The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 28 March 2009 / 3 Nisan 5769

Triumphal Postscript to Tragedy

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll


During the shiva mourning period for her daughter, who was a victim of the Mumbai massacre in Chabad House, Mrs. Yehudit Rosenberg received a package from a female visitor. To her great surprise it contained a dress and a diamond ring that had belonged to Rebbetzin Rivkie Holzberg, may G-d avenge her blood.

In explaining how these things came to her the visitor related that she had run afoul of the law while touring India and landed in prison. As soon as she was out she ran to Chabad House where Rivkie welcomed her but urged her to leave the country as soon as possible. When she expressed concern that she might be stopped by police at the airport, Rivkie provided her with one of her Shabbat dresses and her diamond ring so that she would look respectable and not like a fugitive.

The strategy worked and now she had come to return these borrowed items to her benefactor's mother. Mrs. Rosenberg then told her that she had once asked her daughter where her ring was and the reply was that it, like its owner, was on shlichut, the term used in Chabad circles for the kind of sacred work the Holzbergs were doing.

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