The world’s largest seder was saved at the last minute by a rush shipment, and the help of hundreds of volunteers.
The supplies shipped from Israel to Katmandu, Nepal, arrived just in time following a strike of Israeli embassy employees.
According to Chabad.org, the container shipment carried “1 ton of matzah, 2,000 bottles of wine, 3,000 pieces of gefilte fish and other traditional Jewish foods,” as well as haggadot. The delivery usually travels by sea from Israel to India, where it is brought by truck to Nepal. Though the seder is organized by Chabad, the shipment is coordinated and signed for by the Israeli Embassy. As Israeli Foreign Ministry workers were on strike, the shipment stalled in the Indian port of Kolkata.
The strike ended on April 3 and the shipment was released, but many feared it would not arrive in time. Individual travelers began bringing pieces of the shipment to Nepal. Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz and his wife Chani even discussed making their own grape juice.
Nepal is a very popular destination for young Israeli backpackers, especially young men who have just completed their compulsory military service, due to its low costs and beautiful sights. Since the 1980’s, Chabad has hosted a seder that has seen up to 1,800 guests (and usually has around 1,000), making it the largest in the world. It isn’t even the only communal seder in Nepal; another is also hosted in Kathmandu, and large gatherings are held in Pokhara and Manang.