By COLlive reporter
A pair of Lubavitchers trekked for days on a dangerous and cold path to be titled the first ones to print Chabad’s foundational book, the Tanya, on Mount Everest.
Meir Alfasi of Rechovot, Israel, and Shmuly Levitin of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights climbed 17,598 feet to reach the Everest Base Camp in Nepal.
“The Lubavitcher Rebbe instructed us to print ‘The Tanya’ in every place where there are Jews, even if it’s only one Jew,” Alfasi, 30, told Israel Hayom newspaper.
With no vehicle access to the rudimentary campsite, Alfasi and Levitin took with them 10 cans of tuna, Matzah, a package of paper and a printer.
They were accompanied for the 2-week adventure by two Sherpas (local inhabitants) and bundled up in thermal clothes.
Alfasi also took with him a Chassidic fedora, saying that he wanted fellow Jewish trekkers to identify him. “We got to put on Tefillin on a few of them,” he told COLlive.com.
Nepal’s Chabad Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz provided the hiking team with a satellite phone to locate their position throughout the challenging journey. Some 4 hikers died there just this past week.
“You walk 18 hours a day,” Alfasi said. “I lost 22 pounds during the trek, so now I need to switch out my entire wardrobe.”
These Lubavitchers ended up accomplishing what they set out to do: Printing the Tanya on the highest mountain in the world.
“When we came to the base camp, we asked them for electricity,” Alfasi said. “We told them we’re printing an ancient and holy book so they agreed and helped us print the Tanya on the most powerful mountain on earth.”