Troubled Times – and Timeless Wisdom | IFCJ
Skip Navigation

Troubled Times – and Timeless Wisdom

IDF soldiers pray at Western Wall

February 15, 2018

Dear Friend of Israel,

The threat of war is a daily reality for Israel. We saw this again recently, when an Iranian drone launched from Syria violated Israeli air space, and Israel responded by shooting down the drone and hitting military targets in Syria. An Israeli F-16 fighter jet was shot down by the Syrian army; thankfully, the pilots survived.

It is astonishing to me when I think that, in spite of continual challenges like this, Israel remains the creative, productive country – the “light unto the nations” (Isaiah 49:6) – that it is. Whatever the circumstances, daily life in the Jewish state goes on. One of the reasons for this, I strongly believe, is that it is a nation built on a foundation of faith.

At the heart of that faith, of course, is the Bible. For millennia, both Jews and Christians have turned to it for wisdom and guidance in their time of need. One of the passages they turn to most frequently is Psalm 23.

These profound verses, written by King David, speak of God’s provision and protection for those who follow him. They are words that everyone can identify with – who among us has not at one time been weary, hungry, or fearful? In his early life, David had been a shepherd, and he includes the powerful image of the Lord with his rod and staff acting as a shepherd who protects us from danger and never lets us stray.

In verse 5, the image changes to that of a banquet, with God Himself as host. David speaks of the banquet being prepared in the presence of enemies – the last place someone would want to be under normal circumstances. Yet, David is not afraid, because God has promised to be with him.

This is God’s promise to all of us, and we are reminded of it every time we turn to the timeless wisdom of the Bible. It is especially important to remember this promise at times of trouble and turmoil, like we see today in Israel and throughout the world.

My friends, as Israel continues her ongoing pursuit of peace and security, let us continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, and for the day when Israel’s enemies will extend their hands in friendship to the Jewish state and the Jewish people. May we all see the day when God’s gift of shalom, peace, will cover the entire world.


Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President

PS We have a rich library of educational resources on our website that will help you learn and grow in your faith from biblical insights, and educate you on Jewish tradition and the Jewish roots of Christianity. I hope you will take a moment and explore these resources today!

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