Dec 1, 2008
Masses Gather For Holtzberg
Images of the funeral now in Kfar Chabad, Israel

Tens of thousands attended the funeral procession for Chabad Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and wife Rivka. "Every Chabadnik in Israel is going to be there, every Chabadnik feels a genuine sense of loss here," says a Lubavitch official. COLlive broadcasted from Kfar Chabad with 5 camera crews.

By Yael Levy, Ynetnews

Masses arrived at Kfar Chabad on Tuesday to attend a memorial ceremony for Rivka and Gavriel Holtzberg, the Chabad emissaries who were murdered, alongside four other Jews, in the terror attack on Chabad House in Mumbai, India last week.

Psalms were recited at the beginning of the ceremony, which was attended by President Shimon Peres, government ministers, Knesset members, Chabad emissaries from around the world and official Indian representatives,

The funeral procession is scheduled to depart later for the Mount of Olives cemetery in Jerusalem, where the couple will be laid to rest.

Rivka's parents intend to take over the running of Mumbai's Chabad House, until another emissary is chosen, a Chabad representative said Tuesday. He added that the parents wished to reestablish the Jewish center in the city.

Peres: Our pain knows no boundaries

President Shimon Peres said during the ceremony: "For several days now, the entire world, and certainly the Jewish world, owes an answer to the question of one two-year-old child called Moishi. We must explain to him why his mother was murdered. Anyone who has a child must ask this question. Those who have no pity for children will not pity mothers or fathers."

He went on to say, "Moishi bears not only a question, but also solace. He will grow up and carry on with this great and important mission… an entire nation weeps today…the entire Jewish people is a one, big family whose pain knows no boundaries, but nor does its hope."

The president also stated that terror must be uprooted, as it represented a threat to the world.

Kfar Chabad's rabbi, Mordechai-Shmuel Ashkenazi was the first speaker at the service. "God promises us that mitzvah emissaries will not be harmed. They were slaughtered with a Torah book and phylacteries in their hands.

"Why? Why? Jews who dedicated their life to God, to bringing more unity to the people of Israel and to spreading the word of the Torah in remote places."

'Moishi, you will remain an emissary'

Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch, said that the Chabad House in Mumbai will be rebuilt and named after Rivka and Gavriel. "Moishi, this will be your home to return to; from there you will draw strength," he told the emissaries' two-year-old son Moshe-Zvi.

Kotlarsky added, "What can I say Moishi? You don’t have a mother and a father to hold you in their arms. No parents to hug and kiss you. You will be the child of the entire nation of Israel. You are an emissary, and an emissary you shall remain."

Kotlarsky also sent a message to Chabad's entire emissaries abroad: "Now is the time to be strong; this is not a time to think or ask questions but for action. The answer to terror will not be given with tanks and grenades. Such cruelty can only be fought against by spreading light."

Israel's two chief rabbis, Shlomo Amar and Yona Metzger both spoke at the service. Rabbi Metzger broke into tears during his eulogy, when he said: "No one can break us. We should all stay strong and carry on with their mission to bring hearts and people closer.

"I implore the ministers of the government present here, on behalf of Israel's Chief Rabbinate – make sure that every Chabad House is secured, that these embassies of the Jewish people in every city in the world are guarded. So many Israelis enjoy these centers."

The live broadcast began 6:00am EST (New York):

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Opinions and Comments
Dear fellow yidden,

As I think about the tragedy that befell us, our brothers and sister, some important thoughts come to my mind. I think to myself what could we as yidden and some of us shluchim do to improve and become better people.

