Today marks the Yahrtzeit of the 6 people murdered in the Mumbai Chabad house two years ago, among them the Shluchim Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, HYD.
From the COLlive Inbox
“The sandwiches will be delivered in an hour”
This was a typical conversation in the day-to-day life of Rivky Holtzberg.
Rivky passed away at the young age 27, on the first of Kislev, 2008. She was killed in a terrorist attack that took place in Mumbai, India, where she was on
shlichus with her husband, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and their 2 children. Rivky lived a short life, a life of teaching, helping, and reaching out to others in need.
Rivky was no stranger to tragedies. Despite all her hardships, she believed everything was min hashamayim, and always had a smile on her face. Rivky’s smile didn’t only light up her face, it lit up the entire room, and everyone in it.
Most people would not want to move to India, a far and remote country. Not Rivky Holtzberg. She moved from her warm, secure, comfortable and safe home in Israel to Mumbai, India. Everything was very different for her, coming from Israel. Even mundane things, such as shopping or driving, were very difficult. In spite of all this, Rivky accepted the challenge with strength and courage. She was always ready to help someone, whether it was delivering sandwiches to someone in the airport, or hosting someone for Shabbos with a warm smile. The Holtzbergs built a beautiful guesthouse, fit to be hotel. Yet they themselves lived in a simple and bare house.
There are many lessons we can take from Rivky. The following are just a few: No matter how hard things are for us, we shouldn’t get depressed, and always keep a smile on our face like Rivky. Not everything in life is easy; we also have to go out of our comfort zone in order to help people, which is exactly what Rivky did when she moved from Israel to Mumbai. A third lesson we can take is we shouldn’t only think about ourselves, and what is best for us, but we should follow Rivky’s footsteps and think about other people and their needs.
Rivky will always be remembered for her smile, hospitality, and just being there when needed. She is an example for all of us. We can each be a lamplighter, just like Rivky and make this world a better place.