I couldn't sleep tonight, in pain from the events of this past week. I wanted to write to remember Rabbi Gabi and Rivki Holzberg of blessed memory, who were murdered in Mumbai; they were two of the finest people I knew.

Tonight I dreamed that I went to the Chabad House in Mumbai. Passing the vendors on the street, and the sounds of the flour mill across the alley way, I walked into the main floor and smelled the aromas of freshly made chumus and matbucha. The Chabad House in Mumbai was a Jewish oasis, where there was always air conditioning, a smile, and a freshly cooked meal. It was a beautiful Chabad House, and it was run by the most beautiful people...

I start to think of Rivki—and then I start to cry.

I see Rivki's face, and even her thick glasses can't hide the glowing happiness in her eyes. From the bump on her stomach you can see that she is expecting, and after losing one child to illness and another to severe congenital defects, you see her stomach and want to smile too. She is the embodiment of hope and faith—when you sit on the couch in the main room, she brings you some chocolate cake and wants to know how you are doing. And while you vent about your trials from the week, she has somehow managed to take you away from the streets of Mumbai to another place entirely.

I remember at first being surprised to learn that Rivki was only three years older than me. She had a clarity of purpose and a purity of faith that you do not find often. While there are times when I think of her as a friend, there are also times when that title seems too commonplace. She is more than a friend—she is a role model, a vision of fortitude and courage, and a soul too precious for this world.

I honestly don't know how Gabi and Rivki built the Chabad House from nothing, and how they brought the taste of a Jewish traditional home to the crazy streets of Mumbai, putting their own personal pain aside to build a home for others. They managed to make a wedding for a traveling couple who suddenly learned they were expecting a child, and made court visits for Israelis stuck in jail for drug trafficking. Every week, there was a beautiful Shabbat meal for anyone and everyone to join, and every night at 8pm, there was a free kosher dinner for anyone traveling and in need of soul food.

I remember the excitement Rivki exhibited when she showed me the board on the wall that mapped the plans and financial progress of their new Chabad House. They had been operating out of two floors in the building, but had a dream to furnish and use the other five floors as a guest house, Jewish library, and child care center. You see, Gabi and Rivki had dreams—not to live in a quiet house near their families, but to build where Jews could be Jewish in India.

I found out that Mumbai was burning on Thursday morning—Thanksgiving morning— the same morning that I woke up in Israel to go with my sister to the Kotel (Western Wall) on her wedding day. I read the headlines, and then I read about the Chabad House. My sister, the bride, not knowing that any of this had taken place, had a glowing happiness in her eyes, while I was feeling something akin to an out-of-body experience. We made it to the kotel, where I went off to the side to call Antony, my boss from India, who confirmed that the situation did not look good. The home where I was a frequent visitor, where I got my chickens to make chicken soup, and where I would eat chocolate cake and talk with Rivki, was being held by terrorist. TERRORISTS! I thought about Gabi, and I thought about Rivki—and that is when I lost it.

How does one deal with a wedding and a terrorist attack on the same day—both so close to home? I'm looking back at the last couple of days, and I still don't believe that any of this is not a dream. While my sister and her husband began a journey of love and commitment, the couple who knew a love and a commitment to a calling beyond themselves were under attack. And while Yael Rotter and Jon Mosery stood under the chupah, overlooking the hills of Jerusalem, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg looked at carnage as he covered his beloved Rivkah in a tallit before joining her in, what I must force myself to believe is, a better place. I only hope that just as in the heart of their wedding joy, Yael and John broke a glass to remember destruction and suffering, that somehow, amidst the pain of shattered dreams, Gabi and Rivki found a way to feel some joy that their healthy Moishe survived.

To all my Mumbai family, all of whom felt the surrogate parenting of Gabi and Rivki, I am sending hugs and love, even though my heart is a little broken. And to all of you reading this email, I ask that you do something good-something so kind, so good, and so loving, that it can in some way make the world hurt less. Because, little Moishe should not know the hate-filled world that his parents were murdered in. And because our broken hearts and the courtyards of Jerusalem should only be filled with voices of joy and happiness, voices of brides and grooms.

Baruch Dayan Haemet.

May their memory be blessed