima again ad ki yavo Shilo?
How can we comprehend two ehrliche mashgichim catching a simple maariv on business who will never come home?
And how can we even begin to understand the loss of the kedoshim, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, who lost their own lives after a holy career of giving of their own lives? And before 30?
Ribbono shel Olam…
Today, we are all Toldos Avrahom Yitzchok Chasidim. Today, we are all Israeli. Today, we are all Chabad. No distinctions. Just Jews.
Perhaps an even bigger tragedy is that it took this tragedy to bring us together.
We might not know what to say. But now we know what to do. Stick together.
Because there was a little house, in a corner of the world most of us never heard of, where Ahavas Yisroel lived.
Now, that Ahavas Yisroel lives on. In our houses. In our hearts. It must. The victims would have it no other way.
What to do? Carry on.
Because if we become afraid, they won. If we are crushed, they won. If we remain depressed, they won. If we let this destroy our lives, they won.
If we do the opposite, we win. And they lose.
So let's win. Let's continue. Let's march forward. Let's continue doing everything we always did.
But let's do more than that. Let's give more tzedakah. Let's learn more Torah. Let's be more tolerant, less dismissive, of each other.
Let's fight darkness with light.
We did it for the past two days. We can, we must, continue.
Above all, let us not be afraid. Let us hold our heads high. Let us walk the streets victorious. We are Jews. We are one. We are proud. And they can never destroy us.
They have death. We have life. They await the Gates of Hell. We embrace the gifts of Heaven.
They have Al Qaeda. We have "al tira."
Arthur said: "Can you now sleep better"
Is that a question?
Putting someone down?
"Arthur said: "Can you now sleep better"
Is that a question?
Putting someone down?"
“ According to a Kol Chai Radio report on Motzei Shabbos, the entire five-story building that housed the Chabad House was trashed. “There was not a room that was not destroyed. Every book in the library was ransacked and items thrown around. The entire building was destroyed. The only thing that remained untouched was a picture in a glass frame of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZT”L on a wall in the library.” “
Accompanying the article on YWN from which this paragraph was taken is a photo.
The photo was of ZAKA volunteers in the library of the Chabad house after the attack.
Half of that photo is taken up by a bookcase in perfect condition filled with seforim that were B”H not harmed in any way.
I am not in any way trying to belittle the tragic events that transpired.
No words can explain the grief that we all feel.
That said, there is no place here for Chabad propagandists attempting to portray the miraculous survival of a picture of the Rebbe.
Even if there was truth to the story, this is not the time or place to deify a picture of the Rebbe, and even more so now that we know the story is a sham.
Pictures of the Rebbe, or any gadol for that matter, have no kedusha at all.
Even is this story had any truth to it, it would be sick and twisted for people to use this tragedy to push their political agendas.
not that it matters any, but THAT part of the Chabad House WAS destroyed. The bookcases were either in a different room or different floor completely.
I don't like that they make a tumult of that either.
"That said, there is no place here for Chabad propagandists attempting to portray the miraculous survival of a picture of the Rebbe.
Even if there was truth to the story, this is not the time or place to deify a picture of the Rebbe, and even more so now that we know the story is a sham."
Pictures of the Rebbe, or any gadol for that matter, have no kedusha at all."
I did not write about the picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbi.It was written on YWN which I posted in it's entirety.They are not exactly propagators of "Lubavitcher propaganda".
What shocks me is your statement about deifying the picture of the Rebbi.Your blatant bias is a bezoien at a time like this.YOU are the one that is making a political and partisan issue of this tragic event notwithstanding your crocodile tears and your expression of concern for this terrible tragedy.Nowhere on any of all the blog sites has any disparaging remarks about the picture been made or it's truth questioned, even it was a so called "Sham".For shame.
I don't get the big deal about the picture, Baal Pe'or survived makas bechoros.
We Talmidei HaBesh't have a mesora that in Ikvesa DiMeshicha "The fire will come down from heaven to the mizbeach of the ba'al, and the misayon will be to still say Hashem hu HaElokim"
יש חשש שסנדרה המטפלת שיתפה פעולה עם הטרוריסטים כבר כמה חודשים
וקיבלה שכר, שמותר לה להוציא את הילד משה שמאוד קשורה לה
כי איך יכול להיות שהיא הצליחה לעלות עד הקומות העליונות להוציא את הילד בלי שהטרוריסטים ירגישו, ובכלל אם השליח היה חי עד השעות אחרונות למה היא אמרה שהשליח היה מחוסר הכרה?
