We arrived in Seoul a week before Passover. We needed the extra time to kosher the kitchen and help with the food preparation. With the enormous tasking of kashering the kitchen, selling kosher food to the locals and preparing for the seders, we had little chance to see the country before the holiday.

The Jewish community is very small, with no more than 1000 Jews at any one time in the country. Most of those who do visit are either stationed in the military or part of the many two-year programs that teach English to Koreans.

The Jewish community is very small

Despite the small number of local Jews, on our first outing into the city we managed to bump into a few. We were able to give them matzah and put tefillin on with them.

One particular man we gave matzah to was returning to England the next day. When we asked him if he had ever put on tefillin before, he said he hadn't. Imagine that! He had to travel halfway around the world to Korea in order to have a bar mitzvah!

The seders were both beautiful. They were held outdoors. The weather was perfect. With some 80 people the first night and 50 the second, we spoke and sang late into the evening. It was a truly profound and spiritually moving experience.