HLM Banner HLM banner

Getting to Know You

girl praying

Credit:pixabay.com

God is renowned in Judah;
    in Israel his name is great. — Psalm 76:1

As we begin a new year and a new decade, let the pursuit of wisdom be one of our top goals. Enjoy this collection of devotions on wisdom throughout the month from Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein’s timeless teachings.

As we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this month, download our complimentary booklet on the historic and spiritual bond between the Jewish and African-American communities.

Psalm 76 begins “God is renowned in Judah.” Literally, the verse translates from the original Hebrew as “God is known in Judah,” but what does it mean to really know God?

In the Jewish tradition, there are three types of wisdom. The first, chochma, is pure knowledge. It’s knowing facts and figures. The second, binah, is understanding. This kind of wisdom goes beyond simple facts into understanding the reason why the facts exist. For example, knowing that four times eight is 32 is knowledge. Knowing how multiplication works and why four multiplied eight times becomes 32 is understanding.

Finally, there is da’at, or knowing – truly knowing something to the point where it affects the way that a person lives. For example, a person can know that eating too much cake makes you overweight and sick, and even understand the science behind weight gain. But da’at is taking that knowledge and then adopting and living a healthy lifestyle. Da’at is knowing something so deeply that it directs every thought and action in our lives.

The Jewish sages teach that this psalm refers to the time period of King Hezekiah, and more specifically, when he was threatened by the Assyrian King Sennacherib (see 2 Kings 18—19). Assyria was the superpower of its time. King Sennacherib had already captured many countries, including the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and it was clear that he had set his sights next on Jerusalem and the Kingdom of Judah.

From all appearances, Judah was doomed. The tiny kingdom didn’t stand a chance militarily against the great Assyrian army. But Judah had a God-fearing king who prayed, acted with righteousness, and trusted in God. King Hezekiah’s prayers were answered, and God caused a great miracle. The entire Assyrian army was destroyed by God’s angel of death. Sennacherib had no choice but to retreat home – where he was promptly assassinated by his own sons.

This is how Judah came to know God – to really know God to the point where their lives were profoundly changed. They had seen firsthand how God was present in their lives, how He loved them, and how He would do anything for them. How could they not be permanently and fundamentally changed?

While we may not experience miracles on the magnitude of Hezekiah’s time, God sends us other experiences that make it clear He is present and lovingly involved in our lives. If we take the time to seek God, we will find Him and come to truly know Him – in a way that profoundly affects our lives.

Consider how you might know God in a more profound way this coming year.

Download your complimentary copy of our booklet, On the Frontlines of Faith, which explores the historic and spiritual bond between the African-American and Jewish communities during the civil rights movement.

Hebrew Word of the Day

January 8, 2020

Periods of Time

Dusk — Dimdu’mim

YAEL'S HOLY LAND REFLECTIONS

Yael Eckstein and family blow shofar for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year

A Change for the Better

Let us all celebrate, anticipate, and pray for a good and sweet year to come, rededicating ourselves to living more godly lives.

Monthly Teaching Resource

High Holy Days:  Teaching Our Children Forgiveness

High Holy Days:  Teaching Our Children Forgiveness

The High Holy Days are the most sacred time on the Jewish calendar. In this excerpted chapter from her book, Generation to Generation, Fellowship President and CEO Yael Eckstein shares the lessons of forgiveness she learned from her father, Fellowship Founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, and how she now shares those lessons with her four children and with us! Download your sample chapter today.

How to Help

elderly Jewish woman in fear

High Holy Days Approaching

The High Holy Days are the holiest time of year for the Jewish people. Right now, The Fellowship is praying for resources to prepare enough High Holy Days food boxes in time to give charity to Jews whose only prayer is to have food on the table during this sacred season. Please give as generously as God allows today.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

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