“The Hope”

Yael Eckstein  |  July 3, 2020

A house that's overlooking hills while dark clouds are overhead.

Yet this I call to mind
        and therefore I have hope:

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
        for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
        great is your faithfulness.
— Lamentations 3:21-23

This month, Jews around the world will observe Tisha B’Av, the darkest day on the Jewish calendar when we mark the destruction of the two Holy Temples and other calamities that have occurred on this day. I’m sharing with you weekly devotions based on my book, Generation to Generation: Passing on the Legacy of Faith to Our Children, about Tisha B’Av and the lessons of hope it has for us today.

One of the most remarkable videos that we have of European Jews in the early 1930s is a group of children singing “Hatikvah, written in the late 1800s by Naphtali Herz Imber, a Jewish poet from Poland.

The children in the video had no idea that less than a decade later most of them, along with their families, would be murdered by the Nazis. They also had no clue that the very song they sang would become the national anthem of a Jewish state that did not yet exist. For the Jewish people, “Hatikvah” captures 2,000 years of exile and our hope for the future. Its words:

As long as deep within the heart
A Jewish soul stirs,
And forward, to the ends of the East
An eye looks out, towards Zion.

Our hope is not yet lost,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free people in our land
The land of Zion and Jerusalem.

Two millennia of persecution could not break the Jewish spirit because of one powerful word: Hatikvah, “The Hope.”

Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel said, “Just as a man cannot live without dreams, he cannot live without hope.” Hope is what has sustained the Jewish people through their long and bitter exile. Hope leaves room for God and His providence. Hope lets us believe that no matter how dark the world seems today, there can be a better tomorrow.

The prophet Jeremiah foresaw the difficult exile and described both the bitterness and the centrality of hope: “I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall… Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail” (Lamentations 3:19-22).

If we want our children to never give up and never give in when it comes to their values and beliefs, we must teach them hope. Hope is what led the bruised and battered nation of Israel back to our homeland, and it is hope that will lead our world to the Messianic Era.

Your turn: What gives you hope during dark times? Share your answer below.