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Unified in Our Grief and Our Prayers

July 1, 2014


The Israel Defense Forces were searching for the three kidnapped boys – Gilad, Eyal, and Naftali – for 18 days. The 18th day is when the soldiers and volunteers found their bodies.

In Hebrew, the number 18 is the equivalent to the word chai, which means life. For 18 days the Jewish people – and the world – had life, because we were unified in prayers for these boys to come home. On the 18th day they came home, but not in the way any of us wanted.

For the people of Israel, the deaths of these three young men are not political but very personal. These boys were our boys. Yet, as the mother of one of the boys so inspiringly said a week ago, “God is not our employee,” and we cannot direct Him.

I believe that everything God does is out of love and for the best, but this devastating news is just so hard to handle. I am praying we keep the unity through prayer that has bound us all together in the past weeks. And may God give us all strength and bless His world with shalom (peace).


18 for Israel – The Gift of Life

During the special High Holy Days season, Yael introduces a new Fellowship initiative that will allow you to provide lifesaving help to 180,000 Jewish people in need.

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A Song for My Saba

Yael celebrates the life of her grandfather, a man who always had a smile on his face, words of thanks on his lips, and joyful songs of worship in his heart.

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The Day I Met Superwoman

Yael writes of being inspired by a single mother in Israel whose tough but joyful life has been helped by The Fellowship.

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Yael Eckstein praying at the Western Wall

My First Love

Writing at The Times of Israel, Fellowship Senior Vice President Yael Eckstein speaks fondly of her recent visit to America, but says that the Holy Land is her home.

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