יש הרבה סתירות פה ובגלל זה עלה החשש שהיא שיתף איתם פעולה ,ה"י.
יש עוד הרבה סתירות לפי שהיא אמרה מה שהיא ראתה, ומה שאנשי הביטחון ראו.
I was only directing the comment at you because you posted it.
You seem to have misunderstood me.
I was not denying the fact that a picture of the Rebbe was unharmed.
That was not what I was referring to when I called the statement a sham.
I was referring to the line which read "Every book in the library was ransacked".
We clearly see in the picture that a large amount seforim are B"H in great shape.
It seemed to me that Kol Chai or whoever drummed up that particular tidbit was trying to push their agenda.
Others I spoke to felt the same way.
Tzig also seems to have felt that way.
I am certainly not biased against Chabad.
Some of my close relatives are very dedicated Chabdniks.
I love Chabad.
I love you.
I love all Yidden.
To anonymous 12:57
She has a typical last name for an indian from an "old" Christian family - Although nothing is impossible - being familiar with Indian society & culture - and how the various ethnic and religious groups interrelate - especially in the South - I can assure you that your "conspiracy" theory is extremely unlikely.
Radio Kol Chai is NOT Chabad or influenced by Chabad. The other outlet that emphasized the picture is Ynet which is secular.
Figures I would have to come here to find sinas chinam at a time like this.
How about closing this blog during the shiva week and then reopening with a different agenda and a new name considering that Tzemach is now history?
You are not accomplishing anything here except getting the same kind of freak commentators as are found on Failed Shmarya's brech bowl.
I see where yo're coming from, but to compare my blog to FM is just unfair. I will focus on the positive, or at least will try...
After the tragedy last week, words can't begin to express the emotion left behind.
The unmitigated violence, the blind hatred, the absolute innocence of the victims.
Is this how it is to end? Can we let their lives end without any consequence? Are their lives to be cut short with no mark left on humanity?
Many people talk about "Let's march forward" or "because if we become afraid, they've won". This rhetoric is too familiar, and also too vague. Will their deaths take on more meaning this way? Will the world be a different place? Surely there is some way to imbue their passing with purpose.
How can we make a difference? How can now be different?
Judaism believes the soul lives on after death. Where we go after we pass on is determined by what effect we had in this world. Did we uplift those around us? Did we help the community in our own unique way?
Yet this effect is not fixed. The people we leave behind can influence where we end up. That is the reason behind the Kaddish prayer. The merit of saying Kaddish is accrued to the niftar(deceased) – the only reason this prayer is said is due to them.
Whether you believe in an afterlife or not – doing something positive on behalf of those departed undeniably injects greater significance to their death.
Lets not walk away from this email the same as always. Too many times, we experience major upheavals, life changing events, and somehow, a week later, we are left back where we started.
Take a moment to think seriously about something you can do to better yourself or the people around you. It doesn't have to be something big. Have you ever seen a stream of water forming a hole in a rock? Its slowly being carved out, one molecule at a time. With enough time, giant caves can be formed. All from the power of one drop at a time.
With that in mind, maybe dedicate 2 minutes a day to reading something meaningful (aish.com, torah.org, ou.org, chabad.org). Perhaps commit yourself to giving a small amount of tzedakah(charity) on a consistent basis. Consecrate one phone call a day to be free from gossip. It's the small drops of water that can change us – and the world – in the merit of those we've lost. Make it concrete by setting a time of day to accomplish it (even put a reminder in your phone). And if that's too big, think of a single act you can complete. Can you imagine the effect of thousands of people using this terrible calamity to better themselves? To not remain the same?
Before clicking away, take a moment. Take the challenge. Do it now.
If you found this meaningful, feel free to forward it on to people you think would appreciate the message.
