January 23, 2009
Massacre in Mumbai: Moshe's Tale Blog
Watch the program: Part 1 - Part 2

History of the Chabad-Lubavitch

I truly did not know what to expect when I entered the Chabad House in Mumbai. To be honest, like most people in Mumbai, I hadn't even heard of it and I certainly didn't know where it was -- until November 26th last year. A day still etched in my mind.

For hours at a time, I reported live for CNN on the situation at Chabad House. Like the hundreds of journalists standing outside, I wondered just what was going on inside. Who did that last gunshot kill? Is there anyone left alive? Have the commandos gone in? By the time the siege had ended, a number of people were dead, including Rabbi Gavi Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka. But their baby son Moshe had survived, saved by an unselfish act of heroism by the couple's Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel.

In December, I returned to the now-wrecked Chabad House. As soon as my cameraman Sanjiv Talreja and I entered the building, we had to stop in our tracks. We literally did not know where to put our feet: the floors had big gaping holes, there was rubble everywhere, slabs of concrete lying around, parts of the ceiling on the floor -- and bloodstains almost everywhere I looked.

We were told we had just a few minutes to film. I looked at a clock that had fallen off the wall. 11pm. That must have been soon after the terrorists entered the house.

Sanjiv got to work. With the camera hoisted on his shoulder, he began filming furiously. We first filmed the store room, where Moshe's nanny hid. The shelves were stacked with rotting food and the stench was unbearable.

We got on with the job. We made our way through the five floors of the Chabad House. We saw a prayer cap on the floor; half-drunk bottles of water and Limca, a local lemonade; the bloodstained tie of Rabbi Holtzberg. We saw baby wipes in the middle of the rubble. A toy car under shattered glass. Shoes, clothes and toys in baby Moshe's colorful room.

Sanjiv and I barely spoke. We've worked together so often before, we understand each other well. I knew he was shocked, he knew I was numb.

Being a mother of a little boy myself, I simply couldn't bear to be in the Chabad House. I kept thinking about the prayer service held at a Mumbai synagogue days after the attacks. It was there that Moshe burst into tears and screamed for his ima, the Hebrew word for mother. It was the most chilling sound I've ever heard -- and it was chilling to be in his room.

I know Moshe's now safe and well. But I'll never know how human beings can inflict the kind of carnage they did on the Chabad House on that tragic November night.

For more information on the Chabad-Lubavitch movement, go to www.chabad.org/mumbai.

-- From Mallika Kapur, Mumbai Correspondent, CNN International
Why is it that every time a Jewish Kid, Woman, Soldier or Man is killed in the World, immediately we see a full story covering it????? Instead hundreds and hundreds of Palestinians are massacred and nobody covers the story of any of them. All those little Palestinian children slautered by the Israeli army are always just numbers and figures for CNN. I wish someone in CNN had the courage to cover the story of any suffering Palestinian as well. I'm sure immediately you can find about 1,300 stories worth telling.
Really inspiring! Thanks for sharing! And that's a really good video with Rabbi Sacks. He does a terrific job eloquently explaining who and what Chabad is all about.
What a chilling story. This senseless act of violence has being going on in India from terrorist roots of Pakistan for over 5 decades. Mumbai has faced these kind of tragedy before but this one has stirred whole India. If Pakistan tries its luck again, they are in for a big shock because every soul is ready to fight-out this evil. Unfortunately, within Pakistan also, only innocent people get killed. Osama and Mulla is enjoying somewhere in a cozy place, Zardari in his palace, Obama in his White house...only innocent ...
The pain is unbearable, but the Moshele and Sandra story is a real reminder and a reassurance how God's hand was and is always involved.

It doesn't take away the pain but it tells us that God is aware and in control. And the day will yet come when God will wipe away the tears from all faces forever. May it be speedily in our days.
Very touching story of truly great people.
The projection of the seen was moving but I sujjest the reporter lady should visit the Ghaza strip and see hundreds of Palastinian children killed by the jews.Lets see whether she reacts to those seens also or there is no blood running in the vains of the kids massacred and left by the jews but water.
What about millions of Muslim childerns lost their ima in Iraq , Palestine, Afganistan and somal with in just last eight years?
Mallika, thank you for this story.
I totally understand your point of view and totally condemn what happened there, the carnage the brutality it was something you would like to forget as soon as possible, but will be difficult.
What i also want to mention is that why dont you do a similar story on what is going on in Gaza, Palestine these days. I am sure you will be shocked and numbed more than you ever were. You have a nice way with words, you know how to put your thoughts to word, i will request you to shed some light on Palestine - there are humans there as well. Thanks
Thank you Mallika for following this story and bringing it to the world's attention.

These were people who only wanted to do good and help others, making life easier under difficult circumstances and making life better for those who may have found themselves in a desperate situation.These were entirely innocent victims.

There can be no equivalence made here with Gaza. There were no weapons in the house, no tunnels under the building, no rockets being fired from inside or out and above all, no hatred being disseminated. Nevertheless, we seem to be swamped with stories from Gaza. One story on innocent Jewish suffering is simply all it is.
To all those saying "why don't you do such a story on Gaza?":

The world has come to realize that there are those who care about their children more than others.

There are those who believe that life in heaven is better than life on earth...

It is unfortunate that many (not all!) in Gaza fall into this category. They believe in the Hamas cause not the Palestinian cause as represented by the PA. Hamas as a religious group seems to justify using facilities such as schools and masques as well as private homes where civilians are living as places to fight from even though it endangers the lives of innocent children b/c all children are innocent.

The family in this documentary did not fight anyone, they did not encourage fighting anyone and any religion.

That is something you should think about.]
Moved to the bone.
thank you for posting!
Thank you for keeping the memory of this tragic event, the miracle child Moshele and his devoted, caring Nanny Sandra alive. May God watch over Moshe and help him find his place in society so he can serve humanity as his honorable parents had done. May God bless Sandra for her selfless service. Please continue to keep the world informed about Moshe - he is truly a miracle child. Thank you Mallika
Very powerful indeed... The Holtzbergs were selfless individual who gave their lives for others and could only imagine how from their special place in heaven they are praying for little Moshe and Sandra.
Thank you for sharing your horror in such a factual and detailed manner. I will you could get this letter published in a newspaper.
Thank you for sharing your journey through Nariman house. This is a must read for everyone in the fight against terrorism
This story was outrageous! How can the jews at CNN and the jewish lobby turn the mumbai tragedy into a jewish tragedy...absolutely disgusting...you should all be ashamed of yourselves at CNN ...this story is not journalism but the same old zionist spin...I want to vomit!
I am a Lebanese Ghanaian living in Ghana. I must say that while i watched eaach and every angle of the carnage those awful days, it has never hit me as much as when i saw this episode on Moshe's miraculous escape. It is the stories like these that make us human and keep us sane. The families of those who perpotrated these atrocities must be sent a free copy to watch over and over again. No family must endure what has happened, and surely no child must grow up without both parents. Heartbreaking. Could not stop my tears specially when Moshe was calling Ima. God be with him and Sandra. May the Lord bless him with a peaceful life with the power to overcome his childhood trauma. I wish him and his grandparents a long life and may they cotinue the good work the Chabad started in Mumbai.
Elie H. Choueiri. Accra-GHANA
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