Mumbai Jewish Center Retaken, Hostages Reported Dead

Many who follow Bob Dylan’s career know of his connections with Chabad. His son-in-law has been very active in the organization, well-known in the New York area for its telethons (Dylan has shown up on them in the past as well). Last year Dylan was spotted attending Yom Kippur services at a Chabad center in Georgia and got high marks when he was called up to the Torah to read a blessing.

In addition to the hotels being attacked by what appears to be Islamic-extremist terrorists in India, the Chabad-sponsored Nariman House in Mumbai was also invaded. As the Indian commandos fight to regain control of the city (while Mumbai residents fill the rooftops cheering on the commandos), the fight at Chabad House has tragically ended with the death of at least five people, including the resident American rabbi and his wife of Brooklyn, NY.

Their son, however, was rescued by the cook.

ABC News reports:

The most dramatic conclusion came today at Chabad House, the Jewish center, with troops rappeling onto the roof from helicopters and the building being peppered with grenades as residents crowded surrounding rooftops to cheer on the attack.

At one point troops were seen dangling what appeared to be a mannequin over the side of the building in an apparent attempt to get the terrorists to reveal themselves.

Despite the blasts, militants inside continued to fire intensely at the advancing troops, until a huge blast rocked the building. The explosion was so powerful that debris flew off the sides of the building.

A few more shots were exchanged before the building went quiet and searchlights could be seen moving through the house. People streamed into the streets singing.

Indian media reported, however, that five hostages inside the building had died. The dead were not identified, but among those believed to be inside were American rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg, 29, and his wife, Rivka.

A cook for the center had escaped earlier with the couple’s 2-year-old son. The boy was unhurt, but his clothing was covered in blood. The cook said she last saw the couple lying on the floor unconscious.

The militants, believed to number about 20 to 25, surged into Mumbai’s fashionable downtown district on Wednesday firing indiscriminately into hospitals, a train station, a cafe and other sites before taking hostages and preparing for a fight to the death in the two hotels and the Chabad center.

An Indian commando who fought them said the fighters were young men who were ruthless.

“They were the type of people with no remorse. Anybody and whosoever was in front of them, they fired,” the commando told a news conference.

Read it all here. RWB is also following the story here.

Here’s more live video from the Telegraph:

As we’ve been following the story here at the Cafe, this song popped up on the cafe jukebox and we’ll put it up as we try to make sense of it all. In fact, consider clicking on the song below and then when the music begins, click on the video above. That may say more than news reports can convey.

Any question now what Bob Dylan meant in his sardonic comments from the stage on Election Night?


And for those of us who are Christians, may we too offer prayers as well.

Thanks, RWB.