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My Brother’s Keeper

My Brother’s Keeper

Rescue those being led away to death;
    hold back those staggering toward slaughter.
If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
    does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
    Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done? — Proverbs 24:11-12

This week Jews in Israel and around the world will mark Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, on May 2, honoring the six million Jews murdered at the hands of Nazi Germany. Throughout this week, I will share reflections from my father, the late Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, on the importance for Christians and Jews to never forget and to continue the fight against anti-Semitism and persecution wherever it exists. — Yael Eckstein, Fellowship President,

To learn more on how Christians can respond to the Holocaust, download our complimentary booklet, Never Forget/Never Again.

Raoul Wallenberg came from a wealthy and famous Swedish family. When the Nazis started rounding up Jews in Hungary, Wallenberg went to Budapest as a diplomat to hand out Swedish citizenship papers to thousands of Jews. More than 400,000 Jews had already been deported to Auschwitz, but 200,000 remained in Budapest, so Wallenberg acted swiftly and fearlessly.

He even chased down deportation trains, pulled Jews off, and declared them Swedish subjects under his diplomatic protection. The Nazis weren’t sure how to stop him. The Swedish embassy in Budapest could not accommodate all the new citizens, so Wallenberg purchased 31 buildings to use as “safe” houses and declared them Swedish property, protected by international law. Wallenberg may have saved as many as 100,000 Jews from a deadly fate.

Wallenberg’s decisive action, at great personal cost and even greater personal risk, is a model for us. Whenever we see injustice, whether small or great, we should take action. It’s easy to see something and think, “That doesn’t affect me,” but the principle of being accountable for our fellow human beings goes all the way back to the early chapters of Genesis.

After Cain killed Abel, God asked Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Genesis 4:9). Later, in Genesis 9:5, God said “And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.”

So, the answer to Cain’s question is: yes, you are your brother’s keeper. We all have a responsibility to those around us. God desires that we serve as guardians for one another.

People tend to ask, “Where was God during the Holocaust?” but it’s also appropriate to ask, “Where was man?” More than six million lives were lost during the Holocaust, not only at the hands of perpetrators, but also at the hands of bystanders who did not prevent or stop it.

According to Proverbs 24:11–12, ignorance is no excuse because we cannot tell God, “we knew nothing about this.”

We must do more than just remember the atrocities of the past. We must also accept responsibility for preventing such tragedies in the future. The timeless truth calls each of us to action. As the apostle Paul taught in the Christian Bible, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4).

In what ways can we look out for the interests of others today? How can we stand up for someone today? It may not be as earth-shattering as buying 31 buildings, but even the small, ordinary steps are important to God.

To learn more on how Christians can respond to the Holocaust, download our complimentary booklet, Never Forget/Never Again.

Hebrew Word of the Day

April 30, 2019

Home and Family

Blanket — Smichot

YAEL'S HOLY LAND REFLECTIONS

Reflections from the Sea of Galilee

A much-needed family trip to this biblical body of water shows how God can restore us, renew us, and bless us.

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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