I did not blog on the murder and mayhem in Mumbai. What happened there was yet another shameful episode where the finger is once again pointed at Muslim extremists – this time they are associated with a group that has been outlawed in Pakistan – a group with links to Osama Bin Laden.
One of the targets in that attack was Chabad house which was the centre run by a Jewish group. The rabbi and his wife Ritvka were amongst the dead on that dreadful day. However, their 2 year old son survived and was rescued by his nanny. He is now safe in Israel.
So now we come to the Christian celebration of Christmas that coincides with the Jewish festival of Hannukah – a festival of lights that commemorates the cleansing and rededication of the Temple after it was defiled by the pagan Greeks.
In Mumbai the fathers of those slain have lit the mennorah:
The rabbi, Gavriel Holtzberg, and his wife, Rivka, were among six people killed when attackers assaulted the Chabad House, one of several targets hit in the coordinated terrorist strike.
Holtzberg, who was affiliated with the Orthodox Chabad-Lubavitch movement, in past years was the one to light the Hanukkah candles at those same places.
In addition to commemorating the slain, the ceremonies underscored the religious movement’s determination to rebuild the center, continue its activities and impart its spirit in Mumbai, where it has served the Jewish community for many years.
The Chabad Web site said Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg, Rivka’s father, lit the menorah at the Gateway to India, a stone arch near the Taj Mahal Hotel that was the entry point for the people who launched the attack.
This is a people who have not given up hope despite the terrible deed that was done to them. The lighting of the mennorah on the 5th day of the festival is a sign of hope, a symbol of peace.