Berlin Chabad to open account for Moshe Holtzberg

BERLIN (JTA) — A Berlin bank account will be opened for donations to help raise the orphaned son of the slain couple that ran the Mumbai Chabad Center.

When "a 2-year-old child cries ‘Ima, Abba,’ " the whole Jewish community has to come to the rescue, an emotional Rabbi Yehudah Teichtal, the director of the Jewish Educational Center-Rohr Chabad Center in Berlin, told worshipers at a memorial service Tuesday for Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg.

Moshe Holtzberg cried out for his parents at their funeral Tuesday in Israel. The Holtzbergs were among six Jews killed in the Chabad House during last week’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai. More than 180 people were killed in 10 separate attacks in the Indian city.

Teichtal told JTA the account for Moshe would be opened Wednesday; information can be found at www.chabadberlin.de.

Speaking at the West Berlin Chabad center shortly after watching the televised funeral for the Holtzbergs in Kfar Chabad, Teichtal reported that the terrorists had actually spent the night at the Mumbai Chabad center a few months ago. Posing as visiting students, they joined the Holtzbergs for a Sabbath meal and then told them, "We have a problem, we have no place to stay," Teichtal said, standing in front of a large photograph of the Holtzbergs affixed to the Torah curtain.

The Holtzbergs then put up the strangers, who "used the chance to scope out the place," he said.

"The terrorists came into a synagogue in Mumbai in a conflict that has nothing to do with Jews. It happened in Berlin, too," Teichtal said, referring to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. "But we survived because our life consists also of our spirit."

Israel’s ambassador to Germany, Yoram Ben-Zeev, also spoke at the Berlin service, which featured psalms and prayers. A condolence book lay open on a table outside the sanctuary.

Teichtal said that when Chabad lights its traditional oversized chanukiyah at Berlin’s famous Brandenburg Gate on the first night of Chanukah, the ceremony "will be dedicated to the Holtzbergs."

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