Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to Our Children
According to renown Christian leader Billy Graham, the greatest legacy we can leave the next generation is not money nor the material things we’ve accumulated, but a legacy of faith and character. Passing on our faith is of paramount importance to both Christians and Jews. In Judaism, it’s called “l’dor v’dor,” from generation to generation. As we will learn in Yael Eckstein’s special podcast series, Generation to Generation, passing on faith through the rituals and holy observances that occur within the family is what has preserved the Jewish people through exiles, persecution, pogroms, and even the Holocaust. On today’s podcast, Yael explores this biblical injunction for parents to teach children about faith and shares how the lessons she learned from her parents can help us all to be “living examples” of faith for our children. Listen today!
On February 6, 2019, Yael Eckstein’s life irrevocably changed with one phone call. Her father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, had unexpectedly and tragically passed away at age 67. In one moment, Yael had lost her father, her mentor, and her role model.
Just months earlier, The Fellowship’s Board of Directors had appointed Yael as President-elect to take up her father’s mantel once he retired in three years. For the past several years, Yael had been working alongside her father, taking in his vision and direction, and learning the day-to-day duties of running the organization. The plan had been for her father to be by Yael’s side, guiding her through the transition.
Now, bereft and devastated, Yael faced an uncertain future.
Yet, in the difficult days following her father’s death, what became clear to Yael was that her father had been preparing her for this very moment. Not only had he been training her to run the largest nonprofit organization in Israel, more importantly, he, along with her mother, also had been instilling in Yael from childhood the faith and foundational values that she would need to navigate this world and make it a better place.
Inspired by this rich legacy of faith that her father had passed on to her, Yael wrote a book, Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to Our Children, which will be the basis of the Nourish Your Biblical Roots podcast for the next nine weeks. Each week will feature a chapter from Yael’s book on teaching our children key values, such as forgiveness, generosity, gratitude, and hope, through the lessons she learned through the holy observances and traditions that were practiced within the family.
“The wondrous thing about God’s holy days and observances is that they have a way of communicating faith with children of every age and adults at every stage of life,” explained Yael. “It is these gatherings and memories that plant the seeds of these values; it is these traditions and rituals repeated year after year that make them flourish and grow.”