Aa

Adjust size of text

Aa

Follow us and continue the conversation

Your saved articles

You haven't saved any articles

What are you looking for?

Haimish Himalayas: Chabad rabbi hits peak outreach

TJI Pick
Print this
10

Published: 20 September 2018

Last updated: 4 March 2024

IN THE RURAL, laid-back Himalayan villages of Dharamkot and Bhagsu, renowned for tarot, reiki, meditation, crystal healing and yoga, are two Chabad houses providing a spiritual Jewish alternative.

The pair of Jewish outreach outposts are a magnet for the 20,000 Jews — mainly Israelis — wishing to experience Kabbalah, Jewish psychology and meditation, or simply enjoy a kosher meal on their travels.

The centres are the brainchild of 47-year-old Rabbi Dror Shaul, who returned to India’s Himalayan hills only a few years after he turned his back on becoming a Tibetan Buddhist monk.

Raised in a left wing, secular family in Jerusalem’s Beit Hakerem neighborhood, Shaul grew up resenting the ultra-Orthodox protests and their repeated chanting against the opening of cinemas on Shabbat.

After his army service as a paratrooper, Shaul left Israel on a one-way ticket to India. His idea was to travel as far away as he could from both Jerusalem and Judaism in search of the spiritual meaning of life.

FULL STORY How a Himalayan Chabad house’s wildly popular rabbi almost became a Tibetan monk (Times of Israel)

Photo: Rabbi Dror Shaul prays with his children in the Himalayan mountains near his Chabad centres close to Dharamshala (Courtesy)

Keep our publication free:
Support quality journalism with your donation

Since 2015, TJI has provided an independent voice on Australia, Israel and the Jewish World at zero cost to our readers.

Your contribution — big or small — is critical in helping us create a platform for diverse content, fresh voices and regular coverage on issues that matter to you.

SELECT FREQUENCY
AUSTRALIA AU$

The Jewish Independent acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of Country throughout Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and strive to honour their rich history of storytelling in our work and mission.

Enter site