December 17th, 2008
04:19 PM ET

Finding a connection to Judaism during the Eid

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/12/04/nanny.mumbai.interview/art.nanny.baby.gi.jpg caption="Sandra Samuel holds Moshe Holtzberg at the Mumbai airport in India on their way to Israel on December 1."]
Eboo Patel
Executive Director, Interfaith Youth Core

He reminds me of my son.

That was my first thought when I saw the picture of Moshe Holtzberg — 2 years old, dark eyes, full lips — wearing a green shirt, clutching an orange ball and wailing "Dada."

My almost-2-year-old son just learned how to say "Dada." He walks around the house and claps his hands and repeats "Dada" in his own peculiar toddler rhythm. When I leave for work in the morning, he sometimes reaches for me and wails "Dada" with a tinge of sadness in his voice.

But not like Moshe's sadness. His parents are gone to God. They are not coming back. They were ripped from Moshe by terrorists who perversely believed that Islam is a totalitarian faith, a faith defined by destroying diversity. Mumbai, the city they attacked, is defined by its diversity — a masala of cultures that included Moshe's family of Hasidic Jews from Brooklyn.


Filed under: Eboo Patel • Islam • Religion
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Maria

    There is no justification for criminal acts, not even in religions. Religions are spiritual values to promote peace and fairness, not to destruct globe for whatever purposes. I felt bad for Moshe and all victims families, what was their guilt??. Judaism, Christianity and Islam share a lot of values and believe; but human being who misinterpret religion and fume the differences. The creator creates us from Adam and Eve, and now here we go……

    December 17, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  2. Melissa, Los Angeles

    Religion intolerance at it's best – a child now lives without his parents. Makes me even more glad that I'm an atheist and am not ruled by a religion that in essence teaches intolerance of others that don't believe the same religion.

    December 17, 2008 at 5:01 pm |