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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Chesed Mission 2014/5774: Day 8

Today being the eighth and final day of the Chesed Mission we tried to make our last stops in Israel truly memorable. We went on the bus bright and early to visit the first organization of the day, Yad LaKashish - Lifeline For The Old. This establishment was founded in order to provide jobs for the elderly who made Aliya to Israel. We were able to walk amongst them as they created the most beautiful items, which included embellished mezuzahs, decorated porcelain pomegranates, knitwear, and more. Though most of the workers are poor Hebrew speakers, we were able to communicate with them and got front row seats to watch their creations come to life. We then had a chance to purchase some of the items and support their organization in their gift shop.
As Jews we acknowledge that the Torah and our forefathers have a great impact on our daily lives, therefore on our second stop of the day we visited Kever Rachel. Though we were only there for a short time, we all took the time to pray and say some Tehilim for all those in need who we visited on the Chesed Mission and those in need at home. The last stop of the day, and of the entire Chesed Mission was a visit to our third army base. This was a joint effort with an organization called Yashar Lachayal. Their purpose is to support soldiers by providing anything that they might need, delivering things like thermals and scarves directly to the chayalim. The soldiers gave us an amazing demonstration, showing and explaining three of the sniper rifles that they use on missions. We then spoke with the soldiers and handed out thermals, socks, and more - things the army doesn't provide for them. We even got a surprise visit from a commander and his soldier Dor on the bus ride out of the base. The day continued with most of us heading to Ben Yehuda street cramming in some last minute shopping and ultimately enjoying our last few hours in Israel. 
Overall this has been an amazing journey for all of us. We were all able to take away important skills from the experience we had and an appreciation for family, friends, chesed, and all the we have at home in Brooklyn. Until next year, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!  ~Merle Cohen