President of Israel Reuven Rivlin attended a memorial event on Monday evening at the Chabad House in Mumbai, India, marking eight years since the devastating 2008 terrorist attacks that killed the center’s founders and directors, Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg; four of their guests; and another 158 people throughout the city.
President Rivlin today paid tributes to 2008 terror attack victims at the Chabad House in south Mumbai, saying “it was imperative to pay tributes to the victims”.
“Terror does not distinguish between people. Terror is evil,” Rivlin said, addressing a select gathering in Hebrew, hours before he left for Israel.
Rivlin, who attended the evening prayers at the Chabad House, said, “I could not have returned to Israel without stopping over and paying my respects to the martyrs of this establishment and other victims who were killed during the 26/11 attacks.
“It was important for me that I come here, as this is the place where we lost our brave brethren,” Rivlin said, as Nariman House (the local name for the Chabad House), one of the sites targeted by terrorists during the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, remembered the victims.
Rivlin unveiled a plaque commemorating the sacrifice of victims, including Rabbi Gavriel and his wife Rivka who were running the Chabad House at the time. Both husband and wife and four others were killed by terrorists.
“No creature can compare to the martyrs,” reads the plaque, unveiled by Rivlin and his wife Nechama Rivlin.
“In memory of Rabbi Gavriel Novach and Rivka Holzberg and all the victims of the terror attacks in Chabad House and across Mumbai on November 26. May the memory of the victims be blessed,” it reads.
Rivlin also recalled a meeting in Israel with Moshe Holtzberg, who was a toddler when his parents Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka were killed. Moshe survived thanks to his nanny, Sandra Sammuel, who got out of the building with him in time.
He also toured the Chabad House and saw the areas in the building bearing signs of the 26/11 attacks. Rabbi Yisrael Kozlovotsky, who is presently the Chabad emissary to Mumbai, led the tour.