By Leor Kushner
The months I spent at Masa Israel’s Yeshivat Sha’arei Mevaseret Zion were the most unbelievable ones of my life.
Soon after our arrival last August, we entrenched ourselves in Jewish learning. But a few weeks later, the yeshiva announced that Sept. 14 would be devoted to hesed work: helping underprivileged people build sukkas. While assisting an elderly woman, two friends and I hesitantly climbed the scaffolding on the outside of her one-bedroom apartment and attached the schach (covering) to the sukka.
When the sukka was completed, the woman’s face glowed with appreciation and gratitude. Being able to assist a woman in fulfilling one of the simplest mitzvot in the Torah really struck me, and doing it in Israel, where every house within view also had a sukka on the balcony, was just amazing.