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‘India prays for your long life’: PM Modi pens moving letter to 26/11 survivor Moshe Holtzberg on his bar mitzvah

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, as a sign of utmost respect, congratulated an Israeli child, Moshe Holtzberg, on the occasion of bar mitzvah, the Jewish coming-of-age ritual for boys. Holtzberg was a survivor of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks (also referred to as 26/11) when Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists carried out shooting and bombing assaults across the city for four days. The Prime Minister termed Holtzberg’s survival story as one of ‘miracle and hope overcoming tragedy and immeasurable loss’ which continues to inspire everyone.

For context, Moshe Holtzberg was two years old on November 26, 2008, when his parents were killed in a terror attack at the Nariman House in Mumbai. Now at the age of 13, Holtzberg on Monday received a letter from PM Modi reminding him that the prayers of the people of India would continue to bless Holtzberg for a long, healthy and successful life as he crosses a significant landmark in the journey of life. He added that the perpetrators of the “cowardly terrorist attack” clearly failed in their intent as they could not subdue India’s vibrant diversity nor dampen its spirit to march forward.

Modi recalled meeting Holtzberg in Israel back in 2017, along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and hoped that Holtzberg would return to India someday as the Director of Chabad House in Mumbai, according to the child’s wish.

“Today India and Israel stand together even more determined against terrorism and hatred,” PM Modi’s commitment was strong in his letter.

Mumbai had come to a standstill 11 years ago on November 26 when 10 Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, who came to the city via sea route from Pakistan, carried out a series of coordinated shooting and bombing attacks that killed 166 people and injured over 300 in India`s financial capital. 

The terrorists, who entered Mumbai, struck at multiple sites in the city including Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) railway station, Cama Hospital, Nariman House business and residential complex, Leopold Cafe, Taj Hotel and Tower, and Oberoi-Trident Hotel.