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In Cusco, Peru, Backpackers Observe Jewish Fast Day

Cusco, Peru.

( It was a record breaking pre-fast meal Wednesday evening, as 75 backpackers took their final meal before the Tisha b'Av fast at the Chabad center in Cusco, Peru.

Chabad rabbinical students Eli Olidort and Alex Piekarski spent time with the travelers, studying related texts and sources about this traditional Jewish fast day that commemorates the destruction of the Holy Temples in Jerusalem. They broke the fast together on Thursday night, lingering on into the late hours of the night, shmoozing and learning more about Judaism.

Chabad representatives in Cusco, Rabbi Ofer and Yael Kripor, typically host between 200-250 guests for Shabbat dinner every Friday night. Israeli backpackers–trekking the mountains here after completing army service–are drawn to the Chabad Center where, ironically, they invariably discover an interest in Jewish life and experience Shabbat, often for the first time.


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