MOTZEI SHABBOS UPDATE ON THE MUMBAI KEDOSHIM [LAST UPDATED 6:41 PM IL]

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candle15.gifMOTZEI SHABBOS UPDATE AT THE TOP – 

Motzei Shabbos Update on Mumbai Terror Attack
Officials in Israel report nine Jews were murdered in the latest barbaric Islamic terror attack which consisted of the indiscriminate murder of many innocent people, among them the Kedoshim in the Mumbai Chabad House. Seven of the nine are believed to be Israelis.

The death toll now stands at 155. Officials fear this number may double as the recovery mission continues in Mumbai.

The names cleared for release at present include;
1.    Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg (29) HY”D, Shaliach Chabad in Mumbai,
2.    Rebbitzin Rivka Holtzberg (28) HY”D,
3.    Rabbi Aryeh Leibish Teitlebaum HY”D, a son-in-law of the Avraham Yitzchak Rebbe Shlita and a son of the Volover Rebbe USA Shlita,
4.    R’ Bentzion Chroman HY”D, a Bobover chossid & mashgiach, and a resident of Bat Yam,
5.    Yocheved Orpaz HY”D, a resident of Afula,
6.    Another female, a Mexican Jew HY”D,
7.    A local Jewish woman HY”D,
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

WEDNESDAY 5:30PM EST THROUGH EREV SHABBOS – LATEST REPORT AT THE BOTTOM
(First report Wed 5:30PM EST) As soon as the news broke of the Mumbai terror attacks, YWN contacted Chabad officials to inquire if the local Shaliach was assisting in rescue efforts – as is the case when tragedies occur across the globe. We also inquired if there were any Jews R”L killed and/or injured.

“We will get back to you as soon as we reach the Shaliach”, was the response.

Several hours have passed, and the local Chabad Shliach, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, and his wife Rivka cannot be located. Numerous attempts to locate him have failed.

According to some reports, one of the bombs was detonated near the Chabad House located gh.jpgon 5 Hormusji Street – Nariman House in Mumbai’s Colaba area. Another Chabad official told YWN that there are unconfirmed reports that the Chabad House was “taken-over by the terrorists”.

“We are working closely with the American and Israeli Government’s to try and get credible information”.

“We are waiting for them to contact us,” the anxious mother-in-law of the Shliach, Mrs. Yehudis Rosenberg told a Chabad website. “It’s possible that the phone system in the country crashed – which is a frequent occurrence there.”

The Tzibur is requested to say Tehillim for Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma; (his wife) Rivka bas Yehudis; (and their son) Moshe Tzvi ben Rivka.

UPDATE Wed 9:25PM EST: Urgent message from Chabad: Anyone that speaks Indian languages: Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu, should please contact mseligson@chabad.org  ASAP!

UPDATE Wed 9:30PM EST: Indian TV Networks report that hostages have been taken “inside the Jewish center by terrorists”. The reporter added that “many folks in the area are concerned for the safety of the Chabad family as everyone knows them as very nice people”.

UPDATE Wed 10:00PM EST: Indian TV reports that heavy shooting is coming from the Chabad house. Commandos are currently awaiting orders to storm the structure.

UPDATE Wed 10:30PM EST: There are reports of people killed inside the building – unknown whom.

UPDATE Wed 11:56PM EST: LIVE VIDEO FEED Click HERE for live video from India Horror scenes.

UPDATE Thur 12:22AM EST: IBNLive (TV) just showed footage of a young child and a mother running out of the structure. The reporter said “they were definitely foreigners”.

UPDATE Thur 12:39AM EST: According to Chabad spokesman Rav Menachem Brod, Rivka Holtzberg and her daughter were seen running from the Mumbai Chabad House. He warns this is not confirmed but we remain hopeful at this time. Rav Brod states that despite the reports circulating on the Internet, the Chabad network has not received any such notification from any official sources.

UPDATE Thur 12:45AM EST: An IBNLive (TV) reporter live at the Chabad House just said “the mother and child appeared to be Israelis”. Additionally, a cook from the building has safely escaped. These people have been held hostage for the past 12 hours.

UPDATE Thur 1:23AM EST: Chabad confirms to YWN that the child (Moshe) is Boruch Hashem alive and well at a local hospital. No word on the parents – and their second child – as of this time.

UPDATE Thur 2:08AM EST / 9:08AM IL: The following information is a compilation of reports from Israeli consular officials in India, local media, and Foreign Ministry officials in Israel.

Despite reports of Israeli hostages other than the Chabad House situation, Israeli officials have no such confirmed reports other than three Israelis, one each in two different hotels and a third situation. There are unconfirmed reports stating some twenty plus Israeli hostages are being held. The Foreign Ministry in Israel is not confirming this.

YWN Israel has also received reports that Rav Holtzberg is unconscious. The woman seen running from the Chabad House earlier is now said to have been a domestic employee.

We urge all readers to understand that news from the terror-stricken areas is sporadic and unconfirmed at best. There are conflicting reports and undoubtedly, at the end of the now over 14-hour terrorist barrage it will be learned that many of the media reports were incorrect.

UPDATE Thur 2:22AM EST / 9:22AM IL: Live reports from Mumbai report that six terrorists were killed in Nariman House. Nine gunmen were taken custody. Security forces evacuated nearby homes as people were wounded and killed by random fire in the area, which is a very busy tourist area.

Among the dead are 11 policemen and at least 18 have been wounded.

An Israeli national who escaped the attacked gave the following statement; “I was having dinner with an Indian friend of mine and he thought he heard firecrackers and I told him I thought it was gunfire, not firecrackers. Next thing we know, we heard shots and a waitress was shot and we rant to hide in the kitchen… The gunmen then came inside and ordered us upstairs. One of them looked about 22-years-old, clean shaven, and he did not look like a Muslim terrorist.”

UPDATE Thur 2:31AM EST / 9:31AM IL: Fifteen hours since Mumbai came under attack, there does not appear to be an end in sight to the situation which involves an unknown number of terrorists in different venues. Officials believe 5-6 terrorists remain in the Chabad House. There are also A number of people have now been evacuated from the area of the Nariman House and there is speculation that a “major action” may soon take place.

The top two floors of the Chabad House (Nariman House) are occupied by locals while the bottom two floors are used by Chabad and Israelis. The three hostages who escaped the Nariman House (Chabad House) seem to be a local national, the Holtzberg family nanny, Rivka Holtzberg and a daughter. They were taken directly to a medical facility for a checkup. Mumbai media reports state that until now, six bodies have been removed from the Taj Hotel. Terrorists are still at large in the Taj and another hotel.

The death toll now stands at 100 with 187 or more wounded. Among the dead are local security forces, including the police department’s anti-terror chief and at least one senior minister.

UPDATE Thur 2:38AM EST / 9:38AM IL: The following report is from Israel Foreign Ministry official Yossi Levy, who is monitoring events in Mumbai from the situation room. Levy explains they remain in contact with consular officials in India via satellite technology.

At present, no names of Israelis ar among the wounded in hospitals. There are still an unspecified number of Israelis listed as missing. Efforts to establish communications with them have failed but efforts are ongoing.

Regarding the Chabad House, the situation remains unclear despite reports, some of which are conflicting. As such, the Foreign Ministry is unable to give confirmed information but states it appears the wife and a child have escaped and the rabbi is still alive. This report however is not being confirmed by official sources but it is being stressed that both Rav Holtzberg and his rebbitzin appear to be alive Baruch Hashem.

Binyamin Avraham, the rav of El Al, is currently in the Bombay Airport. He told Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) a few moments ago the airport is open and he hopes that a flight with many Israeli nationals will be able to depart on schedule.

Mumbai media reports the NSG is operating in the Chabad House, apparently to neutralize the situation there where a number of terrorists are believed to still be at large. In addition, the marine commando chief reports 40-45 hostages remain in the Taj Hotel.

UPDATE Thur 2:47AM EST / 9:47AM IL: There are reports from the scene that there are exchanges of gunfire at the Chabad (Nariman) House. There are no reports of what is taking place but a short time ago; authorities have begun evacuating residents living in nearby homes. Mumbai media reports NSG forces are moving floor-by-floor, searching each room in the Taj Hotel, calling it a “somewhat complicated situation”. CNN quoted NSG officials reports “everything is under control”. About 25 hostages are believed to still be in the Oberoi Hotel.In the meantime, Gaza-based terrorists seem to feel the tension in Israel surrounding the hostages in the Chabad House and missing Israelis in Mumbai is a good background to step-up attacks. In the past hour, there have been at least three waves of Kassam rockets in the western Negev and Sderot areas. Baruch Hashem, there are no reports of injuries.

UPDATE Thur 3:00AM EST / 10:00AM IL: Commando forces are working to secure the situation at the Chabad House in Mumbai, with Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) stating it appears there are still 5-6 people inside.

Sharoni, an Israeli who lives near the Chabad House, reports the police got the rebbitzin and a toddler out of the area safely.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yossi Levy reports from the situation room, that currently, there are no reports of Israelis among the wounded.

The El Al plane in Bombay Airport is scheduled to return home this evening. A flight from Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport to India has been canceled.

