By COLlive reporter
A new Chabad House was recently established in the mountains of Nepal, in memory of a young man who died while hiking in the area.
Six months ago, George Abboudi, a 22-year-old from Leeds, England, died while hiking through the Annapurna Conservation Area, in the north of the country.
Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz of Chabad Nepal was central to the efforts to find Abboudi when he went missing.
After his death, his parents and friends gathered in Kathmandu, Nepal to celebrate the completion of a new Torah scroll written in his memory. The emotional event was the first time a hachnosas sefer Torah celebration was held in the country, and was a tribute to the well-liked young man who loved life and was an avid hiker.
Just before Pesach, the Torah was transported to the new Chabad center in Manang, one of the stops along the famous Annapurna trek through the Himalayas.
The Torah left from the Chabad House in Kathmandu on a motorcycle, was then transferred to a helicopter, which landed a short distance from Manang. They then climbed the rest of the way to the new Chabad center.
“The Torah is now in the place that George loved, where he spent much of his life,” said Rabbi Lifshitz. “George’s spirit will live on through the Sefer Torah.”
The Chabad House of Manang is the third Chabad House in Nepal. It will be open yearly during hiking season. Due to its high altitude, icy and snowy climate and the steep height of its location, food and supplies are sent via helicopter and transported to the Chabad House on horses.
“It’s very difficult and complicated, but it’s all worth it when you see the eyes of the hikers light up when they enter the warm, wood-paneled Chabad House,” said Rabbi Lifshitz.
“The Chabad house offers a break from the cold of the mountains, and is a reminder of the strong unity between Jews. Visitors see what lengths a Jew will go to for his brother.”