Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)

The day when nanny saved 2-yr-old Moshe

- HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: On Novem­ber 26, 2008, two ter­ror­ists stormed Mum­bai’s Jewish cen­tre in a build­ing called Na­ri­man House, in Co­laba.

The cen­tre, which was home to the Mum­bai chap­ter of the Chabad-Lubav­itch move­ment, pro­vided re­li­gious ser­vices for vis­it­ing Jews and Mum­bai’s Jewish com­mu­nity.

The cen­tre’s di­rec­tors, Rabbi Gavreil Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, were on the sec­ond floor of the build­ing when the ter­ror­ists en­tered. They had taken hostage its res­i­dents, in­clud­ing the Holtzbergs and their twoyear baby Moshe.

Among oth­ers in the build­ing was San­dra Sa­muel, a Mum­bai res­i­dent who worked as a house­keeper for the Holtzbergs and looked af­ter Moshe.

Hear­ing the gun­fire, Sa­muel hid in a room on the first floor that housed the kitchen.

Af­ter one close en­counter with one of the ter­ror­ists, Sa­muel and the fam­ily cook, Qazi Zakir Hus­sain, man­aged to hide from the ter­ror­ists on the first night even as she tried to reach the Holtzberg fam­ily.

She told jour­nal­ists that around af­ter­noon she heard Moshe call­ing out for her. She came out of the room and crawled up the de­bris-filled stair­case to the up­per floor only to find the child cry­ing, stand­ing be­tween his par­ents who were ly­ing on the floor. The ter­ror­ists were prob­a­bly up­stairs and she picked up the baby and ran down­stairs along with Hus­sain.

On Fri­day, Novem­ber 28, when NSG com­man­dos ended their op­er­a­tion, the ter­ror­ists were killed, but five hostages, in­clud­ing the Holtzbergs, were dead.

Moshe now lives with his grand­par­ents in Afula, a town in north­ern Is­rael. Sa­muel, who was given Is­raeli cit­i­zen­ship, ac­com­pa­nied him to Is­rael.

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