In the days and weeks following the Mumbai Massacre, hundreds of memorial services were held all over world to pay tribute to Rabbi Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg and the other four murdered in the Mumbai Chabad House.

Tens of thousands attended events in Toronto, New York, Melbourne, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cambridge, Berlin, Pittsburg, Seattle, London, Moscow, Detroit, Jerusalem, and so many points in between. The Jewish community of Mumbai also participated in a moving memorial to the couple they had come to love so dearly. These memorials brought together Jews from all walks of life as Chabad Houses, synagogues, Jewish Federations, national Jewish organizations and other local bodies united in the wake of tragedy.

While shedding tears over the loss of more than 170 lives, the common theme of these emotional gatherings was the resolve to start a groundswell of good deeds.

The reception table at the Greece Memorial Service.
The reception table at the Greece Memorial Service.

The Holtzbergs embodied the principles of the Torah. Those who witnessed their legendarily selfless devotion to the needs of their fellows saw in the flesh the ideals taught in the Torah. As such, many saw it apropos to memorialize them through Torah.

Brooklyn, New York

With the fathers of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg leading the way, thousands of the couple's fellow Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries answered tragedy with Jewish pride. On November 12, 2009, a few days before the couple's first yahrtzeit (anniversary of passing), a new Torah was proudly dedicated in Lubavitch World Headquarters in the Crown Height section of Brooklyn.

The new Torah is destined for a reopened Chabad House, which terrorists stormed during last year's attacks in the Indian financial capital. An inscription on the Torah's cover dedicates the holy scroll to the memory of the Holtzbergs and the four other Jews who were murdered alongside them at the Chabad House.

Before the festivities began, many attendees had tears in their eyes watching Rabbis Rosenberg and Holtzberg fill in the last letters of the Torah scroll. The somber mood continued as Holtzberg led the gathering in the singing of a Chasidic melody composed by a forbear. But after the scroll was lifted for all to see, the room bounded with energy as men struggled to dance in place, and as space opened up, began dancing in circles.

The crowd spilled out and headed downstairs toward the street, where a glowing parade float – topped with a brightly-lit crown – and traditional canopy to shelter the Torah were waiting.

Click here for more about this unique Torah celebration.

Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries dance at the intersection of Eastern Parkway and Brooklyn Avenue in Brooklyn, N.Y., Thursday night after joining in the completion of a Torah scroll in memory of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the slain directors of the Mumbai, India, Chabad House. (Photo: Boruch Ezagui)
Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries dance at the intersection of Eastern Parkway and Brooklyn Avenue in Brooklyn, N.Y., Thursday night after joining in the completion of a Torah scroll in memory of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the slain directors of the Mumbai, India, Chabad House. (Photo: Boruch Ezagui)


Litchfield, Connecticut

On November 1st, 2009, Chabad-Lubavitch of Northwest Connecticut dedicated a new Torah scroll amid a gala dinner among whose honorees were Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg's parents, who joined the celebration.

Immediately following the attacks, the Litchfield Chabad House commissioned the creation of the Torah in the Holtzbergs' memory.

Hundreds turned out to celebrate the Torah completion. World renowned singer and composer Baruch Levine performed and dedicated a song to Moishe'le.

Rabbi Nachman Holtzberg, father of Gabi, fills in one of the final letters in the Litchfield Torah.
Rabbi Nachman Holtzberg, father of Gabi, fills in one of the final letters in the Litchfield Torah.

Haifa, Israel

At the Chabad-Lubavitch center serving Israel's Technion University, more than 500 students, faculty and area residents turned out in April of 2009 to dedicate a new Torah scroll written in memory of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg.

Chabad of the Technion and Ramot is directed by Rabbi Yosef Rosenberg, brother of slain emissary Rivkah Holtzberg. The event was also attended by Rabbi Shimon and Mrs. Yehudit Rosenberg, Rivkah's parents, and little Moishe'le Holtzberg, who joyfully danced with the Torah dedicated in his parents' memory.

Downtown Vancouver, Canada

In July of 2009, some 300 people gathered at a downtown hotel to dedicate a new Torah scroll written in memory of the Holtzbergs. The Torah is now housed in Chabad of Downtown Vancouver. The event also marked four years since the establishment of the Chabad House by Rabbi Binyomin and Malky Bitton.

The program included moving speeches and two video presentations: one documenting four years of growth of Chabad of Downtown, the other a special presentation featuring Gabi and Rivky Holtzberg.

Then a procession of hundreds of Jews made their way through downtown accompanied by a decorated "Torah truck" playing lively music. The crowd clapped and danced, walking the two blocks to the Chabad House, where the celebration continued.

Part of the crowd at the Torah Dedication ceremony in Downtown Vancouver.
Part of the crowd at the Torah Dedication ceremony in Downtown Vancouver.

Manchester, England

Dancing with the Torah in Manchester.
Dancing with the Torah in Manchester.

In January of 2009, Beis Menachem of Manchester England held a Torah Dedication ceremony.

The fifty-four Torah Portions were all "purchased" by members of the community, as is customary, with the money raised going towards covering the costs of writing the scroll. The portion of Acharei Mot ("After the Death...") was dedicated to those murdered in the Mumbai Chabad House.

(After the siege on the Chabad House in Mumbai ended, the Israeli recovery team found that bullets had pierced a Torah scroll just below the verse: "G‑d spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron's two sons, when they came close to G‑d and they died.")

A festive meal was then held, professionally catered by three chefs who are members of the congregation. The attending crowd then watched a video of a talk by the Rebbe on the topic of writing Torah scrolls, and a video about the Holtzbergs' lives and activities.

Tenafly, New Jersey

Less then two weeks after the Massacre in Mumbai, hundreds of local Jews joined with rabbis and dignitaries to remember Rabbi Gavriel and Rivky Holtzberg. This would be the first of the many Torahs dedicated in memory of the couple.

Rabbi Mordechai Shain, director of Chabad-Lubavitch on the Palisades, New Jersey, organized the very emotionally charged event, that started as a memorial service. After the service, the new Torah Scroll was dedicated in according to chassidic tradition, with much joy and dancing.

The new Holtzberg Torah in Tenafly.
The new Holtzberg Torah in Tenafly.

Brooklyn, New York

The Holtzberg Edition of the Pirkei Avot.
The Holtzberg Edition of the Pirkei Avot.

Though not a Torah scroll, another Torah commemoration of the Holtzbergs involves an aesthetically beautiful book published by Kehot Publication Society, the Chabad-Lubavitch publishing house, before Passover of 2009.

"Pirkei Avot: Ethics of the Fathers with a New Commentary, Anthologized from the works of the Classic Commentators and the Chasidic Masters." This elegant, deluxe "Rabbi Gavriel and Rivky Holtzberg Memorial Edition" was translated and compiled by Rabbi Yossi Marcus.