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Nariman House to be reopened soon

December 01, 2008 15:43 IST
Last Updated: December 01, 2008 15:44 IST

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Nariman House, a Jewish establishment in Mumbai, which was the target of recent terror attacks that killed about 200 people, including eight Israelis, would be reopened soon.

The complex, also known as the Chabad House, has been closed after Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka were killed by the terrorists holed up in the house.

The Jewish leaders told the New York Times that after the death of Rabbi Holtzberg, who belonged to the Chabad-Lubavitch faith, several young Chabad couples from around the world stepped forward to move to Mumbai to continue the movement's work.

Almost always, the paper said, the Chabad Houses are run by young couples, emissaries of the Chabad-Lubavitch denomination, with its headquarters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York, whose adherents believe that secular Jews ought to become more observant.

The number of Chabad Houses, it said, has mushroomed in the last decade, and now more than 4,000 husband-and-wife couples run them in 73 countries. In 2003, the Holtzbergs, newly married, opened the first Chabad House in Mumbai.

Chabad leaders, it said, stress that the emissaries, called shluchim in Hebrew, are not missionaries. They do not try to convert non-Jews to Judaism.

Instead, their mandate is to act as 'lamp lighters' by reaching out to secular Jews, often stopping people on city sidewalks and asking, 'Are you Jewish,' and trying to persuade them to deepen their faith.

The Chabad faith, the report added, emerged 250 years in Russia [Images] ago as a branch of Hasidism.

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