There Is Strength in Numbers

Yael Eckstein  |  February 20, 2022

A group of people holding the Israeli flag over their heads

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

In honor of my father, Fellowship Founder Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, of blessed memory, and his lifework helping Christians understand the Jewish roots of their faith, I offer you one of his devotional teachings from the beloved Psalms.

If you’ve ever watched birds in the sky, you’ll see 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 feels like a lonely bird on top of a roof. The Jewish sages teach that David not only was referring to himself, but he was also 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 isolated.

There Is Strength in Numbers

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, there is strength in numbers and Israel 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 lived in a building that was hit by a rocket fired from Gaza during a recent terror attack. Nava and her young children suffered greatly in those frightening moments when three of their friends lost their lives. The Fellowship paid for Nava and her family to relocate to Israel’s north so that the family could heal away from the sirens, rockets, and danger. Nava said, “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 in her time of need. There is strength in numbers, and together we can help Israel weather any storm. Let Israel know that she is never, ever alone.

Your Turn:

Don’t forget to tune into my podcast, “Nourish Your Biblical Roots,” which airs today with a new episode!