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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Chesed Mission 2013/5773: Day 6

We started our day at Aleh, a home for children who are severely disabled. It was a challenge for most of us, but ultimately it was very rewarding. Some of us helped prepare food and some of us worked on Tu B'Shvat projects with the children. Others helped with therapies and gardening. We enjoyed watching a video of Aleh's children performing a flash mob. Aleh's attention for every child's quality of life is unique. We were fortunate enough to also get to know the staff who love and care for the children as if they were their own. They provide love and care in addition to medical attention and are true ba'alei chesed.

Next we went to Tel Hashomer hospital to visit the pediatric ward. We gave out a variety of toys to children in hematology and oncology as well as in the other areas. While at Tel Hashomer we met with an injured soldier named Zeev. He was injured in the operation Pillar of Defense two months ago. He told us his story about how he lost one arm and how his other arm was paralyzed. He was very inspirational, explaining to us that his ultimate goal is to rejoin the army to defend our homeland. he also reinforced the idea of ahavat achim that should be instilled within all of us when he said, "I love you all."

Later we went to Israel's children museum where we heightened our sensitivities to different types of people. Some of us experienced 'Dialogue in the Dark' and some of us experienced 'Dialogue with Time.' Dialogue in the Dark is an exhibit that helps people understand what it means to be blind. Dialogue with Time helped us understand the challenges and meaning of growing old. These exhibits enriched the chesed we did - be it dancing with children at Keren Or or serving food to the elderly at Carmei Ha'ir .

Our last stop was Bayit Cham for the girls and Yeshivat Torat Shraga for the boys where they met with alumnus Elliot Dweck who is studying there for the year. The girls enjoyed dancing and hanging out with the girls of Bayit Cham who have turned their lives around.

It was a day filled with activities and a wide spectrum of people from whom we gained more than we could ever give them. It helped us appreciate what we have and the amazing people who ensure the safety of our country and its children.  ~Victoria Twito