British High Commissioner Sir Richard Stagg reports a center has been established, checking for British citizens in hospitals, reporting seven injured. He reports that the head of the British counter-terrorism office will be coming to Delhi on Monday as the two countries maintain a “close relationship”.

Security forces are still operating in the Taj Hotel, moving from room to room in an effort to secure the area. There are still reports of some 25 hostages in the Oberoi Hotel. Officials report “it is going to be a very very long day, adding the police operation may take a while”. As the report comes in, there are new reports of renewed gunfire at the Oberoi. Reporters at the scene state the situation “is a very complicated matter and extra paramilitary troops are being brought in towards executing the ongoing strategy.”

Officials are confirming there are hundreds of residents inside the Oberoi along with a small number of foreigners, plus the hostages.

UPDATE Thur 3:20AM EST / 10:20AM IL: There are six hostages being held in the Chabad House in Mumbai. It is difficult to understand what is taking place as Mumbai security officials continue to speak of a commando operation but this does not seem to be taking place.

MDA Emergency Medical Service officials report they are dispatching a medical team to Mumbai. Details to follow as they become available.

UPDATE Thur 3:40AM EST/ 10:40AM IL: Informed sources report that two mashgichim, apparently from America, are missing in India, with one reportedly a son-in-law of the Toldos Avraham Yitzchak Rebbe Shlita, who is also the son of the Velve Rebbe Shlita. This report is unconfirmed.

YWN is unable to verify this report, but it states there are fears the two mashgichim are among the hostages in the Bet Chabad.

UPDATE Thur 4:30AM EST / 11:30AM IL: Mumbai officials are still reporting about 25 hostages are being held in the Oberoi (Trident) Hotel. Renewed fighting has resumed in that location. There is no contact with the hostages at this time.

Once again, security forces report they are preparing to storm the Chabad House.

UPDATE Thur 5:10AM EST / 12:10PM IL: Loud explosion heard coming from the Chabad House a short time ago. The shaliach, Rav Gavriel Holtzberg is believed alive, but unconscious. Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) is reporting local forces have apparently stormed the Chabad House and there is an exchange of gunfire taking place.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yossi Levy continues to report there are no known Israelis among the injured, now numbering over 300. Ministry officials fear that the terrorists, who appear to be Islamic fundamentalists, will not hesitate to harm Israeli hostages.

UPDATE Thur 5:30AM EST / 12:30PM IL: Foreign Ministry officials have ordered Israeli diplomats in Asia to head to Mumbai to render assistance and begin processing data regarding Israeli citizens in the area.

MDA Emergency Medical Service Director-General Eli Bin has instructed his people to prepare to leave for Mumbai, as has ZAKA leader Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, who reports a team is suiting up at this time.

The same hold true for the IDF’s Homefront Command. Foreign Ministry officials may also decide to instruct Israeli physicians in New Delhi to make their way to Mumbai to assist as well.

MDA spokesman Zaki Heller reports that the team will include physicians, paramedics and other allied medical professionals.

UPDATE Thur 8:57AM EST / 15:57PM IL: It has been well over 20 hours since terrorists launched their war in Mumbai, and the end is nowhere in sight. Unfortunately, reports from Israel are beginning to carry an air of pessimism regarding the plight of the Chabad Shaliach, Rav Gavriel Holtzman and Rebbitzin Rivka, but Klal Yisrael is urged to continue reciting tefillos on their behalf.

Tefillos are requested on behalf of Gavriel Noach ben Frieda Bluma and Rivka bas Yehudis.

As with almost every report since the events began, there are now contradictory statements regarding the authenticity of an earlier report regarding a terrorist expressing a willingness or even a desire to negotiate for the release of Chabad House hostages.

Israel Radio reported earlier that it will be sometime until the events are studied, but it does indeed appear that the terrorists knew very well that they were targeting the Chabad House, directing their multi-pronged killing spree at Jews/Israelis are well.

In the meantime, an El Al flight is scheduled to leave Mumbai at 20:00 Israel time (23:00 Mumbai) time Thursday night, expected to land in Israel during the early predawn hours. The aircraft has space to accommodate 300 passengers.

UPDATE Thur 9:11AM EST / 16:11PM IL: American media reports state that three Israelis were killed in the Mumbai Chabad House. At this time, there is absolutely no confirmation from any official Israeli sources.

UPDATE Thur 9:53AM EST / 16:53PM IL: A major explosion was reported in Taj Hotel a short time ago in addition to a major fire, which continues to burn out of control in Oberoi Hotel. It is being reported the terrorists in Oberoi are on the 19th floor. Authorities report the bottom 13 floors have been secured.

According to IBNLive.com, renewed fighting is taking place as Mumbai forces continue efforts to neutralize the terror attack that has been ongoing for close to 24 hours. Senior Indian government officials are in Mumbai, and reinforcements and troop replacement have been brought in as well.

At present, the area surrounding the Chabad House has been blacked out by authorities as troops prepare for what they are calling a final assault.

UPDATE Thur 10:51AM EST / 17:51PM IL: The death toll in the Mumbai ongoing terror has climbed to 125, with an estimated 327 wounded.

The scene from the Taj and Oberoi Hotels is explosions, gunfire and fire. Authorities reported earlier that all the terrorists in Oberoi were eliminated.

In the meantime, authorities continue to report they are planning for the “final assault” on the Chabad House. There are many rumors concerning Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, his rebbitzin Rivka, and the son-in-law of the Toldos Avraham Yitzchak Rebbe’s Shlita son-in-law. In the meantime, tefillos are continuing around the world.

There are no new details being released by Israel Foreign Ministry officials.

UPDATE Thur 1:05PM EST / 20:05PM IL: Once again, there is much confusion surrounding the latest report, this time attributed to the Israeli diplomatic sources. It appears up to 15 hostages have been released by terrorists in Mumbai, but not from the Chabad House as fist believed, but from near the Chabad House. Once again, there is no definitive source. There is no explanation accompanying the statement, which is ambiguous at best.

Foreign Ministry officials are reporting however that on Thursday afternoon, a female hostage in the Chabad House phone Israeli consular officials in New Delhi stating she has a gun pointed to her head and the terrorists are demanding the release of prisoners in India.

UPDATE Thur 1:50PM EST / 20:50PM IL: A report quoting state officials in Mumbai confirms the release of eight hostages from the Chabad House. No additional official information is available at this time.

Mumbai officials also report that the standoff at Taj Hotel has come to an end. All of the terrorists were eliminated.

It is important to realize that the statement made earlier by Israel Consul General in Mumbai, Orna Sagiv, was apparently quoting the same Mumbai state source and not based on confirmed information received by Israel Foreign Ministry officials.

When questioned, Sagiv stated the hostages could indeed have come from the neighboring building, not the Chabad House itself. Sagiv added he and his staff continue to do their utmost to confirm the report, stating that ultimately, they do not know with absolute certainty if anyone was set free from the Chabad House.

A Ynet report quoting Israeli Embassy security officer Ehud Raz states that Raz himself reports that Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg’s son and “the woman” emerged unharmed from the Chabad House and they are sleeping at his home. This is not from an official source, and yes, it does have a strange tone to it since after over 24 hours in captivity, one would expect the released hostages to be taken for debriefing and medical examinations.

UPDATE Thur 2:15PM EST / 21:15PM IL: CNN just interviewed the Israeli Ambassador to the United States who said that there is no confirmation to a CNN report which claimed that the Chabad Rabbi was released. The Ambassador said that “there is no confirmation as to who was released”.

UPDATE Thur 2:20PM EST / 21:20PM IL: According to an official statement released moments ago from Chabad spokesman in Eretz Yisrael Rabbi Menachem Brod, unfortunately, the statement from Mumbai sources that the Chabad hostages have been freed is not based in fact.

We continue tefillos praying to merit seeing Rav Holtzberg, his family, and the other yidden come out of the hostage situation in good health.

UPDATE Thur 5:00PM EST / 23:00AM IL: Click HERE for photos of Lubavitchers & IDF soldiers gathering at the Kosel to Daven on behalf of the Mumbai terror attacks.

UPDATE Thur 5:05PM EST / 23:05AM IL: According to the latest reports on Indian TV, two blasts have been heard at Nariman House. There is still no word on the hotages.

UPDATE Thur 7:30PM EST / 2:30AM IL: There are many uncredible, unconfirmed rumors and reports being passed around. YWN is aggressively working closely with our highly-credible sources to bring you the latest – and most accurate information. As of this update, there has been NO change.

UPDATE Thur 7:35PM EST / 3:35AM IL: We can report that the Holzberg family has departed NYC enroute to Eretz Yisroel (Israel)

UPDATE Thur 8:45PM EST / 4:45AM IL: A chopper has just hovered on top of the Chabad House for 5 minutes, numerous shots were fired, and approximately 8 security personnel dropped down ropes and into the building. Reporters on scene say that there are more terrorists then expected inside the building.

UPDATE Thur 8:52PM EST / 4:52AM IL: A large explosion was just heard from inside the structure.

UPDATE Thur 9:35PM EST / 5:35AM IL: Numerous explosions, and heavy gunfire heard from building. Ambulances have been brought to the scene – no reason given by local media.

