What It Means to Be a Brother or Sister

Yael Eckstein  |  October 22, 2021


A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for a time of adversity.
— Proverbs 17:17

We continue with devotional thoughts from the Book of Proverbs every Friday. One of the 11 books in the Torah known as the Ketuvim, Hebrew for “writings,” Proverbs is part of the “wisdom tradition,” which also includes Job and Ecclesiastes.

One of the simple facts of life as a mother of four children is that kids sometimes fight. And when you’re the parent on duty, you are often asked to be the referee. I have to admit, there are times when my kids are going at it when it seems as if they will never get along! But then I remind myself that some amount of bickering and fighting is actually just part of a healthy sibling relationship.

As people of faith, Jews and Christians alike, we often refer to ourselves as children of God. We see God as our Father who loves us and cares for us as a parent. Well, if we are all His children, doesn’t that make us siblings? This may seem like a simple idea, but it actually runs very deep.

What It Means to Be a Brother or Sister

Proverbs 17 teaches us what it means to be a friend and what it means to be a brother or sister. Friends, by definition, love each other. That’s what friendship is. Friends give each other encouragement and spend time together because they enjoy each other’s company.

Siblings are different. Being a sibling means that you are connected no matter what. It means that your past and future are connected, not just because you have fun together. It means that you feel each other’s pain and are there for each other because you are a part of the same family.

So whether all believers in the God of Israel, Jews and Christians alike, see each other as friends or as brothers matters a lot. Are we in this relationship because we enjoy spending time together, or are we bonded by a shared Father and a shared destiny?

Proverbs answers what it means to be a friend and what it means to be a brother or sister: Are we there for each other in times of adversity?

Those Christians who sow into the work of The Fellowship — who see helping Jews in need as a sacred duty — have chosen to be our brothers and sisters, not just our friends. So, to all my Christian brothers and sisters, on behalf of the people of Israel, I say thank you for being there when we need you most.

Your Turn:

Spread the word of The Fellowship’s work to others today!