Moshe Holtzberg, who survived the 26/11 siege at Nariman House in Mumbai but lost his parents in it, arrived in the city on Tuesday morning for the first time since their death.
“Shalom … Bahut Khushi (I am very happy),” a shy Moshe told news agency ANI after arriving at Mumbai airport a little after 8 am.
The 11-year-old was accompanied by his maternal and paternal grandparents. “It’s a very special day. Thank God that Moshe could come again. Mumbai is a lot safer now,” his grandfather Rabbi Holztberg Nachman was quoted saying at the airport by ANI.
The visit comes almost six months after the young boy met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 5, 2017, and expressed a desire to visit the country. India then issued 10-year multiple entry visas to Moshe and his grandparents.
Moshe said he would visit the Jewish centre in Colaba where his parents, Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, were killed in the terror attacks in November 2008, and pray there. The couple had moved to Mumbai seven years earlier and were serving as directors of the cultural and outreach centre for the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement when they were killed along with six others. Moshe was saved by his Indian nanny Sandra Samuels.
The young boy, who was just two days short of turning two when the attack took place, will unveil a memorial dedicated to the victims of the 26/11 terror attacks, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on January 18 at Nariman House.
After his parents’ deaths, Moshe’s maternal grandparents took him to Afula, a city in Israel, where he now lives.
Rabbi Israel Kozolovasky, who now heads Nariman House in Colaba, said they would be preparing a special meal for the boy. “We are excited because this is Baby Moshe’s first visit to India in nine years. His visit to Nariman House is emotional and sensitive because this is where he received the last hug from his mother and the last kiss from his father,” Kozolovasky said.
He added that Moshe was also looking forward to visiting the Gateway of India. “Apart from Nariman House, the second place Moshe wants to see is the Gateway of India,” Kozolovasky said.
The work on the memorial at Nariman House is expected to be partially complete by the 10th anniversary of the attacks and might open for the public then.
Source: Hindustan Times