A Nepalese Boy Finds a Home With Chabad of Kathmandu
He’s the good looking, buoyant 12 year old Nepalese boy who greets visitors to Katmandu’s Chabad House with a huge smile: “Hi I’m Bim, the boy from Beit Chabad," he offers. He's also quick to provide unsolicited bits of useful information, like candle-lighting time on Friday, or that Shabbos is not out until three stars are spotted in the sky.
Bim arrived at the Chabad House last year, naked but for a plastic bag that he used for some cover. One of hundreds of children exploited for profit on Kathmandu’s dangerous streets, he fixed his eyes on a Chabad rabbinical student, and asked for help. He wouldn’t leave go until the student brought him back to the Chabad House.
Chezki and Chani Lifshitz, Chabad representatives here have become beloved figures in Kathmandu, especially to thousands of Israeli backpackers who flock to the Himalayas after completing their service in the IDF. (The Lifshitzs were the inspiration for Kathmandu, a popular Israeli TV series based on their day-to-day lives as Chabad Shluchim in this third-world backwater.)
After 13 years of living here, the Lifshitzs have not become hardened to the poverty and the human suffering that are everywhere in this slum city. “My grandmother is a Holocaust survivor,” Chani says. “I learned from her not to ignore the pleading eyes of a child in need. Bim was not going to survive—that much was obvious,” she says.
Saving the Life of A Child Beggar
The boy screamed in pain as Chani and Chezki gently washed his lacerated, severely malnourished body. Scars and bruises—from beatings by his traffickers disappointed in his take home after a day on the streets—were raw. They brought a doctor in to administer first aid. They cut his long, matted hair and uncovered a beautiful face. They fed him, clothed him and made him comfortable.
What made Bim know to ask for the Chabad House?