Chanukah Candles in India

Parents of slain Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg lit Chanukah candles in Mumbai Thursday night. They pledged to continue Chabad's activities in India.

Yehudah Lev Kay ,

The parents of slain Chabad emissaries Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg lit Chanukah candles in their memory Thursday night in Mumbai. Gavriel and Rivkah Hotlzberg were murdered in the Mumbai terrorist attacks less than a month ago.

Both sets of parents traveled to India for the event. Gavriel’s parents, Rabbi Nachman and Frieda Holtzberg, traveled from New York, while Rabbi Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg, Rivkah’s parents, came from Afula in Israel. They were accompanied by other family and friends.

The group first lit Chanukah candles in the Mumbai Chabad House, the site where the Holtzbergs were murdered along with four other Jews. Around 200 people watched as they used a torch to light a specially built 25-foot steel menorah. reported that in the ceremony preceding the lighting, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of the educational arm of Chabad, gave an inspiring speech. “This home will be open to everyone,” he said referring to the Chabad House. “It will be rebuilt. Its activities will continue strongly.”

The group plans on lighting Chanukah candles a second time Thursday evening at the Gateway to India monument in Mumbai, not far from the Taj Mahal Hotel, where the terrorists also struck. Gavriel Holtzberg lit Chanukah candles at this location every year he had been in Mumbai.

The family's physician Dr. Aaron Abraham told IND television, "His was a small attempt to give the message that we are Jews and we are enjoying this festival. He would light the candles with people from the local Jewish community. I remember I was here last year with my wife and kids and we all danced."