My name is Gary Spund. I grew up in Bayside, NY and have lived in Eretz Yisrael for the past 22 years. I live in Ginot Shomron, Israel and unfortunately we have known our own share of terrorism.

I work for Office Depot and am currently setting up the first stages of the company in India. It is a 2 year project and I am based in Mumbai. I have had the real merit to have gotten to know and love Rabbi Gaby and Rivky Holtzberg very well since I came here. They opened their home to me as they have done to thousands of tourists, back-packers and businessmen from all over the world over the past 5 years in Mumbai.

Beit Chabad in Mumbai has become my second home. If not for the Holtzbergs and their love and hospitality, my stay here would not be bearable. They became my second family. I spent every Shabbat with them as well as many Yom Tovim. Just recently I had the honor to dance with Rabbi Gaby when I also spent Simchat Torah with them. I also made it a habit to join them for dinner once or twice a week.

I loved Gaby and Rivky like I love my own children and their beautiful son Moishie reminds me of my own 18 month old grandson in Israel. I still have the present I bought for Moishe's 2nd birthday sitting here in my Mumbai hotel room. I was supposed to visit them today to give it to him. Now I need to bring it to him at his grandparents home in Afula where they will be sitting shiva.

I spoke to Gaby on Tuesday evening just before I flew to China for 4 days... which turned out to be the worst four days of their lives. Had I not flown to China at the last minute for business, I would have been with them on Wednesday when this terrible tragedy took place. G‑d saved me while letting these tzadikkim die horribly. I keep asking myself over and over again why?

I don't know the answer to that question, I still have the present I bought for Moishe's 2nd birthday sitting here in my Mumbai hotel room. but as I try to find meaning in my own survival, their tragic deaths and Moishie's orphanage, I look at pictures of the total destruction of one of the most beautiful Chabad centers I have had the honor of staying at. I even saw a picture of a room I slept in last time I was there. The building has been totally destroyed and without Chabad in Mumbai so many of us will be lost.

Rav Dov Goldberg, who assisted Gaby and recently started the Chabad house in Goa (southern India) has come to Mumbai to take over and rebuild. I hope to join him and Gaby's family today escorting the bodies of these two tzadikkim home for burial later this evening or tomorrow morning.

Rabbi Simon, Gaby raised a million dollars to buy and renovate the Nariman House into a place of warmth and support and Yidishkiet for whoever needed it... and thousands took their offered hospitality over the years. What people did not know is that they were still paying off another $500,000 mortgage that they took out in order to complete the building and renovations. These payments were being made through his own fundraising efforts. I have made it my own committment to do whatever I can to help rebuild Chabad House in Mumbai in memory of Rav Gaby and Rebezin Rivky Holtzberg, may G‑d avenge their deaths. Maybe that's the reason G‑d made sure I couldn't be there Wednesday night. I am not a "Chabadnik." I am just a Jew who found a warm place in the hearts of Gaby and Rivky ... and they will always have a warm place in my heart.

I ask you to please speak everyone to have their tzedakah channeled to the special fund Chabad has set up for both rebuilding Nariman House as well as supporting Moishe. I now am repacking his birthday gift into my suitcase to take back to his grandparents home and my heart is shattered.

Let us pray that this one will be the last one and we can all live in peace and quiet.

Gary Spund