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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Chesed Mission 2014/5774: Day 1

The 12th annual Chesed Mission took off on Tuesday night, January 14th for a non-stop chesed experience in Israel. A group of 50 students and 5 faculty members, led by Rabbi Naftali Besser, decided to spend their winter break in Israel visiting the sick, dancing with soldiers, volunteering in soup kitchens, interacting with special children, and so much more. Right after we got off the 10 hour plane ride it was straight to the kotel to pray Arvit. For a first timer, the experience was breathtaking. The bus filled with students and faculty drove through the beautiful scenery of Jerusalem. We got off the bus at the kotel and the first timers in Israel participated in the famous Chesed Mission tradition: to kiss the floor by the kotel. It was ceremonial with everyone gathered around and pictures being taken. Then the boys and girls separated to their sides of the kotel to pray aravit, which was a very spiritual experience. After that we headed back to the hotel to unpack and go to dinner on Emek Refaim. I can't wait for more days in Israel and the chesed that starts tomorrow. The fun has just begun. ~Michelle Anzaroot