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Holtzberg Funeral Postponed to 1 p.m. Tuesday


The funeral of Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka, who were murdered in last week's terror attack on Mumbai, will take place at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Israel Railways announced that trains would stop to take on and unload passengers at Kfar Chabad an hour before and after the funeral.

Norma Schwarzblat-Rabinovich, the 50-year-old Mexican who was murdered in the terrorist attack just before she was to come on aliyah to Israel, will be laid to rest Tuesday morning at 11:30 at the Har Hamenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem. The Jewish Agency's fund for terror victims is paying for all the funeral arrangements.

Israel Turns Back Libyan Ship Carrying Aid Supplies to Gaza

By VOA News &

The Israeli navy has ordered a Libyan ship carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip to turn back. Officials said the ship, the Al Marwa, was carrying some 3,000 tons of aid when it was stopped by the navy.

Israel said there was no physical confrontation when it ordered the ship to turn around. Palestinian officials said the ship is now sailing to the Egyptian port of El-Arish. Gaza's borders have been largely sealed by Israel and Egypt following a violent takeover by the terrorist Hamas regime last year.

The blockade has been stepped up in recent weeks due to a surge in border clashes between the Israeli military and Palestinian terrorists.

"The Navy warned the ship that it was approaching prohibited waters and it decided to turn back," Foreign Ministry spokesman Yossi Levi said.

The ministry earlier stated it would not allow the ship to land because Libya is "a hostile state...and what guarantees do we have that the boat is not carrying weapons and explosives for Hamas?"

The Olmert administration previously has not carried out threats to stop pro-Arab activists from landing at Gaza. "We will treat this boat differently than the earlier ones that were allowed into Gaza," one official told United Press International.

The Libyan ship last week left the port of Zouara, approximately 75 miles west of Tripoli, on Tuesday. The Libyan Fund for Aid and Development in Africa donated 500 tons of oil, 750 tons of milk, 1,207 tons of rice, 500 tons of wheat flour and 100 tons of medicine. It was due to arrive in Gaza in one week, according to Lakhdouri Abdelhamid, director of the fund.

Six Bodies of Mumbai Chabad Victims Arrive in Israel

By Ha'aretz

An Israel Air Force plane carrying the remains of six Israelis and Jews who were killed in the attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai last week landed at Ben Gurion Airport late Monday night.

Four of the coffins were wrapped in an Israeli flag while that of Aryeh Leibish Teitelboim and Norma Schwarzblat-Rabinovich, a Mexican citizen, were wrapped in the traditional Jewish prayer shawl.

Teitelboim's family has rejected Israel's offer to hold an official memorial ceremony for him along with the other Jewish and Israeli fatalities. The family has also said that it does not want Teitelboim's coffin wrapped in an Israeli flag before it is boarded onto the plane in India later Monday, as those of the other Jewish and Israeli victims will be.

Teitelboim's relatives and members of his Toldot Avraham Yitzhak community have also asked that his coffin not be included in the official ceremony which will be held upon landing at Ben Gurion International Airport.

Teitelboim grew up a member of the Hasidic Satmar sect and married into the Toldot Avraham Yitzhak sect - two communities which oppose Zionism and do not recognize the State of Israel.

Teitelboim, who holds an American passport along with many other Satmar followers in Israel, disavowed his Israeli citizenship despite residing in Jerusalem. His wife and eight children hold Israeli citizenship.

"The murder victim was educated in the ways of Satmar, which opposes the State of Israel," one of Teitelboim's relatives told Ha'aretz. "How can he turn into a symbol of the State of Israel? The family is very concerned about what will happen here at the ceremony. They are angry about the whole matter; it is a very sensitive issue."

Doctors: Terrorist Torture of Jewish Victims 'Beyond Words'


Mumbai doctors who examined the bodies of the victims of the Muslim terror massacre said the victims were tortured before being slaughtered. "Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks," a doctor who examined the bodies told the Indian news website

"It was clear that they were killed on Wednesday. It was obvious that they were tied up and tortured before they were killed. It was so bad that I do not want to go over the details even in my head again," he said.

Another doctor commented, "It was very strange. I have seen so many dead bodies in my life, and was yet traumatized. A bomb blast victim's body might have been torn apart and could be a very disturbing sight. But the bodies of the victims in this attack bore such signs about the kind of violence of urban warfare that I am still unable to put my thoughts to words," he said.

Intelligence officials confirmed the doctors' observations. Ajmal Kamal, the only terrorist who was not killed after he and his gang had managed to murder nearly 200 people and wound hundreds others, told officials that the terrorists "were specifically asked to target the foreigners, especially the Israelis."

Intelligence Bureau sources were quoted as estimating that the terrorists did not want to keep them alive in order not to attract international attention. "They also might have feared the chances of Israeli security agencies taking over the operations at the Nariman House," otherwise known as the Chabad House, he reasoned.

One of the few objects in the Chabad House that was unscathed in the massacre was a picture of the revered Chabad Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, whose past spiritual leadership still provides unending faith for hundreds of thousands of Jews worldwide.

Eerie Sight: Bullets Riddle Torah Chapter Alluding to Death of Righteous People


Israeli officials who were in Mumbai to assist in the transfer of the bodies of the Chabad emissaries in Mumbai Rabbi Gabriel and Rivka Holtzberg, later told that when they opened the Holy Ark that was damaged by bullet shots they found the Torah scroll inside riddled with bullets as well.

