Living for Future Generations

Yael Eckstein  |  August 8, 2022

Yael holding a young boy in an IFCJ shirt with people in IFCJ shirts and waving Israeli flags in the background

At that time I pleaded with the LORD… “Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan—that fine hill country and Lebanon.” — Deuteronomy 3:23,25

Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Va’etchanan, which means “I pleaded,” from Deuteronomy 3:23–7:11.

A few weeks ago, I once again had the joyous privilege to welcome a planeload of new olim, Jewish immigrants to the state of Israel. And I have to say, it never gets old. The excitement and inspiration I feel when I see the faces of Jews who have returned to their biblical homeland from exile is renewed every time.

As an olim myself, I often find myself wondering how I merited to be a part of this miracle. I think of the many generations of Jews who suffered through 2,000 years of exile, yearning and praying every day to return to the Promised Land. How did they hang on? How did they continue believing in the return when the exile seemed so permanent and endless?

Most of all, I am grateful. These faithful Jews passed the baton of Jewish faith to their children, generation after generation, even as they knew that they would not be there to witness the great ingathering for themselves. Their selfless devotion is the secret to Jewish survival.

Living for Future Generations

In this week’s Torah portion, we read about Moses praying and yearning to enter the Promised Land, even as he knew he would not be able to. He pleaded with God, “Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? Let me go over and see the good land beyond the Jordan—that fine hill country and Lebanon” (Deuteronomy 3:24-25).

The question is, why didn’t God say yes? Why not allow Moses to enter the land? There are many answers offered. But for me, there is a message of encouragement and comfort to those heroic generations of Jews who stayed strong during the darkest days of the long exile. They could look to Moses as an example of their own experience.

Moses, like them, lived for others. He lived for the future generations who would inherit the land, even as he knew that he would never experience it. Imagine the kinship and comfort they must have felt about their own predicament as they were reminded that Moses was just like them, living for future generations.

Your Turn:

Help us fulfill the prophecies and dreams of thousands of years by giving to The Fellowship’s On Wings of Eagles ministry, assisting needy Jews in making aliyah, immigrating to Israel.