Unconfirmed reports that Israeli commandos are scheduled to arrive in Mumbai shortly to assist in the unfolding horror.

UPDATE Thur 9:56PM EST / 5:56AM IL: One commando has reportedly been struck by gunfire in the Chabad House. A Chopper continues to circle the building, as fresh gunfire erupts.

UPDATE Thur 10:03PM EST / 6:03AM IL: A hand is seen waving a white towel out the window of the Chabad House. It is unknown if this is one of the hostages trying to grab attention as to which room he is in, or from one of the terrorists showing a sign of surrender.

UPDATE Thur 10:41PM EST / 6:41AM IL: CNN reports that an IAF Chopper is now on the scene above the Oberoi Hotel – where there may still be Israeli hostages inside. Meanwhile, at the Chabad House, fresh gunfire has erupted – and smoke is shoring from one of the windows.

UPDATE Thur 10:49PM EST / 6:49AM IL: The white towel being waved out of the window may possibly be TZITZIS! We will allow the YWN readers to make that judgement. Click HERE to view the photos!

UPDATE Fri 12:13AM EST / 7:13 IL: A final 300 Israelis arrived early Friday morning in Ben-Gurion International Airport from Mumbai. Some of them were actually in the Chabad House not long before Islamic terrorists began their siege of the area.

As of early Friday morning, there are no official reports being released in Eretz Yisrael from the Foreign Ministry or other government agencies.

UPDATE Fri 12:26AM EST / 7:27AM IL: An India TV reporter on the scene says that “Jewish people in the area say that the white cloth was a Jewish prayer shawl.” There is no movement from the building in the past hour.

UPDATE Fri 1:05AM EST / 8:05AM IL: India TV reports that commandos have cleared the top two floors of the Chabad House. Still no word on hostages. Over at the Oberoi Hotel, 40+ hostages have reportedly been rescued – most of them foreigners.

UPDATE Fri 1:15AM EST / 8:02AM IL: Prof. Yossi Katz of Bar Ilan University was one of the 300 Israelis who arrived on the El Al flight from Mumbai on Friday morning. He explained that only on his way home from Ben-Gurion Airport did he realize the magnitude of what had taken place, adding this Shabbos he will ‘bench gomel’ with much fervor.

Katz explained that Rav Holtzberg intentionally situated his Chabad House in the hotel district, which also serves as a hotel, where he and others were staying. He stressed the Chabad center serves as a hotel in every sense of the word and in addition, offers the spiritual nourishment which a simple hotel lacks.

Yehuda Mesh-Zahav, the international director of ZAKA reported a short time ago that his team of six people, seasoned volunteers who have been at disaster scenes around the world, are near the Chabad House. The team includes three paramedics.

Meshi-Zahav explained one of the advantageous of his organization is that some countries do not want aid from other countries but ZAKA is listed with the UN as an international organization and therefore, can enter certain areas that other Israeli agencies may be barred from. He added that his team is operating under the direction of the Government of Israel and fortunately, the unique arrangement, referring to the organization’s international status, permits ZAKA to become a “long extended arm of Israel around the world”.

When asked if his men have any reports, he stated the information is “unconfirmed and coming in bits and pieces”, prompting him to decline responding regarding an inquiry pertaining to Rav Holtzberg.

UPDATE Fri 1:20AM EST / 8:20AM EST: Heavy gunfire and numerous explosions suddenly erupt at the Taj Hotel. Footage coming in of everyone ducking for cover.

UPDATE Fri 1:35AM EST / 8:35AM IL: 6 Hostages are feard dead in Oberoi as the Taj firing continues. Reports are that there is one remaining terrorist going from room to room and shooting randomly in and out of the building. He possibly might have a family of hostages with him. He is able to move around without being noticed as he shut off the lights. Cops and Journalist are ducking for coverage.

UPDATE Fri 1:50AM EST / 8:50AM IL: Reports now coming in that there are possibly 3 terrorist now inside the Taj. Around 3 explosions were just heard coming from the building. Also renewed gunfire and explosions hear at the Nariman House where there are reportedly still at least 4 Jews being held hostage. Meanwhile, live TV footage shows hundreds of civilians standing around “watching the show” at the Chabad House as firing and explosions continue.

UPDATE Fri 3:15AM EST / 10:15AM IL: Reports have been flying in now that there is fresh terror in Mumbai. There are reports the there is firing at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, better known by its abbreviation CST is a historic railway station in Mumbai which serves as the headquarters of the Central Railways. It is one of the busiest railway stations in India, and serves Central Railway trains terminating in Mumbai as well as the Mumbai suburban railway. There is speculation that maybe some terrorists are trying to get out of the city. POLICE HAVE NOT CONFIRMED THIS REPORT. However ALL TRAINS TO CST STOPPED MID-WAY! At the CST people are running out of the building and cops our running around. The Commisioner of the Railway Saftey says that it’s a false alarm and no need to panic. Panic is spreading through the city. Shops are closing their shutters. People are running for cover.

Additionaly there are reports of 3 shots fired at the GT Hospital followed by witnesses saying that the police came out of the hospital escorting 3 people holding their hands up in the air. Police are telling the media to excersise caution as they don’t know what is next.

Reports are also coming out from the TAJ the gunshots have been heard again as well as explosions.

UPDATE 3:16AM EST / 10:16AM IL: Israel Foreign Ministry officials report that none of the bodies found in the Oberoi Hotel are Israelis to the best of the information available to them.  Mumbai media reports that a local commando commander reports seeing 12-15 bodies in one room.

In a positive note, Israeli Ambassador to India Mark Sofer reports that Rivka Holtzberg’s parents have arrived and they have been reunited with their grandson who was fortunate enough to escape his captives.

UPDATE Fri 3:45AM EST / 10:45AMIL: IBN TV reports that early on Friday morning, terrorists at the Chabad House dispatched a Jewish man outside to pick-up “supplies” for them. The report claims that he was told that if he does not return, he will be (or the remaining hostages) killed. He reportedly returned to the building. This report was not reported by any other news agency other than IBN TV.

UPDATE Fri 4:00AM EST / 11:00AM IL:: Israel Foreign Ministry reports that there still is no word on 21 Israelis in the Mumbai area. The report adds that Mumbai authorities report having secured an upper floor of the Chabad House.

UPDATE Fri 4:36AM EST / 11:36AM IL:
: Mumbai security officials are reporting the Oberoi Hotel is under their control the situation at that location has been neutralized. A police chief reports there are still some people in the Taj Hotel. Fighting still reported at the Chabad House.

UPDATE Fri 4:39AM EST / 11:39AM IL: Mumbai security officials are reporting four people are still trapped in the Chabad House, including Rav Gavriel Holtzman and his wife. They also report the operation at that location should be wrapped up in the very near future.

Commandos have taken control of the rood and upper floors of the structure CNN-IBN Live is reporting.

UPDATE Fri 4:59 AM EST / 11:59 AM IL: Israel Foreign Ministry: Two Israeli businessmen evacuated from Oberoi Hotel. About 100 people were rescued from the hotel but there are reports of many dead bodies as well.

UPDATE Fri 5:59 AM EST / 12:59 PM IL: Israel Foreign Ministry: A total of 4 Israelis were rescued from the Oberoi Hotel. 17 Israelis are still missing.

UPDATE Fri 6:05 AM EST / 1:05 PM IL: Israel Foreign Ministry: Six Israelis known to be in the Mumbai Chabad House. Local security officials report heavy fighting continues at that location.

UPDATE Fri 6:21 AM EST / 1:21 PM IL: Mumbai officials reporting the death toll has reached 155. At least 327 people have been injured. Fighting continues at the Taj Hotel and at the Chabad House.

UPDATE Fri 7:06 AM EST / 2:06 PM IL: Mumbai officials reporting 8 foreigners killed and 22 wounded. The multi-pronged terror attack has been going on for some 44 hours. At this time, there are no new confirmed reports regarding the hostages in the Chabad House. A security official in Mumbai reports gunfire is ongoing and grenades are being thrown by terrorists at Chabad House. Fighting at the Taj Hotel is reported as “intense” and “continuous”.

UPDATE Fri 7:35 AM EST / 2:35 PM IL: Mumbai officials reporting a large explosion at Nariman (Chabad) House which has resulted in significant damage to the structure.

UPDATE Fri 7:49 AM EST / 2:49 PM IL: Mumbai officials report heavy fighting at the Taj Hotel. Amublances and medical personnel being dispatched.

Regarding the Chabad House, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzman and at least one other male and some females are believed still inside. Explosions are being heard and there is major damage to one wing of the building. Officials are indicating the fighting at Chabad House is in a final stage.

UPDATE Fri 7:50 AM EST / 2:50 PM IL: Israeli sources report a large hole was blown into the side of the Chabad House. The source of the report is not mentioned.

UPDATE Fri 7:51 AM EST / 2:51 PM IL: Mumbai officials report that after 44 hours and 27 minutes of warfare, 155 people have been killed and at least 327 Injured.

UPDATE Fri 7:54 AM EST / 2:54 PM IL: Mumbai officials report Chabad House encounter over! NSG commandos have taken control of the entire building. Security forces are coming out of the building signaling “Nariman House has been liberated” as the local media is describing the scene.

