Sunday night a farbrengen was held in honor of the 12th of Tammuz in Lubavitch House in London, attended by 300 people.
Dayan Levi Yitzchok Raskin, Rav of the Stamford Hill Lubavitch community, opened the evening with a short review of the special day.
Rabbi Nachman Sudak, Head Shliach of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZY”A, spoke about the meeting with the Rebbe, held exactly 50 years ago, 12 Tammuz 5719, where the Rebbe was presented with the key to Lubavitch House of London. (Original houses 109-111 Stamford Hill)
He also related that the name ‘Lubavitch House’ was personally chosen by the Rebbe, and it was the first of its kind in the world. The Rebbe said a short Sicha to the group who were presenting him with the key, and Rabbi Sudak gave a short synopsis of the Sicha. It was only a short time after the opening of Beis Lubavitch, Rabbi Sudak himself was sent to London by the Rebbe, and he related some of the Rebbe’s directives to the foundation and building of the Mosdos in London.
Rabbi Nachman Holtzberg, father of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg HY”D, Chabad shliach to Mumbai India, was the guest speaker.
Rabbi Holtzberg made it clear that he did not want to diminish the festive spirit of the day, but he would only concentrate on the Mesirus Nefesh of his son. “Only two weeks before the tragedy, I begged my son to take a short holiday, and I mentioned to him that there was speculation of terrorist attacks, and Gabi’s answer was simple. “Tatty, I am on the Rebbe’s Shlichus, whatever happens to me, the Rebbe is with me.”
Rabbi Holtzberg mentioned that his son had Smicha from Heichal Shlomo, was a Shochect and Mohel, and could have applied for well paid jobs across the globe, yet chose to go to Mumbai, because he felt that that was his Shlichus.
The last known thing that Gabi did was write a letter to the Rebbe.
“I have the note,” said Rabbi Nachman Holtzberg, “it simply says: ‘Rebbe, help!'”
Rabbi Holtzberg spoke of the great love for every Jew displayed by Gabi and Rivky.
“The Ahavas Yisroel of Gabi and Rivky was amazing, but we should not wait till we are in Mumbai to have that Ahavas Yisroel,” pleaded Rabbi Holtzberg, “we can do it in London too, do not wait until tragedy strikes, but do it now, in good health and spirit.”