Sad Birthday for Moishe in Mumba

Moshe, the son of Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, turned 2 Saturday. "The doctor checked Moishe and everything is okay," his grandfather said.

Hana Levi Julian,

Sabbath candles for Jewish women and girls
Sabbath candles for Jewish women and girls
Israel News Photo: (courtesy of Chabad)

Little Moshe Holtzberg was two years old on Saturday, according to his grandfather, Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg, who arrived from Israel with his wife Yehudit early Friday to care for the boy while his parents continued to be held hostage in the Chabad House they run near Mumbai's Oberoi-Trident Hotel.

Moshe's father and mother, Rabbi Gavriel and Rebetzin Rivka Holtzberg, were reported unconscious when the family's babysitter fled the besieged building with their toddler in her arms early Thursday morning. Later, when commandos stormed the building, they were found dead.

"We met with our grandchild, and it was a very emotional thing," Rabbi Rosenberg said in an interview on Voice of Israel government radio Thursday. He noted that the last time he and his wife had seen his grandchild was during the Hebrew month of Elul, which falls in September.

"He is alive and healthy... The doctor checked Moishe and everything is okay, Baruch Hashem ('Thank G-d')," he said, adding that he knew nothing more about the condition of his daughter Rivka and her husband. "I am not getting any information from officials, only from the media," he said.

Speaking before the sad news was announced, Rabbi Rosenberg expressed his hope and optimism that all would turn out for the best. "Tomorrow, Shabbat, the second of Kislev, is his second birthday.  We would be happier if it were with the parents, but we believe that by Shabbat, we will see the light and celebrate with his parents," he said firmly.

Events put an end to those hopes.