We are waiting for an update regarding the hostages.

UPDATE Fri 7:58 AM EST / 2:58 PM IL: Mumbai officials reporting all four terrorists in the Chabad House have been killed. There is a large crowd outside the building that appears to be attempting to rush police barricades. There is total chaos at that location after 45 hours of fighting at numerous venues in Mumbai.

At present, NSG commandos have left the structure with their arms raised in a show of victory but still no word on Chabad Shaliach Rav Gavriel Holtzberg and the other hostages.

UPDATE Fri 8:04 AM EST / 3:04 PM IL: As has been the case for the past 45 hours, reports are conflicting and there is much disinformation. NSG officials according to IBN Live are now reporting there is one more floor to secure in the Chabad House.

A group of locals estimated to be about 600 have broken through the police barricade after NSG commandos emerged from the Chabad House with their arms raised in a sign of victory.

Unfortunately, despite what may be premature celebrations at the Chabad House, there is no word regarding the Rav, his rebbitzin and the other hostages being held.

Police are now busying themselves with crowd control outside Chabad House.

UPDATE Fri 8:09 AM EST / 3:09 PM IL: Mumbai official Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor stated moments ago that the situation at the Chabad House that the situation has not been neutralized and fighting continues. There is NO information regarding hostages inside the structure. He did express optimism however that the situation will come to an end in the near future, but did not give a timetable.

Regarding the Oberoi Hotel, he adds that on Thursday and Friday, they recovered 30 bodies, including locals and foreign nationals.

At the Taj Hotel he reports one terrorist still at large, firing at security forces and hurling hand grenades.

UPDATE Fri 8:27 AM EST / 3:27 PM IL: Mumbai security officials operating at the scene of the Chabad House report NSG commando forces are now working to secure the last floor of the structure. They are stressing the operation is NOT over despite earlier reports to the contrary.

UPDATE Fri 8:32 AM EST / 3:32 PM IL: Mumbai officials are reporting “some hostages” have been taken out of the Chabad House and are on their way to hospital. This is NOT confirmed by officials sources. ZAKA volunteers operating in Mumbai are now on their way to the hospital in the hope of learning more.

UPDATE Fri 8:39AM EST / 3:39PM IL: IBNLive.com & CNN both report: Five jostages have been killed in the Chabad House.

UPDATE Fri 8:43 AM EST / 3:43 PM IL: IBNLive.com: Commandos were trying to attack the second floor from the ground while other forces were operating from the rooftop. It appears the terrorists relocated. At present, IBNLive.com is reporting NSG forces are confirming they have seen the bodies of five hostages in the Chabad House.

It appears the operation in the Chabad House is not over as reported earlier. Unfortunately, there may be no survivors. We urge Am Yisrael to continue tefillos at this time as Erez Yisrael prepares to usher in the Shabbos.

UPDATE Fri 8:47AM EST / 3:47PM IL: Ironically, the euphoria at the Chabad House was short lived and now, the situation appears to have taken a turn for the worse. All reports from various agencies point to the fact that the hostages in the Chabad House have been murdered by the terrorists.

We hope that this report will be incorrect, as have been many during the past 45 hours and we continue tefillos on behalf of the hostages. There are NO reports from official Israel Foreign Ministry sources or ZAKA in India at this time, and we use this to provide additional hope towards a good end to the situation.

This will be the last update provided from the YWN Israel Bureau, and the reports that follow will continue in real-time from the NYC office.

UPDATE Fri 8:55AM EST / 3:55AM IL: A spokeswoman with the Synchronicity Foundation told WABC on Friday morning that Alan Scherr and his 13-year-old daughter, Naomi, (both from Virginia) were killed while they were in a cafe in Mumbai. (No confirmation what their religion is.)

UPDATE Fri 10:05AM EST / 5:05PM IL: Major news networks report that the terrorists are confirmed dead, and there are reportedly 5 hostages which have been killed in the building. CNN reports that “a Rabbi and his wife are among the dead”. YWN must stress that the ZAKA personnel on the ground in India are in close contact with the Misaskim Command Center in Boro Park – where anxious family members await some news – and as of this posting have not seen the bodies of those killed.

Although the outcome appears to be turning grim, YWN will await confirmed information from ZAKA personnel who are currently staging in front of the Mumbai Chabad House.

UPDATE Fri 11:17AM EST / 6:17PM IL: YWN has confirmed via the Misaskim Comand Center in Brooklyn that just moments ago ZAKA has R”L removed two bodies (males) of Frum people from the Chabad House in Mumbai. No identifications have been made.

UPDATE Fri 11:40AM EST / 6:17PM IL: Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg HY”D, the beloved directors of Chabad-Lubavitch of Mumbai, were R”L killed during one of the worst terrorist attacks to strike India in recent memory. According to security services, the Chabad House was a pre-selected target.

Jewish communities around the world reacted with shock to the loss of the couple, who were killed Thursday at their Chabad House during a standoff between Indian military forces and terrorists.

Their toddler son, Moshe, managed to escape with his nanny some hours before Indian commandos stormed their building, known as the Nariman House, in the popular touristy neighborhood of Colaba. The Associated Press reported that the boy was unharmed, but was wearing blood-soaked pants.

UPDATE Fri 2:37PM EST / 9:37PM IL: The Misaskim Command Center in Boro Park has just received confirmation from Zaka personnel (non-Jewish due to Shabbos) on the ground in India, that a 6th murdered victim has been found at the Chabad House in Mumbai. The victim is reported to be a female – and at this time she has not been identified. There is a possibility that she may be a local civilian who was taken hostage as well.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Channel 1 TV that some of the victims had been bound, and the two women who were slain had been killed many hours earlier R”L.

Meanwhile, four Israelis are among the group of hostages that were rescued by Indian special forces from the Oberoi Trident Hotel on Friday, an Israeli Foreign Ministry official in Mumbai told the Jerusalem Post.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that she had spoken spoke to Israeli Ambassador to India Mark Sofer, who informed her that after the four Israelis were found in the Oberoi hotel, 17 Israelis were still unaccounted for in Mumbai.

NOTE: We apologize to all those who have been unable to access the YWN Website, but we have gotten many hundreds of thousands of hits in the past few hours, crashing our servers numerous times. Our technical staff is aggressively working to correct the problem.

YWN continues to monitor the situation, and will bring you the latest as soon as we have confirmed information from our highly credible sources.

(Yehuda Drudgestein – YWN NYC NewsRoom / Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel Desk / YW-99)


177 COMMENTS

  1. Yikes….I hope that they are ok. Were they in New York for the Shaliach Convention this week? (Also, ed., maybe correct the spelling in the quote of the second paragraph….)

  2. Rabboisai, as a frequent visitor to Mumbai and guest of Reb Gavriel I can testify that he is a “taireh yid”, a talmid chochom, an emmeser oisek b’tzorchei tzibur b’emunah, a machnis orach in the spirit of Avrohom Avinu who makes every yid of every stripe, feel welcome and at home. I am a litvisher yid and, honestly, had some misgivings about spending Shabbos at a Chabad house before my first visit. They were quickly laid to rest when I experienced Gabi’s varmkeit, saw how he feired tish and talked with him in learning. He is an “old school” Chabad chossid and I’m honored to have become his friend. Please join me in being mispallel for his well being and that of his rebbetzin.

  3. I dont know what Eli means by “ols Chool” Chabad, but I have been to Mumbai as well and he is taka a varma Yid like many, many other chabad houses I frequent for business.
    Bottom line is that he needs our tefillios!

  4. Hostages are still being held at the Cama Hospital, Chabad House, and Taj
    and Oberoi hotels in Mumbai, IBN reported Nov. 26. People are crowded around
    the Chabad House in Mumbai, and Indian police and Rapid Action Forces are
    outside. No action is being taken, but police are on standby and the army
    has blocked off an area around Chabad. A large blast has gone off at the
    Oberoi hotel. More than 50 people have been rescued from the Taj hotel.

  5. According to CNN live a few minutes ago (5:55am Mumbai time) the Nariman
    House (clearly stating Chabad House) is still under hostage by the
    terrorists as per the reporter standing outside the Chabad House stating
    there’s an eary silence as they await for the commandos to storm the
    building.

    25 minutes ago there was an unconfirmed report that “a woman who has been
    living in the Nariman House for the last 2 years drove away in a taxi” but
    the reporter kept on repeating that these are all unconfirmed and there are
    many conflicting reports.

    10 places have ben attacked including the Taj Mahal & Oberoi hotels (where
    hostages are still being held) & Ramada Hotel where firing still continues 7
    hours after the initial attack

  6. 5 Terrorist hold 5 families hostage in Nariman House
    World | November 27th, 2008
    Terrorists have taken hold of Nariman House in Colaba, Mumbai where it is
    reported that there are 5 terrorists holding the building. 5 jewish families
    taken hostage.
    Nariman House is a 5 story dilapidated jewish building which is next to the
    petrol station in Colaba, where a genade was thrown last night. Commando’s
    are closing in, as the entire building as been cordoned off.
    There have been a total of 8 places attacked in Mumbai.

