September 24, 2015
Dear Friend of Israel,
The title of Israel’s national anthem, “Hatikva,” translates in English into “The Hope.” The second stanza of the anthem reads, “Our hope is not yet lost, the hope that is two thousand years old, to be a free nation in our land, the Land of Zion, Jerusalem.”
It is from this stanza that a new, stirring documentary film produced by the Christian Broadcasting Network takes its name. Titled The Hope, this film tells the story of the modern state of Israel through the story of its founders, and the pioneers who paved the way for its founding Theodore Herzl, Chaim Waizmann, David Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, and others. The bravery of these men and women, who defied the odds to make “the hope” of a Jewish state a reality, is inspiring and one of the great stories of modern history.
We also learn from this film that Christians played a vital part in the founding of this nation. It was U.S. President Harry Truman, a Baptist from Missouri, who was the first head of state to formally recognize Israel’s existence. In doing so, he changed the course of modern Jewish history, and created a friendship and partnership between our two nations that endures to this day. The Hope offers both a history lesson and lesson in the power of faith.
Psalm 137 beautifully and poignantly expresses the feeling of the Jewish people during their thousands of years of exile: “By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.” Exiled no more, thanks to the conviction of strong Jewish leaders, and with the help of Christian friends who held a similar conviction, the dream of a Jewish state has become a reality. The Hope tells this story of realized hopes and fulfilled prophecy. I recommend it to all of you who have supported Israel through your continued partnership with the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.
“Our hope is not yet lost, the hope that is two thousand years old, to be a free nation in our land, the Land of Zion, Jerusalem.” Israel may not have peace with her neighbors, despite all her efforts to make peace; we may not be able to live with the assurance of security. But, as The Hope shows us, through the extraordinary efforts of many extraordinary people, we need no longer “sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land” (Psalm 137:4). Thanks be to God.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President