By COLlive and Jerusalem Post
Shluchim, supporters and family members in Israel paid their respects Wednesday to Chabad’s slain Shluchim to Mumbai, India.
The crowd of well over 2,000 guests filled a massive tent in the Kfar Chabad village set up outside a replica of 770 Lubavitch Headquarters in Brooklyn.
Over 100 people, including at least 80 waiters, worked the event, a memorial ceremony in honor of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg on their first yahrtzeit.
Organizers of the Chabad Youth Organization in Israel said the demand for tickets was “enormous” and that thousands who wanted to attend were turned away.
The event was a bittersweet celebration of sorts, as the Hebrew anniversary of the terror attack also fell on the third birthday of Moishy Holtzberg.
Across a blue-grey curtain on the wall of the womens’ section of the tent, dozens of blue and white balloons spelled out “Moishe, three years old.”
Moishy himself was carried in by his Indian nanny Sandra Samuel, and stood before a gaggle of reporters and cameras, calmly, even lazily, taking in the spectacle.
“You are not here with us physically, but your spirit is here and you are looking down, proud of us,” said Gavriel’s father Rabbi Nachman Holtzberg of Crown Heights.
He called upon the participants to do a Mitzvah and a good deed in honor of his son and daughter in law, murdered on 26/11/08 in their Chabad House.
Samuel said that “the baby is fine, he’s a normal kid, he plays, he jumps.”
She added that while she was happy in Israel and the country was beautiful, she would probably only stay another year or so because after that Moishy would no longer need her.
Sandra said that although he suffered a great loss, Moishy had received great support from his family, and especially from his grandparents.
Chassidic music superstar Avraham Fried sang along with child performer Yonasan Sheinfeld.
Among the speakers were Rivka’s father Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg, Rabbi Yitzchak Yehuda Yeruslavski, organizer Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Aharonov, businessman Ilan Ben Dov and Israeli actor Moti Giladi.
From New York attendees included Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, Vice Chairman of Merkos L’Inyonei Chinuch and Rabbi Shmuel Butman, Director of Lubavitch Youth Organization in the U.S.