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Nariman House opens its doors again

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 - 7:00am IST | Agency: dna

On the wall in a corner of the renovated second floor in Nariman House is a notice, "Do not break". This portion of the wall still bears the bullet holes of the terrorist attack in 2008. A part of the floor candles marked out the spot where Rabbi Gavriel Holzberg, director of the centre, and his pregnant wife Rivka were shot dead in the seige.

On Tuesday, 25 rabbis gathered at the refurbished six-storey Jewish Chabad centre to pray on the occasion of its reopening.

"It is a special day for us. I hope that we not only continue to do the good work started by my son, but that it grows and continues growing," said Nachman Holtzberg, father of Gavriel.

Besides the rabbi and his wife, four other persons were also killed in the attack, during which the Taj hotel, Leopold Cafe and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus were also targeted.

Their son Moshe, then only two, survived and was brought out unharmed by his nanny.

The centre caters mainly to Jews living in Mumbai and Israelis who may be visiting the city. Such centres are operated by the Chabad Lubavitch movement in more than 70 countries.

There is a restaurant specialising in kosher food on the first floor, a synagogue, office and coffee corner on the second, and a hall on the third for functions.

Kosher food conforms to the rules of Jewish dietary law. "As I eat only kosher food it's good that it has started. I would come here for this earlier too. It was Gavriel who put the door Mezuza (a parchment with religious inscriptions) in my house," said Leena Karkera, among the Jewish members who gathered at the centre on the occasion.

Instructions on the Torah (Jewish religious teachings) are also conducted at the centre. Henceforward, some of the services will be run from some other places.

An audio visual presentation recalled the borror of the 26/11 attack.

"The renovated centre is proof that effect of acts of terrorists may be felt for some time, but they cannot deter the determination of the Jewish people," said Solomon Sopher, a member of the community.




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