His Indian nanny had saved his life by picking him up lying motionless next to his dead parents.
Moshe Holtzberg, one of the only three survivors of the Chabad House bloodshed, he became the enduring face of faith even when confronted with the 26/11 terror attack. He arrived in Mumbai on Tuesday, the first time after 10 years since his parents were gunned down by terrorists.
On the 26th of November, gunmen had stormed Nariman House, the seat of the Jewish Chabad on Hormustji Street, and held six Israelis, hostage. Among those who died in the 48-hour siege were Moshe’s parents — Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and a pregnant Rivka — who managed the Jewish spiritual center.
“It’s a very special day. Thank God that Moshe could come again. Mumbai is a lot safer now,” Moshe’s grandfather Rabbi Holtzberg Nachman was quoted saying.
Above 100 Israeli and Indian security personnel were deployed along with Mumbai police for the visit.
Moshe was only two days away from turning two when the attack orphaned him. Sandra Samuel, the nanny who took care of him and was Indian had found him lying motionless next to his parents. She picked him up, dodged the terrorists and ran out of the bullet-pocked Chabad House.
Moshe now 11, will visit the nondescript five-storey grey building in the congested part of Colaba on Thursday. The bullet marks have still been kept intact as a grim reminder of the avid destruction and loss of life. All of the shops and markets along the lane will be sealed for the same day.
This visit of Moshe to Mumbai is a reciprocal visit promised by Israeli PM Netanyahu following Modi’s meeting with the family in Israel last July, when he invited Moshe to India.