  7. In a previous post, regarding the Chabad Shluchim who gathered in NY on Parsha Chaye Sarah, when discussing the job of a “Sholiach”, someone sarcastically remarked, “IT DOSEN’T TAKE MUCH TO BECOME ONE (A SHOLIACH).”

    Well, maybe now, that person would change his tone. Do you know what it takes? It takes “Mesiras Nefesh mamesh.”

    Hopefully, in this case, we will not need “Mesiras Nefesh” and the Shoilach and family will be found in good health.

  8. U/D 9:30 PM

    Indian TV IBN just had a reporter in front of the Chabad house, and said hostages where taken inside the Jewish center by terrorists, the reporter was saying that many in the area where concerned for the safety of the Chabad family as everyone knows them as very nice people.

    U/D 9:50 PM EST

    IBN Reporting now and showing photos of shots coming from the Chabad house, heavily armed commandos standing by waiting for orders of the police to storm the house.

    U/D 10:10 PM

    Commandos ready to strike and take over the Chabad house, many gun fire heard now, some people killed inside R’L

  9. I tried logging on to this TTKN news, but i have been told there is alot of traffic.
    PLease everyone think about all the shluchim of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, wherever they are, that they are safe. Right now there is tenssions in Thiland also, with protests wanting to overthrow the Government, we shoud also have in mind the shluchim there.

  10. U/D 10:41 PM EST

    Heavy gun fighting ongoing now outside the Chabad house, unknown the condition. hostages still held. police still waiting outside for orders from the police army.

    U/D 10:48 PM EST

    Four terrorist inside the house, One terrorist confirmed killed.

  11. just in – a woman and a small child that did not look like locals (the news said they looked like foreigners) came out of the Nariman House and were rushed away on an ambulance.

  12. The Rebbetzin in Mumbai’s mother, broke down crying during an interview, and requested that all pray for their safety. If this doesn’t move you to lift a tehillim, than I don’t know what will.

    At this point I would like to post a beautiful story that I read in a Chabad book. Once in the Rebbe’s office, the Rebbe suddenly began crying. The Rebbe’s attendant asked the Rebbe, what’s wrong? The Rebbe responded,
    “at this moment there’s a youg couple at the airport embarking on Shlichus (a lifetime kiruv assignment by Chabad), and their parents are seeing them off at the airport tearfully, if they are crying, how can I not cry?

  13. Breaking News: 3 hostages escaped from Chabad house, none appear to be the Chabad Shliach or his family members, but thank God already we see survivors.

  14. Klal Yisroel is unbelievable! I got so many emails. We are almost finished with round 3 of saying tehillim. Yasher koach to you all! The ahavas Yisroel is just beautiful to see.

  15. The maid which rescued the shluchim’s child said that she has grave concern for the lives of the Rabbi and his wife, because they are alive but unconcious. (Source: COL.org.il)

  16. HAARETZ (01:52 EST) Report: Wife and baby of Chabad rabbi in Mumbai escape unharmed (Army Radio)

    Let’s hope that report is accurate (that mother escaped as well)

  17. 1:44 AM: Lubavitch spokesman Zalman Shmotkin said that “the terrorists commandeered a police vehicle which allowed them easy access to the area of the Chabad house and threw a grenade at a gas pump nearby, blowing it up.”

    1:59 AM: Holtzberg’s mother-in-law Yehudis Rosenberg: “The nanny said they were alive but unconscious.”

  18. As a Lubavitcher, please God that the affection we are seeing from the litvisher velt should continue, and not be limited to our moments of sorrow, but the affection should also be there at our simchos etc.

    Thank you YWN for covering our moment of glory (the Chabad convention banquet) this past week. If this Ahavas Yisroel continues, than I see bias hamoshiach on the horizon, an era that won’t have ‘Lubabs’ pitted against ‘misnagdim’ (and vice versa).

  19. shturem [41],

    I wish the same. But I also wish the Chabad community start finding common ground with other Yirei Hashem and work together, and not act as if they’re the only ones who have what to offer.

    But I do meen it when I say that I wish as you as well.

  20. We have always loved each other. There are principles in understanding Torah and Halacha that cause machlokes. But Ahavas Yisroel has always been there. If someone I love is doing something that I believe is DANGEROUS, I will call out, in a loud voice: “Stop! — You could get hurt!”. It certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t love them!

    We have been warned many times not to rush the ge-ulah. It will come when it is the right time. The Rambam taught us to say…

    Ani Ma-amin b’emunah Shelaima, Bevias Hamoshiach… V’af al pi, She-yismah-mayha, im kol zeh, achakeh lo, b’chol yom she’yavo.

    We believe he will come. And even if he is delayed, even with this, we will WAIT, on every day. Patiently.

    We all want Moshiach to come – in a way that is calm, and gentle. With Rachmonus. Not with bizarre illnesses, Violence, and Scandals, R”L. Not with destruction, desolation, and distress. We don’t want our families to suffer!

    Tefila upon putting on a tallis:

    … v’al Yedei Mitzvas Tzitzis,
    Tinatzel Nafshi, V’ru-chi V’nishmasi, U’sefilasi min hachitzonim.

    V’Hatallis Yifrosh K’nafav aleyhem,

    V’Tatzilaym K’Nesher Ya’ir Kino,
    al gozalav yerachayf.

    It’s a prayer to G-d:

    …and rescue them like an eagle wakes its young; It hovers over them, fluttering its wings to awaken them. Enveloped in a cloak of safety and calm.

  21. We visited Mumbai with a group led by Rabbi Moshe Tokayer 2 years ago, staying twice at the Taj and davening on Shabbos at the old Sephardic shul nearby. The Chabad shaliach led the davening Friday night. We pray for a speedy and safe end to this terror.

  22. thank u to YWN for your constant updates even in middle of the night. i was up saying tehillim and had te page refreshd with updates. please contine to keep us posted.

  23. Jews all over the world are saying tehilim and davening for the Holtzbergs. I and hundreds of others spread the word on facebook last night; words has gone out to tens if not hundreds of thousands of Jews of all stripes who are responding with tefiloh.

  24. As a Lubab it was very warming to see the extent you covered the Shlucim conference. Even more so the posistive comments generated.

    Let YWN be a medium to flame AHAVAS CHINOM.

    We shuold realize that comments are not articles as such they are not the place to write deep & long disccussions on the other hand they are the perfect way to expres somthing POSITIVE. Lets all do just that!!!

    YUD TED KISLEV is here shortly looking forward to meet you all at the large gathering here in Boro Park.

    Hoping to see Mosiach speedily in our times

  25. I said 57 through 59 last night, as they seemed especially appropriate. Will IY”H say more in a little bit. HKB”H, Let us hear besoros tovos bimheirah!

  26. this site im very impressed with it is very sharp fast and dilligent thank u for putting up the video link u are very good keep up this work with unprecedented achdus and simcha and ull be very successful in no time!

  27. it’s been a long night.

    Perek 80:
    Elokim Tvakos, Shuv Na.
    Ad Masai Ashanta Bisefilas Amecha?…

    Elokim Tvakos, Shuv Na.
    Habayt MiShamayim U’re-ay, Ufekod Gefen Zos.
    V’chana asher natah yiminecha, V’al ben imatzta lach!

    Perek 133:
    Shir Ha’ma-los L’dovid, Hinei Matov u’mana-im sheves achim gam yachad!

    Just finished learning
    Perek 134:
    Shir Ha’ma-los, Hinei Barchu es h-shem col avdei h-shem, ha-omdim b’vays h-Shem balaylos.
    Se’uh yedeichem kodesh… U’barchu es h-Shem. Yevarechecha h-shem Mitzion, oseh Shamayim Va’aretz.

  28. I need 42 other women to join in a Challah group TODAY in the Zchus of the Shluchim. My children are also Shluchim overseas. If you want to join, please email hindy555@yahoo.com. If you want to start a group, please inform YW. If I’m oversubscribed I’ll let you know.

  29. #45 – It actually means ‘tarry’ or ‘delay’, translated fully as ‘If he shall tarry’.

    # 43 – Next time please don’t think out loud. There is no sense let alone accuracy in your comment.

  30. Tzedaka tazil mimaves!
    Everyone please try to give tzedaka in their zechus!
    (My suggestion: give to kupat hair, and ask for R’ Chaim Kanievsky to daven for them. The number to call is 866-221-9352)

  31. We are doing more tehillim. I am assigning them again, and I am up to kepital 90. Please when you email me let me know how many you want to say. Also, be patient. Last night I got so many emails, B”H.

    K_Laydee@hotmail.com

    Please note that I need a few minutes as I would like to say what I assigned myself first!

  32. #41- By the way, did you know what resolved the conflict between Chassidim and Misnagdim back then?
    R’ Shneur Zalman of Liadi (first Chabad rebbe) was arrested and held in prison for 53 days. During that time, ALL Jews tried to use their connections to have him released. By the time he was released, everyone realized that we are all one nation, with one common enemy. That’s what made the two sides stop arguing.
    It’s interesting how we’re in such a similar situation. Maybe it’s time for everyone to realize that we may have differences, but we all have one common goal.
    Hashem should save these people, in the zchus of shalom.

