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Sep 15, 2013

Yeshiva boys make kiddush hashem with sukka-building project

and sports is not the only realm in which people are making kiddush hashem (kiddushei hashem?).

Kikar reports on a beautiful story that happened in the Gush Dan area that is a tremendous kiddush hashem.

A couple weeks prior to Yom Kippur, a group of yeshiva students were sitting in a restaurant near their yeshiva eating cholent (can a story start off with a better stereotype than this?). While eating, a secular fellow approached them and asked if they could help him build a sukka. He said t was going to be the first time in his life ever having a sukka.

When pressed he explained that in his building, some haredim have recently moved in. They were building their sukkot outside of the building, and he asked them why they are doing this, without permission from the other residents, and ruining the beauty of the building. He continued saying that they explained how important it is, and it amazed him and he decided to build his own sukka.

The yeshiva boys offered their help.

A few days later, a few of those yeshiva boys showed up at this fellow's house with tools and equipment, ready to build his sukka. This happened in the Pardes Katz neighborhood of Bnei Braq.
(illustration photo)

The yeshiva boys later said that they had come to help with the sukka, and arrived only to discover that the sukka  to be built was very small, really only large enough for one person. They built the sukka, the family was amazed, the father and son put on kippot (brought by the yeshiva boys) and helped put on the schach. (the report says they made a bracha together, but I have no idea what bracha it is referring to). The yeshiva boys described how emotional it was.

They ended up turning the concept into a project. This fellow had a couple of friends who also decided to build sukkot for the holiday, and the yeshiva boys decided they would start a project building sukkot for secular people who want a sukka but dont know what or how to go about it. They received the blessing and the ok from a rosh yeshiva to go ahead with the project, despite it meaning they would be taking away time from yeshiva - they considered waiting until after yom kippur, but the rosh yeshiva told them to not wait - people might change their minds and decide not to put up a sukka at all, better to strike while the iron is hot.

This project is completely voluntary. They do not take money for the building of these sukkot.

I wonder how many people are just taking advantage of a free service to get their sukka built, but would have built one anyway. There are plenty of secular people who celebrate sukkot in some way, including some with a sukka. But that is besides the point. From the side of the builders, this is a tremendous kiddush hashem. and from the side of the secular sukka-wanters, it is wonderful to see the growing interest in the mitzva of sukka.

It is a tremendous kiddush hashem. Kol Hakavod to them.

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  1. Lev HaTorah has been doing this for years for the neighborhood in Ramat Bet Shemesh.

  2. Lev HaTorah finds secular Jews who want a Sukkah in Ramat Bet Shemesh? Wow!

  3. whoops, no, I meant helping those who are incapable of building their own.

  4. I was listening to a completely secular guy on the radio say that he was going to build a succah for his family this year. The man's father had died young, and he didn't have many memories of him, but he did remember building a succah together and sitting in it and having a nice time with him when he was young, and he wanted to give his kids some happy memories. He had no idea about how to build or buy one and people were phoning in with some suggestions. It was very sweet.


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