Newborn son of Mumbai Chabad emissaries named for murdered rabbi

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The newborn son of the emissaries at the Chabad House in Mumbai, India, was named after Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, who was murdered in the same building where the circumcision took place.

Chabad emissaries Rabbi Yisroel Kozlovsky and his wife, Chaya, who arrived in India in 2012 to direct Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai, and oversee the rehabilitation and rededication of the center after the attack, on Sunday named their newborn son Gavriel Noach during his brit milah.

“We name our children after people we want them to be like,” Rabbi Yisroel Kozlovsky told the website “Every Chasid would like their son to grow up with the same dedication and positive traits Gabi had.

“I never knew Gabi, but I’ve seen his influence in this city every day, either through people who knew him or through his work. Naming our son after him was something we felt was important for us to do.”

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The attacks on several Mumbai sites over four days in November 2008 by an Islamist Pakistani group, including two hotels and the train station, left 166 dead and hundreds injured.

Chabad emissaries Gabriel and Rivkah Holtzberg were killed in the attack on the Jewish site along with four Jewish visitors: two from Israel, one from Brooklyn and one from Mexico. The couple’s son, Moshe, then 2 years old, was rescued by his Indian nanny and now lives in Israel with his grandparents. His nanny, Sandra Samuel, also relocated to Israel.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, dozens of children were named Gavriel Noach and Rivkah after the couple; hundreds of children have been named after them in the years since.