Shabbat in Uzbekistan

We spent two Shabbatot in Uzbekistan.

The first Shabbat was in Bukhara. The men in our group attended Friday services (we had been told earlier in the day by the Rabbi that women do not attend services on Friday).

Afterwards we all made our way for Shabbat dinner to the home of a Muslim family who specializes in cooking kosher meals for Israeli tour groups.

We made the blessings over the candles, wine and bread.

The family then served us a multi-course meal, that included a number of Uzbeki Jewish specialties such as fried fish topped with garlic sauce and Bakhsh (rice with meat and green herbs).

Our second Shabbat was in Samarkand. This one was in a restaurant. Our Muslim Uzbeki guide went in search of candles and wine for us. He returned with two birthday candles, which we melted a bit on the bottom so we could stick them onto two turned -over teacups. We made the blessings over the candles, wine and bread before partaking of our meal.

We couldn’t share Shabbat with our Shomrei community while we were traveling; but making space for Shabbat kept us connected.

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