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Sri Lankan Buddhist monks put on Chabad's tefillin in gesture of Noahide obedience

Search for Jews in the Buddhist monastery of Colombo
By Rav Shneur Maidanchik

It is important for us to share what happened to us on the eve of Av 9. A few months ago, two locals arrived at our Chabad center in Colombo, Sri Lanka. To this day, I do not know for what purpose they came, but by the way, they said that somewhere in the jungle, in a Buddhist monastery, two Israeli brothers live. They gave me the phone number of one person who knows where this monastery is located.

I tried to determine the route to the location of the brothers, and realized that getting there, to put it mildly, is very difficult. They are located 5 hours from Colombo, in the rainforest, in the depths of the jungle, with no access road and a specific address.

I thought for a long time how to implement this and meet with them. And today I got up and decided that I must find them, no matter what. Packed up and go!

I found a vehicle suitable for a difficult and difficult journey, and at 5:20 in the morning, together with the messenger of the Rebbe King Moshiach, r. Schneur Ariel, we set off on a journey into the unknown...

We asked the driver to ask the locals about that monastery, and one of the passers-by undertook to lead us to that place. The car was stopped, then it was necessary to continue on foot, and then the monsoon began, pouring rain!


On my way



We entered the wet jungle, taking with us everything that was with us, including tefillin. We went down and up the mountain, passed between the rivers, and in the end, it turned out that we were sent to the wrong place, to another monastery!

There we met a local monk who did not understand a word of English. We tried to talk to him and he motioned for us to move forward and said the word "sudo" which means "white" in the local language. Yeah, we think: a white man? Somewhere ahead... We realized that we need to go forward, in the hope of meeting those two white people of ours...

Wet through, downhill, between the rivers and through the jungle, we returned back to the car, drove three kilometers in the direction the monk was pointing, and suddenly saw the sign of the monastery. Wow! We got out of the car and found an empty area, without people and vehicles.


Suddenly, a teenager on a motorcycle stopped next to us and agreed to take us inside.

We walked for a long time in the rainforest with leeches literally sucking our blood. “I am looking for my brothers,” we said to ourselves, paraphrasing the words of the Torah (“Bereishit” 36:16). We don't give up!

And suddenly, suddenly we saw them! Two dear Israeli brothers, twins, are sitting in a cave, in a rock, all around is green and quiet, only streams and birds!

They were shocked: how did we get there? For five years they had been living there, in the outskirts, alone, in silence, cut off from civilization, and suddenly such a vision: Hasidim, rabbis, in tzitzit, wet black lapserdaks and wet black hats!


Jews in the jungle



Starting a conversation with them, we could not talk enough. We told our brothers about love, spirituality, the soul, Judaism, Hasidism, Liberation...

By the end of our meeting, they put on tefillin and also took a mezuzah from us for protection and protection. One of the brothers asked how to clean his dishes by performing the rite of dipping them?

But this is not the end. We decided to continue our relationship and agreed to meet with us in Colombo. We are looking forward to their arrival!