Sandra Samuel, the nanny who saved two-year-old Moshe by running "like mad" out of Nariman House, regrets not being able to do anything to save the rabbi and his wife who were killed in last week's terror attack at the Jewish centre.
“My first thought was for the baby, only for the baby. But even today I think I should have sent the baby and done something for the rabbi and his wife,” Samuel told CNN in an interview in Israel.
Moshe's parents, Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and Rivka Holtzberg, were among four others killed in Nariman House - a Jewish religious centre.
Moshe and his Indian nanny Samuel left for Israel Dec 2.
The five-storeyed Jewish centre is a popular stop for Israeli tourists, especially backpackers, who visit this country in thousands every year after finishing their national army service or after their university studies.
Recalling the horrifying night, Samuel said: “I was in the kitchen when I saw one man shooting at me - he shot at me. I immediately shut the door and lifted the phone. I could hear rabbi speaking, everyone speaking at once and I knew there was some problem.”
Samuel hid in the storeroom till the next morning when she heard Moshe crying out her name.
“I was there (in the storeroom) until next morning when the baby called me. When I went, Moshe was next to his Ima (mother) standing and crying out my name,” Samuel said.
Samuel, whose action is being lauded as an act of bravery, feels that gunshots or terrorists did not scare her from saving the baby.
“I don't think of fear. Does anybody think of dying at that moment when a small precious baby's (around)? When I heard gunshots, not one two but hundreds of gun shots, 10-20 grenades, in the Chabad I just picked the baby and ran like mad,” said Samuel, a mother of two.
After the attack, Samuel says, Moshe asked for his mother continuously but is now learning to play again.
“I am here (in Israel) for the baby. I just take care of the baby,” said a smiling Samuel.
The standoff between Indian commandos and terrorists at the Nariman House began Nov 26. Indian forces stormed the Jewish centre Nov 28, killing the terrorists inside.