24 November, 2020

Tears And Sackcloth

The Jewish sense of security in a home called India has been shattered forever

Tears And Sackcloth
The Jews In India
  • 80 per cent of India's 4,480 Jews live in Bombay
  • 8 is the number of synagogues in the city; many of its landmarks were built by Jews, including Flora Fountain, Sassoon Docks, Sassoon Mills
  • 60,000-odd Indian Jews have migrated to Israel in the last six decades


For two millennia, they faced persecution everywhere. Everywhere but here in India, where for the first time in their painful history, the Jews found a place where they felt safe, a multicultural society in which they were at home. But not any more. Not since that fateful Wednesday, November 26, when two terrorists entered Nariman House—a dilapidated, white, five-storey structure in south Bombay's Colaba area—that housed a Jewish spiritual centre known to the city's Jewish community as Chabad House. By the time the hostage drama ended 48 hours later, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg who ran the centre, his wife Rivkah and four other Jews staying there were dead. The only ones to...


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