It Isn’t Easy Keeping Kosher in Ecuador

While visiting Ecuador for a large-scale shechita run, schochet Eliyahu Ezagui of Crown Heights got a glimpse at the life of a shliach in a far-away country, and the lengths he needs to go for kosher food.

While visiting Ecuador for a large-scale shechita run, schochet Eliyahu Ezagui of Crown Heights got a glimpse at the life of a shliach in a far-away country, and the lengths he needs to go for kosher food.

Ezagui, who sometimes goes by the moniker ‘the International Schochet’ has traveled to many countries around the globe to hold shechita runs for the local communities. His latest trip, to Ecuador, included some other adventures as well.

Together with local shliach Rabbi Mendy Fried, he first visited the local industrial bakery. Twice a week, a special Pas Yisroel run takes place under Rabbi Fried’s hashgocho, supplying Jews in Guayaquil and Quito with kosher bread and challah.

They later  visited one of the largest banana farms in the world. Ecuador is the world’s largest banana producer, and banana farms are in abundance.

“It was only after I saw the banana plants that I understood the words of the Alter Rebbe in the Siddur (Perek 6, Halacha 6) why the bracha on bananas is hoadomo”, says Ezagui.

The next visit was local cocoa farm and processor to check if their juices and pulps can be used in the local restaurant. While there, they took the opportunity to help the manager put on tefillin. “I haven’t put on tefillin in a while, but I’m always very happen when I do have the chance to put on tefillin”, said the manager thankfully.

For a finale, Rabbi Fried took the visitor on the local ‘aerovia’ cable car. But then, while in the air, Rabbi Ezagui noticed the old Jewish cemetery. After getting back to the ground, he made sure to stop by, visit the kvorim and daven.

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