Frida, Gavriel’s mother, told of the couple’s commitment to the Chabad center in Mumbai.”There is no other couple like them, they did so much for strangers,” she said.”They helped people with money, with everything they could. They gave themselves completely to others.”
In this case, the mother told the truth. Indeed, I along with dozens of Jews finding ourselves during the Passover in Goa as well as in Mumbai, benefited from their efforts to enable us to celebrate the holiday. It was Holtzberts who made sure we had all the necessary but most difficult to attain supplies from Matza to Kosher wine to Haggada needed for the Seder. It was quite a logistic triumph and it is a night I will remember for the rest of my life.
Of course, as far as Gavriel (i.e., man of G-d)and Rivka and, indeed, the rest of Chabad India were concerned, such feats were par for the course. Aware of the hold India has on the imagination of young Jews and Israeli, they took it upon themselves to create a network of centers where everybody could find a bit of home in a strange land. They are there of provide a clean bed, a warm meal, a holiday gathering, a book or merely a welcoming smile, coffee and sympathy.
May their memory be blessed along with the nanny who rescued Moshe Tsvi, their bloody 2 year old child whose birthday the terrorists disrupted. May G-d bless and protect him and his wonderful nanny who saved his life.