Posts tagged ‘chabad’


Like many folks, I was glued to CNN and my computer during last week’s horror in Mumbai. Also like others, I was using technology tools that enabled me to get information faster than the television news. It was both fascinating and daunting to realize that I was a conduit for information. As I read posts on Twitter from people I follow, I was relaying this information to people in my network, who were forwarding it to theirs. I was watching live feeds on Spy and would see my posts show up from people I didn’t know. Amazing… and horrifying.

I’ve struggled daily to come up with something to say about what happened in Mumbai. To be sure, it was a horrific terror attack. But add to this the fact that this attack intentionally targeted Jews leaves me, well, speechless.

We know now that not only did the terrorists intentionally target the Jewish Community Center (Naiman House/Chabad House), but the Jewish victims were intentionally and savagely tortured. The rabbi’s wife was found covered by a tallit (ritual prayer shawl) indicating she died early and her husband or someone else covered her body. This is nearly incomprehensible.

I came across this post on Jewcy from Jeffrey Goldberg. He says what I’m feeling better than I seem to be able.

I’m not the greatest fan of Chabad in the world, in particular its Christological, maybe-the-Rebbe’s-43662440_mid-sizenot-dead streak, and its general fundamentalist, women-marginalizing outlook, but this is a group that does, in fact, try to spread a kind of happiness wherever it plants itself. And it plants itself everywhere. It puts other Jewish groups to shame, in fact, by its ebullient outreach. My friend Esther Abramowitz wrote to note that the “Chabad rabbi and his wife have welcomed and celebrated with thousands upon thousands of traveling Israelis with joy and no judgment.”  That’s the formula, and it’s a formula that works.

What happened in Mumbai was a horror. We’re now learning that the people in the Chabad house were subjected to special tortures, but even if they were murdered quickly, they were still murdered, and they were murdered for the crime of being Jewish. It’s astonishing to think that Pakistani-supported terrorists, obsessed with the alleged crimes of Hindu India, would go out of their way to murder a group of people who couldn’t find Kashmir on a map. But the Jews are a cosmological enemy. I think we’ve learned that by now.

December 2, 2008 at 5:48 pm 3 comments