HLM Banner HLM banner

Accompanied by God’s Word

close up image of the bible

Credit:(Photo: Flickr/cindeesniderre)

They are a garland to grace your head
and a chain to adorn your neck
. — Proverbs 1:9

In loving memory of my father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, I share with you his devotions expressing his passion for family, for passing on his faith, and the importance of living a faith-filled life.
— Yael Eckstein, President

A lesser-known Jewish practice of hospitality is called “escorting guests.” This means that after you have fed and cared for friends or family in your home, your duties as the host are not over yet. As the guests leave, we are required to escort them through the door and beyond. In earlier generations, the host would often walk his guests part of the way to their home or even all the way.

This beautiful practice extends our care for our guests beyond the minimum norm and sends a message of love. I have fond memories of my grandfather, who was scrupulous with his observance of this directive. We would never leave his home without him following us to the car and waiting as we pulled out of the driveway until he couldn’t see us anymore.

This practice is learned from Abraham, who excelled at hospitality. After Abraham hosted three strangers and served them an elaborate meal, Scripture reads: “Abraham walked along with them to see them on their way” (Genesis 18:16). Aside from expressing love for our guests, escorting them is also an expression of concern. While our roads are mainly safe today, for most of history, traveling could be quite dangerous. When the host escorted his guests, he was also helping to ensure their safety.

The Hebrew word for “escort” is levaya and that very same word is used in the following verse from Proverbs: “They are a garland to grace your head . . .” Referring to words of Torah, Proverbs calls them a levaya to grace our head. The Jewish sages explain that this teaches us when a person has no choice but to travel without an escort, the words of the Bible are his or her companion. They accompany us, protect us, and guide us.

While it’s wonderful to have companions in life who walk beside us and escort us through the twists and turns of our journey, there are times when we find ourselves alone. And what about those who are almost always alone? The widow, the orphaned, the lonely, the sick? Who accompanies them through life? How do we find comfort when on our own?

This verse from Proverbs teaches us that we are never alone with the Bible by our side. Its words are our companion. Its teachings are our guide. Its messages, a source of love. When there is no one to show us the way, God’s Word will direct us. When there is no one to help us maneuver through the dangers of life, the Bible will protect us. Just as a garland surrounds a head, let God’s Word surround our soul. Then, we will walk protected, directed, and loved.

For more on what it means to live a faith-filled life, please download Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s timeless teachings in his booklet, A Man of Faith.

Hebrew Word of the Day

March 24, 2019

Calendar

Monday — Yom Sheni

YAEL'S HOLY LAND REFLECTIONS

Yael Eckstein looks out at Israel's neighbor with IDF

A Good Neighbor

As she did during Golda Meir’s time and King David’s days, Israel remains committed to peace and God’s biblical commandment to “love your neighbor.”

Monthly Teaching Resource

Eckstein Family on Shabbat

Tisha B’Av - Teaching Our Children Hope

Listen as Fellowship President and CEO Yael Eckstein explains the Jewish observance, Tisha B’Av, which occurs this month at sundown July 29-July 30, and the lessons of hope that can be found in the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, from her audiobook, Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to Our Children. **

Please be patient with us! You may experience a short delay before the audio begins.

How to Help

sad elderly woman Maria from Ukraine wearing scarf

Bless and Be Blessed

God promises to “bless those who bless [Israel].” You can take part in His promise by being a blessing to a lonely elderly Jewish person who has nowhere else to turn. Your gift will help provide food, medicine, and shelter to someone in desperate need. Join us in helping these precious souls with your best gift today.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay informed about issues affecting Israel, the Jewish people, Jewish-Christian relations, receive daily devotionals, and more.