The Mayan Yisroel community in Flatbush commemorated Tuesday, 2 Kislev, the 2nd yahrzeit of the Mumbai Kedoshim at a dinner event.
Held at the Young Israel of Avenue K, the event featured Rabbi Chanoch Gechtman, the new Chabad Shliach in Mumbai.
Rabbi Yosef Chaim Kantor, Chief Rabbi and Shliach of Thailand, gave the keynote address.
Singers Benny Friedman, Dovid Stein and Mendy Worch provided a musical tribute to Rabbi Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg, the slain Shluchim to Mumbai.
Rabbi Yoseph Vigler, Director of Mayan Yisroel, said in his speech:
The events of Mumbai two years ago touched the heart and soul of each and every one of us. Every type of Jew was represented amongst those murdered in that Chabad House, because to our enemies it doesn?t matter; we are all simply Jews. If together we died, then together we live ? with true Achdus!
By moving himself and his family out there to re-establish a permanent center in Mumbai, he is the representative of you, me and every Jew in Brooklyn and the world over ? sending a strong message to our enemies, Yimach Shemam ? that Klal Yisroel is here forever. They want us obliterated off the face of the planet chas veshalom. And our response is: ?We will prevail?. We will thrive everywhere ? including in Mumbai!
Anyone present at the event can attest that meeting a yungerman who is ready to sacrifice all the comforts of life in a frum community and move his family to such a foreign place, all for Ahavas Yisroel ? is awe-inspiring. In his talk, Rabbi Gechtman interwove anecdotes of the challenges of life in India; simple things that we take for granted ? like when you realize at 10pm that you have no bread for breakfast, the solution is to bake your own bread; or that your closest frum ?neighbors? live in Kathmandu, Nepal, a couple hours flight away.
They live a challenging life of mesirus nefesh on the frontlines. They deserve our support.
To support Chabad Mumbai, visit MayanYisroel.net/Donate (enter “Mumbai 2010” in memo).
Photos by Alex Gorokhov