Strength in Numbers

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein  |  January 15, 2017

Birds flying in a golden sky.

I lie awake;
I have become
     like a bird alone on a roof.
— Psalm 102:7

If you have ever watched birds in the sky, you’ve noticed that they tend to travel in large groups. Birds prefer to be surrounded by each other at all times because there is strength in numbers. Together, the birds keep each other on track and protect one another from predators. One bird alone is vulnerable and insecure. But within the group, a bird can fly great distances and weather many storms.

In Psalm 102, King David wrote that he felt like a lonely bird on top of a roof. The Jewish sages teach that David not only was referring to himself, but he also was referring to the plight of the Jewish people, his descendants. David foresaw that in the future, the entire nation of Israel would feel just as he felt when he penned this psalm—isolated, abandoned, and alone.

Today, Israel is very much “like a bird alone on a roof.” When she is attacked, most countries look the other way. When she defends herself, the world is quick to denounce her. Israel watches as her enemies attain more and greater weapons than ever before. But she is alone on the rooftop where she can clearly see what is going on. Almost everyone else in the world is unable or unwilling to see the threat that is facing her. Israel waits, alone, vulnerable, and frightened.

This is why the work that we do here at The Fellowship is so critical. When we extend a helping hand, we tell Israel that she is not alone – that she has friends who love her and are ready to help her. A little bit of friendship goes a very long way, and we cannot underestimate the ability we have to give Israel strength – both materially and spiritually.

Take for example, Nava Hivan of Kiryat Malachi, a town in Israel’s south. She lives in a building that took a direct hit from a rocket fired from Gaza during a recent conflict. Three people were killed in that attack, and Nava and her young children suffered through the frightening moments when their friends lost their lives.

The Fellowship stepped in and paid for Nava and her family to relocate to Israel’s north for the duration of conflict so that the family could heal away from the sirens, rockets, and danger. Nava says, “Knowing that someone was concerned for us soothes my soul and gives me the strength to carry on.”

Friends, we want to thank you for standing with Israel. Like the birds instinctively know, there is strength in numbers; together we can help Israel weather any storm. Let Israel know that she is never, ever alone through your prayers and support.

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