In the months since the Mumbai terror attacks that claimed the lives of more than 170 people, dozens of babies around the world have been named in memory of Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the slain directors of the city’s Chabad House. But last week, it was a 63-year-old Dutch man who took on the full Hebrew name of the fallen rabbi, Gavriel Noach, in a special ceremony coinciding with the man’s ritual circumcision.

Taking place at a private home in the Flevoland province’s growing city of Almere on the banks of the Netherlands’ Lake Marken, the ceremony – arranged with the assistance of local Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbi Moshe Stiefel – marked the fulfillment of a biblical commandment Piet van Loon was prevented from performing.

Born just after the end of World War II, van Loon would have been circumcised, just like his two older brothers were, but his scarred mother forbid it.

“My mother was the only one from her family who survived the war,” said van Loon. “She was overpowered with emotions, and therefore did not allow me to be circumcised.”

But two years ago, van Loon opened a wholesale hair products store just two doors away from Chabad of Almere. After a congregant told Stiefel that the shopkeeper was Jewish, the rabbi invited the man to join him them in Shabbat services that very day.

“A few minutes later, he had joined us at the Kiddush,” related Stiefel, “enjoying the warmth of an extended Jewish family he hadn't experienced for many years.”

Each passing week saw van Loon delve deeper into his heritage.

“During the past two years, I have frequently visited the Jewish community and constantly learned more about my own roots,” he said.

“Here, I can always find a warm and cozy atmosphere,” he added. “Being together with other Jews gives me an enormous feeling of satisfaction.”

He then resolved to undergo circumcision. For a Jewish name, he looked to Mumbai emissary who uprooted himself and his family to build a home for all Jews in the Indian financial capital.

“I never met Rabbi Gavriel Noach Holtzberg,” explained van Loon, “but I was very affected by the way in which he and his wife were brutally murdered. I therefore decided together with Rabbi Moshe Stiefel that I would like to be named after him.”

With his new name, Gavriel Noach van Loon said that he continues to pray at the Chabad House, constantly thinking of his namesake, as well as his friends and family.

“The prayer services in shul give me a feeling of inner peace,” he said. “During the prayers, I think about my family, as well as others within my circles who need prayer at that moment.”