Moshe Holtzberg, the Is­raeli child, who sur­vived the 2008 ter­ror at­tack at a Jewish cen­tre in Mum­bai

Millennium Post - - FRONT PAGE -


JERUSALEM: Moshe Holtzberg, the Is­raeli child who as a tod­dler sur­vived the 2008 ter­ror at­tack at a Jewish cen­tre in Mum­bai, is feel­ing "emo­tional and ex­cited" as he pre­pares for his "home­com­ing" dur­ing the four day visit to In­dia by Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu next week.

Moshe, 11, was two when his par­ents were killed in the Mum­bai at­tacks at Na­ri­man House (also known as Chabad House) by Pak­istan-based Lashkar-e-taiba ter­ror­ists.

The at­tack on the Na­ri­man House and other lo­ca­tions like the Taj Ho­tel left 166 peo­ple dead.

The boy, stand­ing and cry­ing be­tween his dead par­ents' bod­ies, was saved in a dar­ing move by his In­dian nanny, San­dra Sa­muels, who was hid­ing in a room down­stairs when the at­tack hap­pened.

"Moshe is very ex­cited and at the same time emo­tional as he gets ready to leave for Mum­bai on Jan­uary 15. He is re­turn­ing to his birth­place and is wait­ing to see many things con­nected to his late par­ents that he has heard about from us and his nanny. There are lots of mem­o­ries," an over­whelmed Rabbi Shi­mon Rosen­berg, Moshe's grand­fa­ther, said.

In an emo­tional meet­ing with Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on July 5 in Jerusalem, the young boy had ex­pressed his wish to visit Mum­bai.

"I hope I will be able to visit Mum­bai, and when I get older, live there. I will be the di­rec­tor of our Chabad House," Moshe had told the In­dian Prime Min­is­ter.

Modi had re­sponded by say­ing, "Come and stay in In­dia and Mum­bai. You are most wel­come. You and your all fam­ily mem­bers will get long-term visas. So you can come any­time and go any­where".

Ne­tanyahu then promptly asked Moshe to join him when he trav­els to In­dia, a prom­ise he did not for­get and has in­vited the fam­ily to join him in Mum­bai dur­ing his forth­com­ing visit to In­dia start­ing on Jan­uary 14.

"Moshe says that he was touched by the warm em­brace he re­ceived from Prime Min­is­ter Modi when he met him in Jeur­salem dur­ing his July visit to Is­rael. He says that he felt like it was one of his own peo­ple giv­ing him a warm hug," Rosen­berg said adding, "he is hop­ing to meet the In­dian Prime Min­is­ter again dur­ing his In­dia trip".

"He is wait­ing to host Prime Min­is­ter Ne­tanyahu and his wife Sara, and hope­fully PM Modi 'at his home in Mum­bai'," the grand­fa­ther said.

The young boy will be ac­com­pa­nied by his grand­par­ents, Shi­mon and Ye­hu­dit Rosen­berg, nanny San­dra and a psy­chol­o­gist dur­ing his trip to Mum­bai. "Dur­ing a meet­ing with the psy­chol­o­gist, who has been men­tally pre­par­ing him for the visit, Moshe gave him an ac­count of places in Mum­bai he would like to visit. He has done his home­work and knows about not only the site see­ing places but also other places where his par­ents car­ried out works re­lated to their as­sign­ment," Rosen­berg noted.

Moshe's par­ents, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, who were serv­ing as Di­rec­tors at the Chabad House, were killed along with six oth­ers when the place also came un­der at­tack by Pak­istani ter­ror­ists dur­ing the Novem­ber 2008 Mum­bai at­tacks.

"It is heart warm­ing to see that the In­dian lead­er­ship and the peo­ple of In­dia haven't for­got­ten us and share our pain. It gives us strength and makes us feel one", Rosen­berg said.

In a brief tele­phonic call, San­dra, who was in Afula in the north of Is­rael where Moshe and his fam­ily lives, said that the boy is ex­cited and told her be­fore leav­ing for school on Sun­day that it is like "home­com­ing" for him.

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