by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
President Shimon Peres will be holding a special meeting at the Presidential Residence on Tuesday evening in memory of the six victims of the Mumbai Massacre who fell in Nariman House, which housed the city’s Chabad headquarters. He will be joined by the heads of Chabad in Israel and abroad.
The meeting was the result of a request from Chabad-Lubavitch leaders to meet with President Peres in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Mumbai Chabad House. The rabbis and the President will be putting forth a joint message of encouragement for Chabad rabbis and emissaries worldwide.
Among those joining President Peres for the special meeting will be the current chairman of Chabad institutions worldwide, Rabbi Avraham Shem Tov of New York. His visit to the President’s Residence will follow the funerals of those killed, which the rabbi will be attending. The Chairman of the Chabad-Lubavitch Center for Jewish Education, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, will also join the President; as will Rabbi Yitzchak David Grossman, the Chief Rabbi of Migdal Haemek in Israel and the uncle of Rivka Holtzberg, a Chabad emissary who was murdered in Mumbai.
On Thursday, President Peres told hundreds of Israeli and Italian businessmen who were meeting in Israel that the Mumbai terror attacks constituted “a clear warning sign to all the nations of the world – terror threatens the peace of all our children.”
Speaking to community leaders at New York City Hall on Monday, Rabbi Shea Hecht, Chairman of Chabad’s National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE), reflected on the tragedy, noting that “reports coming out at the time speculated that such destruction must have been committed by as many as one hundred terrorists. We know today that this terrible massacre, which lasted for three days, was perpetrated by as few as ten men.”
Rabbi Hecht said that it is time “to recognize that this is a war of good versus evil. Between those who seek to better the world against those who seek to destroy it. Imagine! If a city the size of Mumbai, a city of millions of people, the economic capital of India, can be laid to waste over a three-day period by only ten men who came together to do evil, imagine what kind of healing could be brought to the world, what kind of compassion could be brought to the world, what kind of peace could come to the world if ten of us, a hundred of us, a thousand of us would come together to do good.”
The rabbi concluded with a call to “win this war, not through violence, but through acts of goodness and kindness.”
Nearly 200 people were murdered, and hundreds more injured, by Muslim fundamentalists associated with the Lashkar e-Toiba terrorist organization during a three day terrorist assault on multiple locations in India’s financial and entertainment capital, Mumbai.