Kathmandu is known for hosting the largest Seder in the world. But during our Passover travels, perhaps no event touched us more than a seemingly chance encounter we had on the street.

On the Thursday before Passover, we had been walkingThe experience left him feeling amiss through the streets of Kathmandu, looking for Jews who wished to put on tefillin. Suddenly, someone tapped me on the back.

Turning in surprise, I saw a middle-aged man who introduced himself as Yair. He told me that despite being born in Israel, for the past 20 years he had been living in southern India. Recently he had come to Nepal to tackle his next great adventure - summiting Mt. Everest. He had just returned from the peak, having successfully scaled the mountain, but the experience left him feeling amiss. During his descent from the summit, he found himself entirely unable to breath. In fear, he began to pray for help.

“You have to understand,” he told me. “If you up the word chiloni (secular) in the dictionary, you'll see my picture! It was entirely uncharacteristic for me to start praying.”

Yet pray Yair did, perhaps for the first time since moving to India, perhaps even longer.

“I decided that if I made it down that night,” Yair continued, “Then I would go to synagogue to say the "Gomel," prayer of thanks.”

So there Yair was, in Kathmandu, looking for a minyan to say the prayer.

I invited him to join us for Shabbat when we would definitely have a minyan. Yair arrived promptly but didn't want to enter the synagogue until it was time for his prayer, so we waited outside, getting to know one another better.

In the synagogue, Yair was overcome with emotion andYair was overcome with emotion found it difficult to speak clearly. He mumbled the prayer and rushed out of the synagogue. I followed him, and saw he was crying uncontrollably. Between sobs, Yair told me that he had spent his entire life running away from G‑d and Judaism, but here in distant Kathmandu, he had discovered that Judaism was what he had unknowingly been searching for all along.

I asked Yair if he would join us for the Seder but he was going back to India the next morning. We spoke for a little while longer and as we said our goodbyes he looked at me with a serious expression. “You know what?” He told me, “There is a Chabad emissary in Bangalore, not far from my home-town, I'm going to join him for the Seder!”