  33. 58:
    I realized it later. What i meant to say is that Achakeh means anticipate.

    For example we anticipate the safe release of the Holtzbergs. Meaning we await an imminent release, not one of having patience.

  34. Perhaps it would be good to give Tzedaka to the Chabad of Mumbai as a Mitzvah very directly in the zechus of these Jews who are in danger there and as a sign of our Bitachon that Hashem will take them out of this and there will be a rebuilding. After this is over, they will most likely need an extra financial boost!

    http://www.chabad.org.in/support%20us.htm

  35. Times of india website has a breaking news on top that the hostages from The nrimen House have all benn release. Dont know the reliability, but that is what it says

  36. IBN Live is also reporting seven hostages rescued from Nariman House. B”H that all the yidden and others are safe, and the murderers be dealt their just rewards.

  37. # 78 your update is from 2 hours ago and news changes every minute so that is oooold.

    Of the 7 taken out 5 were local Indians and we have no idea who the other 2 were.

  38. Still looking for another 35 Challah bakers. Come on people…these Shluchim & others desperately need all our efforts & if you bake anyway…

    THANK YOU to Yeshiva World for encouraging this intiative. Hate to say it, but another site didn’t post my appeal. I don’t even want to think why not. Glad we can rely on you!!

  39. from israel Tzipi Livni released a statement to CNN that all 8 released at Nariman were from a nearby bldng & no hostages released from chabad house, foxnews just altered their reporting too “A state official also said eight hostages have been freed from the Mumbai headquarters of the ultra-orthodox Jewish outreach group Lubavitch Chabad, which is based in New York City.” [BUT…..]

    “Israeli Ambassador Sallai Meridor told FOX News that he was briefed by officials in Mumbai, and cannot confirm that all eight hostages at the center have been released.”

  40. Obviously the reason this happened on Thanksgiving is so that all of Klal Yisroel, including those who normally go to work, can spend time in Torah and Tefilla on behalf of the hostages

  41. As a Lubavitcher I am truly heartened to see this outpouring of achdus and ahavas yisroelduring such a difficult time. May we continue in this spirit without end!

  42. Just want to throw in a special thank you to the amazing work of the talented and dedicated master of YeshivaWorld. We are hopefully doing our job of saying Tehillim and being Mispallel – and we need to continue to – but lets not forget that this site has been on this story since it happened and continued on it with no rest (see the times of the postings). Reb YeshivaWorld (whomever you are)Thank You for your loyalty and dedication to your readers and thank you for doing such a great job of trying to stick to facts and warn against speculation.

  43. TO ALL THOSE IMMATURE PEOPLE (#71 ETC…)LOOKING @ YWN.

    YWN DOES NOT HAVE ANY NON-KOSHER PICTURES WHATSOEVER ON HIS SITE. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH ANY WOMAN WEARING SHORT SLEEVES OR WHATEVER ELSE IT MAY BE, NOBODY ASKED YOU TO CLICK ON EXTERNAL LINKS. THOSE LINKS ARE MADE FOR PEOPLE MATURE ADULTS.

    INSTEAD OF SAYING THANK YOU TO YWN FOR ALL THE SLEEPLESS NIGHTS TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE YOU WITH THE MOST ACCURATE AND KOSHER NEWS POSSIBLE, ALL YOU CAN THINK OF IS HOW TO CRITICIZE???

    JUST KEEP YOUR STUPID COMMENTS TO YOURSELF AND GO SAY SOME TEHILLIM.

  44. f you’re not yet dizzy from keeping up with this tragic, horrific incident, from the very beginning, you forget quickly…
    Its 36 hours since the start. Reports are contradicting one another every minute…
    People must realize that whenever hostages are involved the media can’t and will not report on what is being planned, what is being done, by whom? Or who is taken hostage? and their condition…
    Keep in mind the ones watching Cnn are the terrorists, itis.(Hopefully)their only source too; Who they already killed and which citizens of which countries are still captive…
    Therefore, the news that comes to us is irrelevant.
    All we know forsure is that the poor hostages there are held captive for over 36 hours by now, by cold blooded murderers/Jew haters and when the maid/housekeeper came out she stated that Mr. Holtziger and his wife were laying there unconcious..
    Very sad!
    I as one believe and sincerely pray for a miracle to happen and all those still held captive be rescued somehow..
    The little 2 year old needs a Totty & Mommy.. I can’t picture them walking out unharmed but I can’t imagine anything else, I’m therfore confident that Hashem will listen to the tefillos of Achb”y and see the achdus and the great acts of Chessed that were undertaken and done by so many of us and he’ll bring about their release/rescue somehow, really quickly!
    AMEN!

  45. 91: How many times does someone have to write that the 7 or 8 people who came out of there earlier were NOT Jewish?

    We are sitting here on shpilkes about a group of frum people…..

  46. Just in:
    NYPD have escorted the Holtzberg family from Crown Heights to JFK, to take a flight to Israel.
    Hashem Yirachem….. Lets daven that this flight is for nothing …..

  47. Well I truly appreciate the work of YW and because it’s high standard in Kosher news and Tznius it is the only news site I visit. That’s why it truly bothered me at the video’s it has.

    TO #92 Abi Meleibt:

    “THOSE LINKS ARE MADE FOR PEOPLE MATURE ADULTS” you remind me of a couple which had a TV in their bedroom and when their children wanted to watch TV with them, they scram at them that the TV was only made for Tatty’s and Mommy’s

  48. to Chana #94….yes, I still need Challah bakers! MANY thanks to the wonderful women (& some male bakers too!!) YWN readers who emailed me to partcipate. B”H 28 have joined in…43+ in total are needed for a group.

    Again, please be a part of this Challah Baking for Shluchim & Others in Mumbai…email me @ hindy555@yahoo.com.

    If you can’t bake with a Bracha, please give Tzedaka & say Tehillim. It doesn’t matter it’s night & we usually don’t say Tehillim after nacht.

    Rosh Chodesh Kislev is a Chabad “Yom Tov” inasmuch as this was when the Rebbe came back to 770, fully recovered after his heart attack in 1977. In the Zchus of everyone’s Achdus, Tefillos & Maasim Tovim, may we see this Rosh Chodesh bring another Ness.

    Thank you.

  49. I feel like taking my IPOD and playing Vnikeisi from Avraham Fried, and Av Harachamim from MBD, and cry. And cry. And cry. Ad Mosai?

    I’m reminded of the tears the Rebbe would freely let flow over the tzoros of yidden (especially the yidden in Russia). It would have been so soothing to have our Rebbe here physically to cry with us Chassidim. We are orphans with no father (physically) R”L. The pain is unbearable.

    Ant hatinok ben hashliach M’mumbai is owed a lot by Hashem. In that poor boys zchus alone Moshiach should be here.

  50. If only it would not take this to unite all jews.. Please let us from now on think only good about other jews and smile to them saying only nice things about all jews even though we may not agree with their outlook.

  51. Comment by Give Me a Break — November 27, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

    It wasn’t an external link – it was embedded in the News Alerts section of the Home Page. I’m not saying there’s anything to be afraid of in the clip, but don’t blame #71 for visiting an “external link” when it wasn’t.

    Guess you’re also one of those.

    ANYTHING IN THE SITE WHICH TAKES YOU TO ANOTHER SITE IS CALLED AN EXTERNAL LINK AND NOT EMBEDDED. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT. . EMBEDDED, IS WHEN IT IS ENCODED ONTO THE WEBPAGE YOU ARE ON. PEOPLE LIKE YOU SHOULD NOT BE ON THE WEB AND ESPECIALLY ON YWN. NOBODY NEEDS IMMATURE COMMENTS HERE.

    AND BY THE WAY, YOU SHOULD GET THE KOSHER FILTERS IF YOU’RE THAT CONCERNED.

    CLICK HERE FOR THE REST OF MY COMMENT..

  52. TO #71 THEY ARE ALL RIGHT #73 #83 #92 YOU GUYS ARE ALL RIGHT IF YOUR SUCH A HOLY PERSON SO DON’T HAVE INTERNET,AND IF YOU SAY YOU DON’T BUT YOU GO TO THE LIBRARY DONT DO THAT EATHER. YWN IS WORKING DAY AND NIGHT GIVING US NEWS ABOUT ARE BROTHERS THAT ARE IN TROUBLE SO IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT STAY OFF LINE.

  53. Everyone is very upset at this. It is very difficult to get one’s tone when reading things in a post. Let’s stop arguing with each other on a personal level. I am not perfect at all, but my readings through these posts to keep informed and to hopefully read everyone got out of the Chabad House fine, is eclipsed with the stain of bickering. I apologize if I have offended anyone as I know when I am in heated argument, an outside voice that does not agree can seem annoying. Give it time. Let’s pray for those directly affected by this evil event.

  54. From Dow Jones Newswire

    India Commandos Storm Mumbai Jewish Center

    Last update: 11/27/2008 8:59:22 PM

    MUMBAI (AFP)–At least seven commandos Friday abseiled from a helicopter into the Jewish center in Mumbai taken by Islamic militants, and explosions were heard, an AFP witness said. The center was one of several targets in the city attacked by Islamist gunmen. Officials said hostages, including Israelis, were believed to be held in the building. It wasn’t clear if the commandos involved in the assault were Indian or Israeli.

