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Heirlooms of Faith

Heirlooms of Faith

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He decreed statutes for Jacob
       and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
       to teach their children,
so the next generation would know them,
       even the children yet to be born,
       and they in turn would tell their children.
Then they would put their trust in God
       and would not forget his deeds
       but would keep his commands. — Psalm 78:5–7

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

It was only a brief conversation, one that I had quickly forgotten. But not my oldest daughter. It occurred the day I took her to college, on the first day of the new semester. I reminded her that she was now 18, on her own, beginning a new chapter in college. I told her how I hoped she always would remember what her great-grandparents went through to come to this country and to give to their son — my father, her grandfather — the opportunities of a good education.

But their greatest hope and prayer for him was that he remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy, because that is the key to Jewish life and survival. My father passed that legacy of faith to me, and now I was reminding my daughter to do the same. Years later, my daughter told me that this brief five-minute conversation had the strongest influence on her and inspired her to observe that which is holy in her Jewish faith during her college years.

God commanded His people to share with each generation the stories of His faithfulness, to teach their children His Law and His mighty acts so that they will not forget all that God has done for them, and that hopefully, they would not repeat the same mistakes as their forefathers. The same is true for us today.

Passing on heirlooms of faith is the most important thing that we, Christians and Jews alike, can do for our children and our family. At times, we do this with intention when we instill biblical values through religious education, whether that’s done in a synagogue or church. Or we share our faith journey with our children and tell them the stories of God’s faithfulness to us through the years.

But more often than not, we pass along our legacies of faith through our daily conversations with our children, through our actions and our deeds, through how we treat our neighbors and others. Our children are constantly watching us and seeing how what we do matches with what we tell them. Our lives are a living textbook for our children of what we value most.

What are your children or grandchildren learning from you today? What legacies and heirlooms of faith are you leaving behind for them? What are you doing to pass along His story of faithfulness and His works to the next generation?

The next generation is watching and waiting.

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 3, 2019


Two — Shtayim


Between Grieving and Leading

Being back in Chicago for the first time since my father’s passing has been hard, but has also given me peace, as I see how his life’s work, The Fellowship, is only growing stronger in our mission of bringing Christians and Jews together to do God’s work.

Monthly Teaching Resource

Prayer – Work of the Heart

In this study, we learn about the time of mourning, Tisha B'Av, and how from the tragedies we experience, our faith can grow stronger.

How to Help

High Holy Days Approaching

The High Holy Days – beginning next month – is the holiest time of year for the Jewish people. Right now, The Fellowship is praying for the resources to prepare enough High Holy Days food boxes 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.

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