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Race Against the Clock to Prevent Jewish Woman's Cremation

Emissaries of the Chabad movement in Nepal mount an urgent campaign after Jewish tourist dies in tragic accident.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 10/16/2013, 5:19 PM

Rabbi Chezki Lipshitz (left)
Rabbi Chezki Lipshitz (left)
BeSheva

Emissaries of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in Nepal are fighting against the clock to prevent the cremation of a Jewish woman killed in a tragic bus accident Monday.

The woman, a 32 year-old Australian citizen, was one of 2 people killed when their minibus careened off the highway and plunged into a river. Local investigators suspect the bus may have been speeding before the fatal crash.

The bus was carrying 22 people at the time, and rescue teams are reportedly still searching for missing passengers in the river.

Local Nepalese customs dictate that the bodies of the deceased should be cremated, not buried, whereas Jewish law stipulates the precise opposite, strictly banning cremation.

Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz, who runs the Chabad House in Nepal, explained in a Facebook post that Chabad emissaries were on their way to the site of the crash in Chitwan in an urgent effort to prevent the cremation of her body and ensure she receives a Jewish burial.

Chabad is a hassidic Jewish sect known for its hospitality and outreach to Jewish communities and travelers in almost every corner of the globe.

Its emissaries operate via a network of Chabad "Houses," which serve both local communities and tourists through social and educational programs.