  55. the point isnt that you cant read the news on a frum site its that being as the gedolim said one shouldnt have a t.v. a jewish site shouldnt have the link being mature adults doesnt mean you dont have to listen to the gedolim dont trick yourself that it is a computer and not a t.v. you know what youre doing would you have a reg. t.v. in the house hopefully not being as youre jewish and listen to halacha besides for the fact that it isnt even a clean t.v. wich even if youre a mature adult doesnt mean you can look at pritzus ladies included

  56. It looks like things are happening there! just recently a helicopter came and dropped soldier on the roof, and the whole nariman house is surounded

  57. when i read all the sincere comments and see such chessed, such ahavas Yisroel it gives me great chizuk! Sometimes we focus on our differences and we truly forget sometimes how beautiful ALL yidden are! Let us not wait for such a time to remember. May all our tears, tefillos, challas, tzedakah, learning bring a yeshua for the yidden in Mumbai and everywhere and the geulah shleima b’korov. Instead of criticizing each other, we should bentch each other at every opportunity. Something inexpensive each one of us can do every day.

  58. Yaeh i heard about this its soo sad my whole school say tehilem for them and sice we had a half of day form school because of thanksgiving are shule all got to gether and said tehilem!! its soo nice how each and ever jew cares for each one and the peolpe of India!!! 🙂

  59. Now as the information being reported may be good, it is the best time to be mispallel, and to remember that however it turns out is all from Hashem. Also, it does not hurt to be mekabel something new in the zechus that this will work out, and no future attacks will happen.

  60. I also noticed few black lines, very solid straight lines like a tallis. but there were no tstitsis/strings hanging. Only Time will tell.
    Bsuros Tovos Bekorov

  61. IBN is now reporting that it was in fact a Talis being waved from the window and that there are at least 2 additional Jewish males besides Rabbi & Rebbitzin Holtzberg being held

  62. IBNLive.com reports that there are 2 “Young Men” along with “The Rabbi and his wife”. The locals identified a “jewish prayer shawl” waving from a fourth story window.

  63. smart2
    CNN’s report was that IAF helicopters are on the scene. So some mistook that to mean the Israeli Air Force. But in truth, it is the Indian Air Force.
    (YWN, you don’t have to be embarrassed to post this comment, we all make mistakes!)

  64. thank you yw for such great coverage (and yes a bunch of my friends were standing around today discussing how u were updating all night and didnt sleep)

  65. Help save the hostages in India with your Mitzvos

    Our Mitzvos can help save lives. Please join women and girls around the world as we strengthen our commitment for the three special Mitzvos given to women, in the merit of a complete redemption of the hostages in India.
    Please be Mispallel, pray, for Aryeh Leibish ben Elta Nechama Maltshi (Teitelbaum), Bentzion ben Elka (Chroman), Gavriel Noach ben Freida Bluma (Holtzberg), and Rivka bas Yehudis (Holtzberg / Rosenberg).
    Nothing happens by chance. The Chabad emissary¢s wife¢s name is Rivka just like Rivka Imeinu, our matriarch. In the Torah, when Yitzchak married Rivka and brought her into his mother Sarah¢s tent, she knew that he loved her because he saw that the miracles with which Hashem blessed Sarah came back. Namely, her Shabbos candles lasted all week long, there was a blessing in her dough that it rose and rose and never got stale, and there was a cloud over the tent which represented the Shechina, the Divine Presence, which was a testament to her modesty.

    Please join us now, as we strengthen ourselves and our sisters in these Mitzvos. Please choose something you can do either as a Mitzvah or a Hiddur Mitzvah, an enhancement of the Mitzvah and encourage your friends to do the same. For example, bake challah, set up your Shabbos candles early, light them early. For tznius, modesty, ponder how can you enhance your attire and actions to strengthen the Divine Presence in your life. If you can encourage someone to begin doing one of these Mitzvos, that would be a great merit for our fellow Jews in India and around the world. On this Rosh Chodesh Kislev, which begins this month of miracles, may we see the complete redemption of the hostages and of all Klal Yisroel with Mashiach. Amen.

    Please pass this along to at least three people, one for each Mitzvah. Thank you so much! Tizki limitzvos! May you merit many Mitzvos!

  66. An Israeli radio station reported that they rescued everyone that was left in the Chabad House and all were alive except for Rabbi Holzberg R”L. Can anyone verify?

  67. Thanks for starting to include the day along with the time. I suggest you also start putting the most recent updates first, i.e. reverse the order. I agree with the suggestion that everyone take on some mitzva but suggest keep it simple, maybe something like making a point of always having kavana for a specific brocho in Shemoneh Esrei.

  68. Terrible news!!
    Heavy Shooting in the train station and in front of the GT hospital!!
    The stupid Indian police and commandos don’t know what in the world they’re doing!!!!

  69. Sorry. There was not more shootings…
    It was a rumor reported by INBlive..
    They are now reporting that 1 jewish hostage was sent out this morning from the Chabad house to bring food back in to the house…

  70. “Threatened to kill everyone else” This is good news. It means that for now, at least some of the hostages are still alive.

    Please continue to read Psalms 20, and make a commitment to light candles and give tzedakah.

  71. YWN Kol Hakavod on being ontop of this story. I couldnt sleep and have been following all night online while reciting tehilim for the hostages and YWN has the most frequent updates more then the mass media websites.

  72. #142. With all due respect to Yeshiva World editor, who does a great job, I’m sure there is more than one person, in more than one time zone, that updates this website. I’m in the midwest, and I see updates going up on Friday afternoon, that could only be posted from the US, and on Motzoei Shabbos, there are more updates, that are time stamped so that they could have only been posted by an Israeli.

  73. A Gutten erev Shabbos!!

    Again, thank you to all my Challah bakers…please, we’re on Group 2 B”H, & need more! DON’T STOP! Please include all the names of the hostages when you take Challah, & email me at hindy555@yahoo.com May we hear good news soon.

  74. AD MOSAI?!

    It was during Napoleon’s campaign to conquer the world. He was rapidly overtaking more and more territory, and chunks of Russia were falling to him. The Alter Rebbe was greatly opposed to Napoleon, and took measures to hinder his advance, as are recounted in some of the well-known stories of the era.

    Once the Alter Rebbe called over the Mitteler Rebbe, and said that he wants to learn a piece of Zohar with him. At that time, before they could commence learning, the Mitteler Rebbe noticed some activity of French soldiers through the window. The Mitteler Rebbe was very upset about the advances of the French army, and he turned to the Alter Rebbe and asked: ‘What happened to your promise that the enemy (i.e., the French) will be beaten back?!’

    The Alter Rebbe turned to him and responded with conviction: ‘I swear to you that the enemy will be beaten back’ [perhaps (IIRC) the AR took hold of his holy beard, and his words were I swear to you by my beard etc.]

    Upon hearing that, and especially the manner in which the AR said it, the Mitteler Rebbe was reassured, and he said to the Alter Rebbe; ‘I am now ready to learn the Zohar, as you offered.’

    The AR said to him: “Now it’s already too late. For (the opportunity for me to learn with you] that Zohar it would have required mesirus nefesh on your part!” The Frierdige Rebbe related that the MR suffered very much and for many years on account of that Zohar!

    It is difficult to say anything now. What can one say in the face of such unbelievable, unimaginable circumstances?!

    We just took part in the kinus hasheluchim, and everyone, both Chassidim and olamisher people alike, were exposed once again to the extraordinary phenomenon that is shlichus. Everyone was reminded of the tremendous force, the energy, the spiritual powers that surround and accompany every shliach. The thousands of shluchim spent a few days together, drawing inspiration, and renewing the realization and feeling that regardless of the miles and multitudes of different places, the shluchim are always together, because the Rebbe is with each and every one of us, uniting us all. The whole world followed the kinus in admiration and awe.

    And then, not even three days after returning, a family of shluchim should experience such unimaginable suffering? Surely, even as I type this, the yeshuah has already materialized and we can begin the double seudas hoda’ah, but how can we deal with hearing such a story in the first place?

    How can shluchim of the Rebbe, being accompanied by the Rebbe along every step, living in the region with mesirus nefesh purely as shluchei mitzvah of the highest order, be held hostage at gunpoint by ruthless terrorists? Who’s running the world, the shluchim or those low-life animals?!

    The pain-filled questions, the anguished disbelief, are intolerable, the AD MOSAI cry is from the depth of every soul.

    But it’s important to remember at a time like this: we’re charged with mesirus nefesh. Mesirus nefesh means to disregard all hardships, to readily endure all challenges, focusing single-mindedly on our goal. And mesirus nefesh also means, as in the above story with the Alter Rebbe, to rise above our doubts, to not be affected by any negative occurrences in the world around us, but to remain steadfast in our unshakable belief and trust in the Rebbe’s words.

    The Rebbe has told us, promised us, guaranteed to us that Moshiach’s arrival is imminent. Surely we all have times that we get excited and enthusiastic about Moshiach. We all have periods when we Koch zich in Moshiach, in learning about Moshiach, in being ‘crazy about Moshiach’ as the Rebbe demanded.

