Dear Friend of Israel,
We are constantly reminded that the world can be a dangerous and chaotic place. Terrorism, natural disasters, political upheaval … it can all seem overwhelming as we go about our everyday lives.
In these troubled times, as at all times, we need a reminder of God’s sovereignty. The High Holy Days, which begin Wednesday, September 20 at sundown with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, provide that reminder.
Jews believe that our fates are “written” as God judges the world on Rosh Hashanah, and “sealed” on Yom Kippur. During this ten–day period, Jews around the world engage in intense introspection, examining our lives and seeking forgiveness from God and each other for the coming year. Of course, this spirit of humility and reconciliation is to follow us throughout our lives. But during the High Holy Days, we believe we have the most power to transform ourselves and channel our abilities and resources to serve God.
The High Holy Days are also known as the “Days of Awe.” This is appropriate – because even as we sit in awe of God’s sovereignty and power, I also am in awe of the generosity and open-heartedness of you, our Fellowship friends. Every day, that generosity allows us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and give hope to the hopeless.
It is deeply humbling — and inspiring — to be a part of such loving kindness. As we approach this sacred time, it is with deep gratitude that I thank you for enabling The Fellowship to bring dignity and joy to some of the most vulnerable among God’s people.
Whether you are Christian or Jewish, may these days bring you the bounty of God’s blessing. May the spirit of generosity that you have consistently shown to the people of Israel be noted by our compassionate and sovereign God — and may the entire world be blessed with His most precious gift of shalom, peace.
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President