But what shocked and stunned Jewish searchers most was that when they opened the Torah Scroll they saw that the bullets had hit and damaged precisely the chapter in Leviticus 16:1: "God spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron's two sons etc."

This refers to Aaron's righteous sons Nadav and Abihu who, as we are told earlier in Leviticus 10:1-3, were consumed by a fire that came forth from God and Moses tells Aaron this is what God meant when he said "I will be sanctified through those who are close to Me."

Throughout the ages Jewish Sages would use this chapter to explain why righteous people die in unnatural deaths.

Parents of Mumbai Terror Victim: We May Take Rivka's Place as Chabad Envoys

By Ha'aretz

Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg and his wife, Yehudit, on Monday said they are considering becoming Chabad's new emissaries to Mumbai, Army Radio reported.

Earlier on Monday, the bodies of Rivka Holtzberg and five other Israelis killed last week when Islamist terrorists attacked the Chabad House were flown from Mumbai to Israel.

Also Monday, the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem announced that the final two Israelis who had been unaccounted for in Mumbai since a small army of terrorists struck the city have been located alive and healthy.

Seven members of the Israel Police's victim identification unit had flown to India on Sunday to assist in locating the two missing Israelis, who were feared killed in one of the terror attacks that struck the city.

Meanwhile, dozens gathered at the Knesset Eliyahu synagogue in Mumbai for an emotional ceremony in memory of the six Jews killed last week when Islamist terrorists attacked the city's Chabad headquarters.

Rosenberg, whose daughter Rivka and son-in-law Rabbi Gabriel Holtzberg both died in the attack, called on the mourners to continue the work his children had begun as the Lubavitch movement's emissaries to Mumbai and vowed that Chabad would continue to operate in the city despite the bloody acts.

Among the participants at the ceremony were Israel's ambassador to India and members of the Israeli rescue team, but all eyes in the room were on the Holtzberg's 2-year-old son, Moshe, who brought the room to tears when during the ceremony he cried out: "Mommy, mommy."

"It was pure raw emotion, tears of joy, tears of sorrow, incredible emotion, understandably out of control," said Robert Katz, a New York-based fund-raiser for an Israeli orphanage founded by the boy's family.

Asked about Moshe's condition, he said: I don't know that he can comprehend or that he will remember seeing his parents shot in cold blood.

The toddler has one older sibling who has Tay-Sachs, a genetic disorder particularly prevalent in Jews of Eastern European origin. He is permanently hospitalized in Israel, Katz said. The couple's first-born child died of Tay-Sachs.

Sandra Samuel, an Indian resident who was the boy's nanny in Israel, will live with Moshe in Israel "so at least he has someone he knows and recognizes and loves," said Katz.

During the siege of the Chabad House, Samuel had locked herself in a laundry room when she heard Moshe's mother Rivka screaming, 'Sandra help!' "Then the screaming stopped, and it was quiet," Katz said.

She cracked open the door of her hiding place and saw a deserted staircase. She ran up one flight and saw the rabbi and his wife, covered in blood and shot to death. She snatched the crying boy, bolted down the stairs and out of the building. "She's been there with him throughout," Katz said.

Though Samuel has no passport or papers, Moshe's grand-uncle, Rabbi Yitzchak David Grossman, helped arrange for her to get a visa to Israel. In a sad coincidence, Grossman is founder of the Migdal Ohr, which says it is Israel's largest facility for orphaned and disadvantaged children.

Soldier Raped During Service Sues IDF to Classify Her as Disabled

By Ha'aretz

A 20-year-old who was raped during her military service in the Israel Air Force is suing the Defense Ministry to classify her as disabled due to the emotional distress the attack has caused her.

The lawsuit says that the woman's commanders prevented her from receiving psychological treatment, "grounded" her when she was unable to fulfill duties on base and threatened her with a lawsuit or imprisonment. Ultimately, it states, she collapsed and was released after an army psychologist assigned her the lowest possible health "profile," or physical and psychological rating.

Attorney Anat Ginsburg, formerly deputy Tel Aviv district attorney and an expert in disability lawsuits, who is representing the plaintiff pro bono, said the woman is the daughter of immigrants from France, all of whose brothers and sisters served in the Israel Defense Forces. She said the woman was highly motivated and in good health when she started her military service, being assigned a health profile of 87.

The woman worked in maintenance for an elite air force unit in the north. In May 2007, she was raped and sexually molested by a soldier on her base. He was tried and reached a plea bargain in which he admitted to sexual molestation. He was sentenced to four years in prison, but effectively only had to serve one year.

Three days after the incident, the female soldier was hospitalized after fainting and vomiting. When she was released from the hospital, she requested psychological help and was referred to a military health officer. Ginsburg said that after the initial meeting, the mental health officer refused to meet with her again, saying she did not need treatment.

Several days later, the woman was told to report for kitchen duty. According to the lawsuit, "she was unable to function and went to the infirmary, but they did not want to accept her." For her refusal to report to kitchen duty, she was confined to the base for a week.

As the weeks passed, the soldier deteriorated. Still required to go about her routine on the base, she wore a jacket in the peak of summer and vomited, but was not given treatment. One day she felt she could not continue and went home, where she lay in bed for a full week.

Ultimately, she was referred to an army psychologist, who examined her and determined she should be released from military service. A committee of physicians accepted the recommendation, and she was released three months after the assault. The police's Criminal Investigation Unit has launched an inquiry into the case.

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