    But at other times, we look at the world around us, and we are impacted by the coldness, by the darkness. Of course our belief in Moshiach never wavers ch”v, but it becomes abstract, impersonal, like a distant dream. It no longer controls our whole life, and permeates our whole being. We become embarrassed by the world around us, by the world – the helem vehester within us, and we become lukewarm about Moshiach.

    When Moshiach comes, we will be at the forefront. We’ll be singing and dancing and rejoicing, we’ll scream out in jubilation: זה היום קוינו לו . . נגילה ונשמחה בישועתו!

    But to some of us the Rebbe may respond: ‘Now you’re singing and dancing, now you’re excited? I wanted mesirus nefesh! I wanted you to thumb your noses at all the tests and concealments, and rise above the darkness. I wanted you to burn away the walls of Golus through mesirus nefesh, – through being excited despite the darkness!

    On Rosh Chodesh Kislev we are not only celebrating Rosh Chodesh Kislev, but we are also celebrating Simchas Torah of that year. We are celebrating the reaction of the Chassidim, who experienced their world falling down around, who could have seen doubt and despair and worry, and who instead, at the Rebbe’s directive, sang and danced with unbridled enthusiasm, expressing their unshakable faith. The Chassidim who thumbed their nose at the darkness, and declared unequivocally that ‘we neither recognize nor acknowledge the he’lem’ – “Der Rebbe iz gezunt!” And the Rebbe heard and remarked: “Dos iz Chassidim!”

    It’s not too late. Let us take advantage of this special day to strengthen our faith in the Rebbe’s words, and ensuring that all our actions reflect this!
    L’chaim! GUT YOM TOV! Vos a Chassidisher Farbrengen ken oifton ken malach Michoel nit oifton, let us together say L’chayim and demand from the Eibishter that the Rebbe’s shluchim in every place should be redeemed from all difficulties, that DALOY GOLUS TUMYM, and each and every Jew in every place should be immediately freed from all hardships, and all of us together should be freed once and for all from this senseless Golus TUMYM! 

    Rabbi Akiva Wagner 

    (Posted by a Former Student of Yeshivas Lubavitch Toronto)

  75. The world is no longer talking about ‘a Jewish institute,’ ‘a synagogue’ etc. Nor are they talking about ‘an ultra-orthodox Rabbi’ or ‘a Chassidic sect.’ They are talking plain and poshut about ‘A Chabad House’ and ‘A shliach.’ Just days after the Kinus the world has come to know vos heist Chabad un vos heist a shliach. And yes, even those of you here who like to take a dig at times can stand up and recognise the reality of mesiras nefesh. Notwithstanding all that is going on – Chabad WILL continue hosting this Shabbos. Those in need WILL NOT go without. The army keeps marching on. Think about that – next time vedai lachakima biremiza.

    As for Reb Gavriel himself: I never knew him. But I was standing in 770 last Friday night talking and my attention was drawn to him because he was talking to someone, identified himself as ‘Holtzberg’ from ‘Mumbei’ Even in the middle of our conversation – one of us from xxxxxx and myself from xxxxxx we stopped and said, ‘Mumbei – wow!’

    We can speculate, we can listen to all these rumours, we can panic, or we can remain committed to one of the fundamental tenents of Chabad Lubavitch philosophy: tracht gut vet zicher zein gut. That goes for the shliach, shlucha, and all of Klal Yisroel.

    Moshiach now!

  76. Thank you for YEshiva World News for keeping us up to date in this critical time. I am awed by the YW staff on the accuracy and speed of their information.

    We should only hear Simchas IY”H!

  77. Feeling what no words can convey. I did something I have done many times before when needing guidance. I opened up a sefer of the Rebbe, looking for some consolation. And I read on that page about the Kohen Gadol in the Kodesh Kodashim was ‘mechaper’ atoned for all the sins of Klal Yisroel.

    And so Rabossai here was a Kohen Gadol serving his people with mesirus nefesh in the Kodesh Kodashim by bringing in hundreds of unafilliated jews to give them food and some light of torah and tefilah, and he was mechaper on klal Yisroel.

    The tears are flowing… may they be from simcha of seeing the geulah now.

    May we be zocheh to moshiach now.

  78. What can we even say?

    How can we fathom a two-year-old who won’t see Ima again ad ki yavo Shilo?

    How can we comprehend two ehrliche mashgichim catching a simple maariv on business who will never come home?

    And how can we even begin to understand the loss of the kedoshim, Rabbi and Rebbetzin Gavriel and Rivkah Holtzberg, who lost their own lives after a holy career of giving of their own lives? And before 30? Ribbono shel Olam…
    Today, we are all Toldos Aharon Yitzchok Chasidim. Today, we are all Israeli. Today, we are all Chabad. No distinctions. Just Jews.

    Perhaps an even bigger tragedy is that it took this tragedy to bring us together.
    We might not know what to say. But now we know what to do. Stick together.
    Because there was a little house, in a corner of the world most of us never heard of, where Ahavas Yisroel lived.

    Now, that Ahavas Yisroel lives on. In our houses. In our hearts. It must. The victims would have it no other way.

    What to do? Carry on.

    Because if we become afraid, they won. If we are crushed, they won. If we remain depressed, they won. If we let this destroy our lives, they won.

    If we do the opposite, we win. And they lose.
    So let’s win. Let’s continue. Let’s march forward. Let’s continue doing everything we always did.

    But let’s do more than that. Let’s give more tzedakah. Let’s learn more Torah. Let’s be more tolerant, less dismissive, of each other.

    Let’s fight darkness with light.

    We did it for the past two days. We can, we must, continue.
    Above all, let us not be afraid. Let us hold our heads high. Let us walk the streets victorious. We are Jews. We are one. We are proud. And they can never destroy us.
    They have death. We have life. They await the Gates of Hell. We embrace the gifts of Heaven.

    They have Al Qaeda. We have “Al Tira.”

    Forward! March! All United!

    By A Student of Tomchei Temimim

  79. I forgot to mention: the Son of the Volover Rebbe and other Yidden, including many Israeli’s are still unaccounted for. We should continue to be Mispalel….

  80. I chas veshalom don’t want to diminish the severity of what happened in the last couple of days, but I just wanted to point out to the Esteemed Moderator. You proved me right by this note: “This will be the last update provided from the YWN Israel Bureau, and the reports that follow will continue in real-time from the NYC office.”
    That was all I meant.

  81. Can YWN post the names of the kedoshim (ie with the names of their fathers) so we can learn/daven/do mitzvos l’iluy nishmasam?

    Thanks to YWN for all the hard work and consistent coverage!

  82. This is probably one of the most tragic happening in our life time to be able to comment on, its so sad for all of us no difference if we knew the victims or not, its a loss for all of Klall Yisroel. May Hahem give their families and us comfort and lead us to the Geulah in the near future, Amen.

    I was thinking what lesson can I take from this tragedy for my self, please allow me to share a couple of points that I have derived from this situation, to try and better myself.

    First, we always have to remember that Chazel teach us that NOTHING ever happens in the world by itself everything that happened since the first moment of creation is all done and approved by Hashem Yisborch.

    Second, we have to believe that what ever happens is good for us, even though we can’t see how something so tragic could possibly be considered to be good, but once we know that Hashem made it happen it has to be good for us, Hashem is only good Ruchum V’chunun.

    Third, the people who Hashem ended their life so suddenly must have been very great – special people they have tremendous Zechusim, for example they where able to unite Klall Yisroel and have all of us at all parts of the globe, Daven for their safety etc.20 – 30 hours around the clock, when was the last time that we all felt so close to each other and have Yiden all over the world pray so much same time to Hashem.

    Forth, where did it happen? in a Bais Hamedresh a Shul: lets examineour selves if are we careful with the full amount of respecting for a Shul / Bais Hamedresh as it says in Shulchan Aruch? what presentage of us can honestly say that we go to Shul JUST to Daven and not to shoselize? are we on guard not to answer our cell phones during Davening? do we pray with Kavonah? how many keep quiet during Laning when we read from the holy Torah? (and not join the Kiddush club) sad to say, I have visited places that there is so much talking during Davening thats its a Chilul Hashem to step into a so called Shul.

    Fifth, one of the Kedoshim at the seen was a Mashgiach for Kashrus, I think it about time that we are more careful what we eat and who we trust to certify what foods enter our homes and systems. We cant go with the idea well, when I go to a Shimcha I rely totaly on the Mashgiach we have to go into the kitchen and see who are we relying on, would I rely on him for a business advise too? or if some one mentions that a cretin product is questionable do we care?

    Sixth, the Kedoshim where hostages, WHY? maybe because Hashem is crying out to us and saying: I (Hashem) am a hostage for about “two thousand years” please return back to me, do Teshuva, and get me back to the Bais Hamikdosh, A.S.A.P.

    May we all use this experience and get closer to Hashem, do Teshuva and be zocha to the Geulah in the near future.

  83. It is a tragedy of immense proportions, the implications and potential consequences are beyond comprehension. the pain of the families is unfathomable.

    HASHEM YINKOM DOMOM!!!!!!!