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Children of the Most High

Children of the Most High

Credit:bibleplaces.com

The LORD said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them: ‘A priest must not make himself ceremonially unclean for any of his people who die . . . ‘” — Leviticus 21:1

As we remember the anniversary of Fellowship Founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s passing this month, we offer you a selection of his devotional thoughts on leaving a legacy of faith. Learn how you can honor Rabbi Eckstein’s lifework and legacy through our Wings of Eagles ministry.

When I was living in the United States, I was used to people referring to each other with terms of affection like “sweetheart” or “honey.” It was normal to see a parent calling his son “buddy” or “sport.” When I got to Israel I had to readjust my language. Here, it is quite normal for a mother to call her son tsaddik, which means “saint” or “righteous one.” Even a cab driver might call you tsaddik! Another common term of endearment is neshama, which means “soul.” Parents, teachers, and workers alike commonly refer to others as neshama.

It took some getting used to, but now I truly appreciate these terms that have become standard Israeli parlance. How beautiful to remind each other who we really are! My guess is that a child who grows up being called tsaddik may be just a bit more likely to become one.

This reminds me of a conversation that I had with a secular Israeli with almost no connection to the Jewish tradition. He mentioned to me the name of his great-grandfather because he had once heard that this man was a well-known rabbi. It was a name that I knew quite well.

When I responded enthusiastically to his great-grandfather’s name and gushed about his reputation, suddenly this detached Israeli stood a little straighter. I could see pride shining through his eyes. It was clear that he saw himself differently – all from knowing who his great-grandfather was. He was part of an important legacy, and I like to think that perhaps that chance encounter had a profound impact on his life.

Our Scripture today begins, “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them . . .’” The verse could have more simply stated, “Say to Aron’s sons . . .” The Jewish sages teach that there were two things that Moses was to say to the priests, which is why there is the double language of first “speak” and then “say.” First, Moses was to say to the priests, “You are the sons of Aaron.” Only then would the rest follow.

It is so important for a person to know who they are so that they can fulfill their life’s mission. In the case of the priests, they had to be reminded that they were Aaron’s sons, heirs to a prominent legacy. In our case, we need to remember that we are “all sons of the Most High” (Psalm 82:6). As we contemplate that we are children of God, we should stand a little taller and feel a bit more confident. Most importantly, once we know who we are and whose we are, we must behave accordingly.

You can honor the lifework and legacy of  Fellowship Founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein by participating in the Rabbi Eckstein Memorial Freedom Flight, bringing Jews from Ukraine and countries of distress home to Israel.

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Monthly Teaching Resource

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. **

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How to Help

Pray With Us

Please join us as we gather together for prayer and healing during these painful and tense times in America by phone, Tuesday, July 28th, at 8 PM Eastern Time/7 PM Central Time/ 5 PM Pacific Time. Call in at 1-877-365-5237 to join. Yael Eckstein and The Fellowship’s Chairman of the Board, Bishop Lanier, will lead our Fellowship Family in prayer through this difficult time, and with our prayers may we find peace.  

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