Newsletter : 8fax0410.txt
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>JN April 10, 1998, Vol. 6, No. 67
The Largest Seder in the World
By IINS News Service
KATMANDU, Nepal -- Following legions of "wandering Jews," Lubavitch
emissaries have been dispatched to the "rooftop of the world," a
favorite destination of Jewish trekkers -- Israelis who have
finished their army service and are out to see the world.
Lubavitch's annual "Seder On Top Of The World" for these young Jews
is the largest known seder in the world. This year, four young
rabbis were dispatched to make that trek. They arrived in the
Himalayan kingdom outfitted with 450 pounds of Matza, kosher fish,
meat, wine and Haggadahs, and energy enough to galvanize an army of
backpackers -- more than 1,000 young Jews climbing the highest
mountain in the world.
Dozens of Israelis have already been recruited for KP duty, peeling
potatoes while trading favorite chicken-soup recipes and discussing
the Haggadah and its modern-day relevance with the rabbis. And
throughout the high mountain passes, along the tortuous paths of
Nepal and Tibet, young Israeli, American, Australian and European
Jews are heard alerting each other to be back in time for the Seder
In the few days the emissaries have been there they have put on
tefillin with more than 300 people, arranged Friday night services
for 85, held numerous impromptu study classes, and arranged
Passover provisions for a Jew spending Passover in Tanzania. They
also sent seder provisions for Jews spending the holiday on top of
On Pesach night, these Jews will stream into a huge army tent in
front of the Israeli embassy lined end to end with long tables
laden with Haggadahs, wine and Seder plates, and learn about
Irit Goren, 23, of Tel-Aviv, who came to the country to study
Eastern religions, said: "Pesach in Katmandu Lubavitch-style was a
real eye-opener for me. This [was] the first time Judaism had any
meaning for me... I never knew that Judaism was so spiritual."
Goren is one of some 25,000 Israelis who trek through the Himalayas
each year as a rite of passage following army service. "Many young
Jews travel to the Far East searching for meaning and spiritual
identity," said Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky of the Lubavitch World
Headquarters. "We hope that this positive Jewish experience will
help them find their true spiritual sustenance in their own
vineyard of Judaism."
For the first time ever, a second large seder will be held in
Nepal's center of adventure, Pokhara. While the seder in Katmandu
has traditionally attracted many of the trekkers camped out in
Pokhara --on their way up or down the mountains -- the fact that
many were left without a seder was reason for Lubavitch World
Headquarters to send an additional pair of students and another
half a ton of food to conduct a seder in Pokhara.
Welcome to Palestine
By IINS News Service
The PLO Authority Ministry of Tourism has issued an official
booklet - "Palestine: Sales Guide for Tour and Travel Operators."
"Palestine, the heart of the Holy Land, is a fascinating country
forming a unique backdrop to people with different personalities
and religious backgrounds. This is a land at the crossroads of
history where profound beliefs, aspirations, and ideas have been
realized. In order to appreciate and understand this land of the
Bible, one must see the land, what it is and visit the religions
and archaeological sites to absorb its history."
The booklet includes a map of cities and towns in "Palestine",
beginning at Jenin in the North, and extending to Beersheva in the
South. An interesting city called Lydda (Lod) is shown, southeast
of Tel-Aviv. To the west of Ramallah is another interesting piece
of territory, labeled on the map - "No Mans Land."
Conversion Institute Approved by Cabinet Panel
By IINS News Service
A conversion institute, to be operated by representatives of the
Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish communities, has been
approved by a cabinet subcommittee.
The institute is a direct result of the recommendations made by the
Ne'eman Committee, which was established to seek out a compromise
to avoid a major split between Conservative and Reform Jews and the
State of Israel. The institute will be set up in Beersheva, to
serve the large population of immigrants from the former USSR.
Deputy Minister of Housing Rabbi Meir Porush, of the United Torah
Judaism alliance said the Reform and Conservative movement "want to
be like gentiles," and he was unable to support such an initiative.
Porush stated the two movements should have nothing to do with the
process of converting a non-Jew to Judaism.
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