A link in our family's chain is broken, victim's brother sobs

"These were indescribable days," Yehoshua Chroman said of the period since his 28-year-old brother Bentzion's death in the Mumbai terror assault last week. Bentzion left behind a 24-year-old wife, Emuna, and three children, the oldest just five years old, the youngest barely three months. Speaking at the Bobov Yeshiva in Bat Yam, where Chroman had studied, Yehoshua called on his lost brother to help the family through the difficult time ahead. "You left us here without you. You left your young wife alone," he said between sobs. "Don't forget them. Be with them always. Remember us. "We will need a lot of strength. A link in our family's chain is broken, so we'll have to hold on to each other harder." At the gathering of over a hundred members of the Bobov hassidic community, local rabbis and friends spoke of a "sweet, smart boy." To the sound of weeping, neighborhood rabbi Yaakov Rojza recalled knowing Bentzion "since he was eight years old. He was such a smart and charismatic child. We're going to bury him today. How do you bury such a sweet child so soon?" "I met him at prayers," said neighbor Moshe Yaronsky, who recalled he was always "a smiling, gentle man." A yeshiva friend and member of the ZAKA team who went to Mumbai to collect the bodies recalled "entering Chabad House on Saturday night. It was like a nightmare. "When I saw you [Bentzion] I couldn't look at you. We took your passport and identification card from your pocket. We shouted out Shema Yisrael. "I want to apologize to you, Bentzi, if we missed a bit of blood. It was such hard work." A dual US-Israeli citizen, Bentzion worked as a kashrut supervisor for the New York-based Volover Rebbe, Rabbi Nahum Ephraim Teitelbaum, the father of fellow victim Aryeh Leibish Teitelbaum. He was in India for a plant inspection and was on his way home to Israel when he visited the Mumbai Chabad House, said friends. The terrorists attacked the building, known locally as Nariman House, shortly after he arrived. Speakers at the memorial ceremony said he was beloved by those he worked with. "He did his work intelligently, beautifully," said Rojza. "No one was ever angry with him. He sanctified God's name among the Gentiles he worked with." "There is no filling the vacuum left behind here in Bobov," said another speaker. Yehoshua told the gathering that Bentzi had planned to end his work travels, which were taking a toll on his family. "Before he left for India, Bentzi said, 'this is the last time I travel. I can't bear to leave the kids like this.' But he needed to make a living, to support his family." "I never believed that a brother has to accompany his younger brother to his funeral," added Yehoshua. "How do I go to a funeral of someone so young, a brother who barely started his life? "But we have no questions or complaints for God," he insisted in a broken voice. As they escorted the body of the young man into a ZAKA van that took it for burial to Petah Tikva, Chroman's mother and wife wailed, "we love you, Bentzi."