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Moishe’s Second Angel…

bmm.jpg[Article taken from “Indian Express”] Mumbai: A Muslim youth who worked for a Jewish couple, cooking orthodox kosher food for dozens of Jews each week, Zakir Hussain, or “Jackie” to the world, is still struggling to come to terms with the worst night of his life — the Terror attack on the Chabad House Jewish centre in which his employers, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, were killed.

While the story of Sandra Samuels, the Holtzbergs’ nanny who was in the building and managed to escape with their two-year-old son Moshe, has made international headlines, the ordeal of Zakir Hussain, who shared her 13-hour ordeal standing between two refrigerators while intermittent firing continued, is little known. Zakir is in hiding on the advice of investigators.

Breaking his silence in a telephone interview to The Sunday Express, he said: “We never believed anybody could harm our saheb. I kept thinking that if those people wanted money, saheb would give it to them and ensure the safety of the guests, madam and Moshe.”

Zakir, 23, belongs to Banga, a small village in Badarpur, Assam, and came to Mumbai like lakhs of others, looking for a job and a better life. He started off as a helper in a grocery store until the opportunity to work for the Rabbi and his wife came up. So he learnt to cook kosher meals and became ‘Jackie’ for the hundreds of Jews who stopped by at Chabad House. Kosher food is food prepared as prescribed by Jewish dietary laws. It covers the kinds of meat that can be consumed, the method in which animals have to be butchered and cooked, and ingredients that can be used, among others.

Zakir developed a deep bond with “saheb and madam” who “taught me so much”, a bond so strong that he says he wants to go back to Chabad House when it re-opens.

That Wednesday night, having served a kosher dinner of chicken, bread, mixed vegetables and spaghetti, Zakir and Sandra were resting on the ground floor.

At 9.45 pm., they were just about to go up to the first-floor kitchen to stow leftovers in the fridge when they saw one terrorist firing. “We didn’t see the face, just the big gun. We realized there was something wrong. We just entered the first floor and banged the door shut. We rushed to the balcony and started shouting for help. The firing continued and we ran towards the store-room,” he says.

A moment after Zakir and Sandra entered the store-room and shut the door, a grenade shattered the door of the first floor. “They thought we died in that explosion, but we hid between two steel fridges, praying. Death was literally standing on the other side of the door,” he recalls.

They stood there for 13 hours, hearts pounding. In between, Sandra telephoned the watchman, who had stepped out for dinner, and asked him to inform the police. The firing continued through the night and into the morning, until there was a lull.

“We came out of the store-room at 11 am and saw the destruction, slowly making our way through the broken glass and pieces of concrete. We were near the stairs when we heard Moshe’s cries. Sandra and I then went up to the second floor. While she went in and picked up the baby from the room, I stood near the stairs,” he said. Baby in hand, the two fled the building, never looking back. Zakir, who identified the bodies of the hostages after the siege ended, is still trying to get over the nightmare. “I am just waiting for the Chabad center to be rebuilt. I will go back and work. I want to continue working there in memory of my saheb and madam who gave me so much.”

(Source: Indian Express)

14 Responses

  1. If only all the commentators on this website and in the whole chareidi world (of which I am a member) could read this story before posting/talking about goyim, muslims, etc.

    We have to protect ourselves and a fair degree of cynicism is healthy. But not EVERYONE wants to kill us.

  2. Indeed, as #1 says. And Muslims are not our enemies, just like Zionists are not our enemies. Both between the Muslims and between the Zionists there are good and bad people. Not all of them should immediately be condemned.

  3. I believe we often overstate the extent of the current conflict. Even in Eretz Yisrael, Jews and Muslims get along reasonably for people engaged in mortal combat. Note many economic enterprises (both legal and illegal) involving Jewish-Arab cooperation. Note the almost total absence of rape as a political statement (unlike places such as the Balkans or Rwanda). We got along reasonably well with the Muslims in the past, and probably will again in the future.

  4. This one particular Muslim is a very, very small minority. India is a predominantly Hindu country which allows freedom of religion which is almost non-existent in Muslim countries. All of the terrorist organizations today that have spewed anti-semitic and anti-zionist rhetoric are almost all with the exception of maybe about five, Muslim.

    Sometimes these stories are printed as a way of propagandizing the Muslim stereotype of Jewish Islmaphobia. Go ask any Sefardy whose ancestors ran away after the 1948 War of Independence……

  5. lav davka is he saying that about rav kook, he means zionists for the most part (just like there are a few exceptions to the fact that a muslim would rather see you dead than alive, as illustrated in this article)

  6. oh, please stop this arguing! Did we not absorb anything from those horrible days, when all Yidden stood together, davening and begging Hashem for a happy ending? So some people have different views – so what? Who is anyone to judge who is right or wrong, especially on this Zionist issue? Let us all, instead, daven TOGETHER that Moshiach come very soon, and he will sort this out!

  7. It is important to distinguish between the leaders of Zionism, the Amalekim, and their followers, who are our misled brothers whom we are commanded to love and to try to rescue from foreign ideologies. (R’ Elchanon Wasserman, zatzukel, writes that when he called the Zionists Amalekim whom the Land will inevitably vomit out, he was speaking only of the leaders and opinion molders, but not of the multitudes of their followers.)

    Moslem informers in Eretz Yisroel have saved hundreds if not thousands of Jewish lives by warning about planned terrorist attacks. I’ve heard that 90% of planned attacks have been stopped in this way.

  8. Not only R Kook but JJ Weinberg,Avrham Elya Kaplan, YY Reinitz, and even the Netziv among many others. My feeling is that with 20/20 hindsight that we have at this point these greats would probably realize that the medina has not brought about the great Torah expansion that they hoped for.

  9. Oy! Does it really matter if they are zionists or not? There are Jews and no-Jews. Some Yidden don’t see the beauty of acting like Yidden but we have to treat them with love instead of calling them enemys of HaShem! And we also like #1 said have to accept that fact that we do steryotype often. There are muslims who are bad. There are some muslims like this heroic man who are not. Thats how it is for everythign! Not everyone can possibly be bad!

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