Friends, it is the season of light … the season of miracles. Jews around the world are celebrating Hanukkah, and Christians are preparing to celebrate Christmas. And as 2017 draws to a close, we are all thinking of what we’ve accomplished in the past year – and all that we still have to do.
Your generosity has enabled The Fellowship to do so much good for so many needy people this year. It calls to mind the Jewish concept of tikkun olam (“repairing the world”). This term beautifully expresses God’s desire that we care for those in need and help fix the broken places in this world. You have done this by supporting Israel and her people through sacrificial giving, prayer, and pro-Israel advocacy.
The past 12 months have also showed us again that the world is a dangerous place. We saw it every time we heard of a new terrorist attack, like the attempted bombing this week in the heart of New York City, or natural disaster, or unforeseen tragedy. We know this truth from personal misfortunes and challenges in our own lives, and in the lives of those we love.
But in this season of light and miracles, even as we acknowledge that we live in a troubled world, we revel in that light and hold fast to those miracles as precious signs that God loves and cares about his children. Each time we help others, we are showing that love.
We have done so much … but there is still so much left to do! I hope you will continue to partner with us to help even more people in need in 2018. Your year-end gift will immediately be put to work helping Israel and the neediest of her people. And we will be prepared to meet any challenges that arise in the year to come.
My friends, I am so grateful to you. I leave you with Boaz’s words to Ruth, one of my favorite biblical passages, and one that perfectly sums up my prayer for you: “May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge” (Ruth 2:12).
With prayers for shalom, peace, and a blessed holiday season,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President