The Foundation of Our Faith | IFCJ
Skip Navigation

The Foundation of Our Faith

Torah at the Western Wall

October 10, 2017

Dear Friend of Israel,

For Jews, knowledge of the Torah – the first five books of the Bible – is the foundation of faith. So, throughout the year, every week in synagogue we publicly read a portion of the Torah, beginning with the first chapter of Genesis and continuing through the book of Deuteronomy.

The conclusion of this cycle of readings is marked this week by a joyous holiday: Simchat Torah. In Hebrew, Simchat Torah means “rejoicing in the Torah” – and, on this holiday, we do indeed rejoice! In synagogue, we carry the Torah scrolls around the sanctuary amid singing and dancing, with children leading the procession. We read the concluding portion of Deuteronomy and the first portion of Genesis, beginning the cycle of readings again for the next year. In this way we demonstrate our love for the Torah, and give thanks to God for the gift of His Word.

One of the deepest truths we learn in the Torah is that our God is never-changing. And this is why we rejoice on Simchat Torah: because in our ever-changing, transient world, we know that God does not change. As the psalmist wrote, “… the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end” (Psalm 102: 25-27).

We worship and serve the same God that the Israelites worshipped as they wandered in the desert. His love and concern for us is as inexhaustible now as it was for them then. While we cannot ultimately count on the things of this world, we can count on Him. What a comfort it is to know that, whatever our trials and challenges, He is with us!

In a world of constant change, the constancy of God and His word offers comfort and hope to Jews and Christians alike. May you come to know that hope in this and every season as we rejoice in God’s words to us, and take comfort in the truths we find in them.

With prayers for shalom, peace,


Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

forgotten-survivors-promo

Remember Their Faces

Learn how you can help impoverished Jews who escaped death during the Holocaust live out their final years with dignity.

Help Now
IDF medical staff helps child

A Country with a Big Heart

While the world so often focuses on Israel’s faults — be they real or imagined — the true heritage of the Jewish state and her people is one of peace, freedom, and helping those in need.

Read More

Rabbi Eckstein at Auschwitz

We Remember, We Act

As we remember the terrible legacy of the Holocaust, we act to create a legacy of hope that provides Holocaust survivors in Israel and the former Soviet Union with a measure of peace and comfort in their twilight years.

Read More

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 27, 1967

Creating a Just World

As the U.S. observes Martin Luther King Day, let us remember that, as Jews and Christians, we must reject hatred, speak out against injustice, and be united by the shared tenets of our faiths.

Read More