About three quarters of a year ago we received a phone call from Rabbi Holtzberg the father of Rabbi Holtzberg who came to our state where we are one shlichus to collect money for his grandson who would be having an operation. He asked us over the phone if we could possibly help him. We said we would try our best, being ourselves in a hard financial situation. I asked Rabbi Holtzberg to meet with us in the evening in our home. When Rabbi Holtzberg showed up I can't tell you how I felt. Here was an older respectable man (not very old) going around collecting money for his son a shaliach. He was giving of himself bilaiv uvinefesh for his son the shaliach. when I say bilaiv uvinefesh, I mean his own gashmius situation was very serious.
He called many shuls and shaluchim and he told me that he was very dissapointed. He was given all kinds of run arounds. I know many shluchim or most shluchim may not be able to help. but we are all out there supposedly on shlichus helping others, we can at least speak nicely on the phone, or when he did come over give the person the time of day, offer him a meal. He spent much time calling and literally begging for help. Now everyone is shaken up by the situation, which of course we are all pained by. But I think we need to do some serious thinking. Why do we wait to get shaken up. There are many shluchim and people who have serious situations and it is just put aside. There are many shluchim who have serious financial difficulties. What are we waiting for. Why do we brush it under the table. It is not talked about and these people are not helped. When some of us have no heat in the winter, or hot water to bathe children, or no money to take children to doctors, losing their homes, because they have no money, and the list goes on, where are we. Where are we when another yid is in pain. If you can't help get others to help. There are loads of these situations. some of them have to beg to the point of belittiling themselves. Now everyone is here to help the Holtzberg family. Yes its the right thing. But I think we need to respond a little bit faster and open our eyes. Big fan fares are made, huge brochures are made, large advertisements are made, men tut uff a sach. A lot is oif yenems cheshbon.Some of us are saving and helping the world, that's great, in the mean time our fellow shaliach next door is being stepped on, being ignored, his people or financial support is stolen away. He begs for help and gets none. He'll get the help if its maybe connected with some huge pr, if not he can wait until he rots away. Lets look inside, Many shluchim have serious problems and need help. Besides the help we have to wait for a togetherness only after there is a tragedy. The fights the not emes that goes on inside. Yidden wake up! There are some serious problems. Another yids pain should be my pain.
(12/2/2008 12:31:41 AM)
tzum zach
Yasher koach... of all that could or should be said , this is the emeser emes.. l'edavonenu.. as i once heard "kol demai achicho tzoakim elai...but we only hear it when its "min hoadomo"!!
(12/2/2008 1:43:50 AM)
STOP SHOWING THE EREV RAV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(12/2/2008 6:15:23 AM)
Please keep it positive
There is a time for everything, try to stick to being melamaid zechus today.
(12/2/2008 6:28:27 AM)
ä÷á"ä ňă îúé????????????
(12/2/2008 7:10:53 AM)
Yehudis Menucha
acts of more goodness & kindness!! Ad Mosai!!! We are all
united in our sorrow and the family should know of no more sorrow.
(12/2/2008 8:34:15 AM)
It is maybe not the time. But never the less it must be said. Better said now then never. lets wake up
(12/2/2008 9:21:20 AM)
Were the Hespedim recorded today and if so is it possible to listen to them.
(12/2/2008 10:39:06 AM)
Agreeing with Ten Leiv
Yes, we need to look at the positive and add in acts of goodness and kindness but it doesn't take away from the fact that atrocities are taking place in our backyard. we MUST be aware of the situation and do our best to help out the downtrodden Shluchim.
(12/2/2008 10:53:26 AM)
TO #1
(12/2/2008 11:19:41 AM)
positive positive
Money is very important in helping people survive but at the same time our survival may be dependant on good deeds and good feelings towards other Yidden. Let us all work on doing at least one good and positive deed in memory of the holy Neshamos that were taken from us and then maybe Hashem will give us all plenty Bgashmius so that we can share that too...
(12/2/2008 3:57:56 PM)
Firstly, may the families of the Kedoshim know no more sorry and Hashem should grant them strength to deal with this tragedy. It is admirable to hear the undertakings from around the globe to increase in Torah and Mitzvot in the merit of the Holzbergs, but people may interpret from this that they were punished for some reason. We should have learnt already from the Holocaust that there are evil people in the world and that is why bad things happen to good people. The Holzbergs were good people and happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time, but they are INNOCENT VICTIMS OF TERRORISTS and unlike the christian philosophy of turning the other cheek, we need to fight fire with fire. After 9/11 did America decide to increase in goodness and kindness. NO! They invaded Iraq. It is time the nations of the world learnt that jews will no longer be like sheep taken to the slaughter, but we will fight with machine guns and grenades. Terrorists don't understand goodness and kindness. We need to speak to them in their own language. AM YISROEL CHAI !!!!!!
(12/2/2008 8:25:01 PM)
Learning from a 3 year old...
When the "dust settles" NOTHING changes.
If not today to bring goodness to another, then when?
If not today to help another , then when?
We MUST help one another, keep our eyes and ears open and vow to do DAILY good deeds.
The minute we decide to do nothing to change such terrorism, IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN. Hasn't history taught us that?

My 3 year old grandson is learning about Mitzvoh and has a Mitzvoh Tree in his Hebrew School Class. Every week with much joy, he is very proud to bring a list of his weekly Mitzvoh's. I suggest we learn from this 3 year old and build our own Mitzvoh Trees.
(12/3/2008 7:45:10 PM)
Missing the point
I have been horrified to read that people actually think that the Holtzbergs did ANYTHING to bring this upon themselves. G-d promises his people protection, yes--but maybe our way of thinking and HIS way of thinking aren't exactly the same. Hmm, aren't His ways above ours? His thoughts greater than ours? His purposes beyond our understanding? Perhaps the Holtzbergs were where they were because that's where He intended them to be. Perhaps they were there for such a time as this--perhaps this situation will bring more protection for many that "business as usual" would have avoided. Perhaps Moishe would have had parents, but not have had his life "placed" as Hashem intended. Think about Moishe Rabbeinu. The lesson to be learned here is that life is precious; time is precious; family (and I do mean immediate as well all the yeledim of Abrahim Aveinu) is precious--to shut up your heart to the needs of your family is a sin. The Dead Sea is dead because it always takes and does not give--just a thought--didn't want to be missing the point.
(12/4/2008 1:17:46 AM)
(12/4/2008 8:35:12 PM)
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