November 12, 2018
Dear Friend of Israel,
I was mere hours away from heading to the airport for a flight to Hong Kong when I heard the familiar, unwelcomed news: Dozens of rockets fired on Israel from terrorists in Gaza. Code red sirens sounded as far away as the Dead Sea and Hebron. Classes canceled. Trains closed. Multiple injuries.
Once again Israel is on alert as war appears imminent.
Hamas terrorists have warned Israeli troops not to respond, threatening to fire rockets on Jerusalem if they do. This is a new and delusional request from a force that so far has fired more than 200 rockets at the Holy Land, striking houses in Netivot and destroying a bus in the Sha’ar Hanegev region of southern Israel.
Sharp escalation of attacks followed by periods of relative calm take a heavy toll. Israelis live in constant uncertainty, never knowing when rocket fire will start, praying that they will have enough time to reach a bomb shelter when it does. It is especially heartbreaking to think of children living in this situation. When I hear of code red sirens, I always wonder where my four young grandchildren living in Israel are, and pray that they are safe.
Sadly, we are used to this sudden fear and anxiety. But Israelis are tough, and live on faith. We know our faithful God has promised never to leave or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). And thanks to your continued love and support, The Fellowship is there, as we always have been in times of war and crisis, delivering lifesaving and life-sustaining aid.
We are already funding temporary lodging for two impoverished single-parent families whose homes were damaged. We are also reaching out to olim (immigrants) who made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) with The Fellowship, reminding them what to do if they hear a code red siren and giving them the contact info for Homefront Command. And our staff is in contact with mayors and security officials in areas hit by rockets to determine immediate needs. Thanks to your faithful support, we are poised and ready to help, no matter what the days and weeks ahead hold.
I am encouraged by your faithful support – and by the trip that takes me away from Israel even as she is under attack. In Hong Kong I will meet with pastors and other Christian friends who want to learn how they can support Israel and her people. From there I will travel to Singapore and Korea to do the same. As Israel once again braces for the possibility of war, we take comfort that we do not stand alone. We have Christian friends around the world standing strong with us, praying for us, and acting as “watchmen on the walls” (Isaiah 62:6) for Israel in her time of need.
Please continue to pray for safety and protection for Israel and her people — and for the day when God will bless Israel with His most precious gift of shalom, peace.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President