Family, friends and colleagues of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries murdered in last month’s terror attacks in Mumbai, India, gathered at the couple’s Chabad House on Thursday to issue a beacon of light in the form of a Chanukah menorah.

With an estimated 200 people crowded outside the severely damaged Chabad House, where Islamist terrorists killed the Holtzbergs and four other Jewish people, the delegation used a torch to ignite five lights on the 25-foot steel menorah, sending piercing flames through the cold, dark night.

Rabbi Nachman Holtzberg of New York, father of Gavriel Holtzberg, recited the blessings and lit the menorah, after which a group of Chabad-Lubavitch rabbis led the crowd in the singing of the traditional Hanerot Hallelu prayer to a Chasidic melody.

Prior to the lighting, the family held a Chasidic gathering inside the Chabad House. Nachman and Freida Holtzberg took part in the gathering – which was punctuated by inspiring messages and stories of the victims – as did Rivka Holtzberg’s parents, Rabbi Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg of Afula, Israel, and several of the slain couple’s siblings. Rabbi Mordechai Avtzon, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Hong Kong, and Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz, director of the Chabad House of Kathmandu, Nepal, also flew in for the occasion. Solomon Sopher, chairman and managing trustee of the Sir Jacob Sassoon and Allied Trusts, represented the local Jewish community at the gathering.

A second Chanukah menorah lighting was scheduled to take place one hour later at the Gateway to India monument, the suspected entry point for the terrorists. Year after year, the Holtzbergs lit a menorah at the same location.

In his introductory remarks, Rabbi Moshe Kotlarsky, vice chairman of the educational arm of Chabad-Lubavitch, pledged that the activities that the Holtzbergs ran from the Chabad House would continue and grow.

“This home was open to everyone,” stated Kotlarsky. “And it will be rebuilt. Its activities will continue and continue strongly.

“Chanukah is the festival of light,” he continued, “and today we recall two lights of our generation, people who gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom, for goodness and kindness.”

Onlooker Shameera Galsura, 23, a member of Mumbai’s local Jewish community, said that the ceremony was the perfect antidote to the fear that pervaded her city, where terrorists killed more than 170 people at several tourist locations over the course of three days in late November.

“People here are all talking about the menorah,” she related. “Everyone is wondering what the message of Chanukah is.

“For me,” she continued, “this is the first time I’ve come to the Chabad House. After the attacks, I was scared to go out of the house, but now I feel that there’s nothing to be scared of. G‑d is always with us.”