R' Da-vid Rosenthal
AISH - MINNESOTA www.aishmn.com
952-929-AISH (2474)- office / 952-836-9351 - cell
Bringing together Jews of all backgrounds to inspire and ignite awareness of their heritage through exciting, meaningful programs
I am not comparing your blog to that one in terms of content; only to the types of commentators it attracts.
If you would report on history of various kreizen and yeshivos with no agenda and avoiding machloikes or comparison to others, it would be very interesting.
Letting a moron rant does show him for what he is, but when you attract too many of them, you need to rethink your focus.
Athur said: "I did not write about the picture of the Lubavitcher Rebbi.It was written on YWN which I posted in it's entirety.They are not exactly propagators of "Lubavitcher propaganda"."
Strange that you say that. The fact is, that YWN is the best propaganda Lubavitch has had in all its history. Being that the REAL yeshiva world has been very much anti Lubavitch, when you have a blog going under the name "Yeshiva" world that is VERY much pro Lubavitch,
(even though in the eyes of the REAL yeshiva world YWNis a yeshivishe joke) there is no better dream for the Lubavitch group who have been very marginalized for many years now.
Arthur goes on to spew his bile...."YOU are the one that is making a political and partisan issue of this tragic event notwithstanding your crocodile tears"
Believe it or not, we are crying for yidden that were killed al kidush hashem even though people like Arthur point fingers and have such sina for yidden that disagree with him. We would even cry for the likes of people like Arthur.
Arthur goes on to spew his bile...."YOU are the one that is making a political and partisan issue of this tragic event notwithstanding your crocodile tears"
"Believe it or not, we are crying for yidden that were killed al kidush hashem even though people like Arthur point fingers and have such sina for yidden that disagree with him. We would even cry for the likes of people like Arthur."Arthur goes on to spew his bile...."YOU are the one that is making a political and partisan issue of this tragic event notwithstanding your crocodile tears"
"Believe it or not, we are crying for yidden that were killed al kidush hashem even though people like Arthur point fingers and have such sina for yidden that disagree with him. We would even cry for the likes of people like Arthur."
I am not the one that that is spewing hate here nor was I disagreeing with anyone.I feel that to bring up some triviality about a picture at a time like this shows callousness and a lack of sensitivity.
If I remember correctly you were the one that was spewing hate with post after post on this blog against Tzig,and against Lubavitch and myself a couple of weeks ago.Now your back again, spewing and bringing your hate and divisiveness to this blog site.We are all "very touched" by your tears but I would suggest that you climb back into your hole.
I respectfully ask of you.Not now!
Lets continue the achdus that everyone felt during this tragedy, understanding that there is much more that unifies us than divides us.Now is not the time to shtech or 'defend'.
I'd like to also add that Yeshivaworld had the most reliable information, though they are a non Lubavitch site.Maybe because they are native English speakers as opposed to the COL and Shturem.
Though I am Lubavitch, I have find their site to be the better one for real concrete info.
Let's hope and pray this achdus brings Lubavitch back into the fold.
I agree: Arthur, Chaim, I dont think now is the time to be going at each others throats.
Lets all hope that this will be a start of achdus for all yidden. Misnagdim can try and find the good, in lubavitchers. And Lubavitchers can realise that misnagdim are not made out of hate. This would be a great oportunity for Lubavitchers to try and rejoin the rest of main stream orthodoxy again.
Umach Hashem Dima Me'al Kol Panim.
I feel so helpless. I am realistic enough to realize that tehlim will not do the trick. Neither will the study of ancient texts bring those young people back and take away the pain. What I find most puzzling is how did 10 guys paralize one of the largest cities in the world. And to the last poster: Lubavitch IS mainstram on the other side of the tri-borough bridge
Jay you are right, Lubavitch is mainstream for people who are realistic enough to believe Tehlim won't do the trick.
If Tehlim can't help you you sure as hell should feel helpless, but for the rest of us, we'll keep our Tehlims and ancient books, and know that whatever happens, אין עוד מלבדו.
"Jay you are right, Lubavitch is mainstream for people who are realistic enough to believe Tehlim won't do the trick"
those "people" are approximately 98.5% of the Jews on the planet. How do you propose to address yourself to them? Not by ignoring them I suppose. What's your plan, practically speaking?
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