Jewish Journal


December 19, 2010

Shabbat in Nepal



Shabbat Candles with Bhaktapur Sunset

As a documentary filmmaker, I sometimes get to go to exotic places and have experiences that are quite difficult to capture and describe. Currently, I am on one of those journeys; I am traveling in Nepal to film two documentaries about poverty-stricken children and the hope they bring to many. As it turns out, almost everyone I am traveling with is Jewish. Three of us are also gay- and everyone, including the young children we are working with, are enthusiastically in support of us.

A special moment happened during our first week here when Helen Nightengale, the founder of the Heartbeats Foundation decided that we should celebrate shabbat. How appropriate that it happened to be one of the clearest days on record in Bhaktapur and that we found ourselves on a rooftop overlooking a view of the setting sun reflecting off the Himalayas. We decided to say the blessings over the candles and then I suggested we throw in a Shechiyanu because it was our first Shabbat in Nepal. We then sang “Salam/One Love” and stood in a circle, sharing our traditions with the peaceful people of Nepal.

Shabbat is amazing on it’s own, but this was a particularly meaningful and special one.

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