Dear Friend of Israel,
As summer draws to a close, children across the U.S. – and soon, in Israel – are headed back to school. With this in mind, it was especially moving for me recently to take part in the dedication of a new family unit at a Fellowship-sponsored orphanage in Israel.
At the ceremony, it was my special honor to help hang the mezuzah, which was made by the boys in the on-campus carpentry workshop, on the entrance to the unit. The mezuzah is a small, decorated case containing the Shema, the scriptural passage you are undoubtedly familiar with from Deuteronomy 6 that begins, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” This passage is written on parchment by a religious scribe and placed in the mezuzah, which is then affixed on the right-hand side of the doorways of Jewish homes, as well as schools, offices, and other institutions.
The mezuzah is our way of obeying the command later in the same passage from Deuteronomy to write the words of God “upon the doorposts of your house, and upon your gates.” It serves to remind us of God’s commandments and our dependence on His protection. We believe that the mezuzah brings blessings to a home, and is a visible reminder that God dwells there.
I pray that these children take to heart the biblical commands contained in the mezuzah – that they grow up to know and love God, and to serve each other in His name. Whatever country we live in, we all want to have a better society. This is not just the responsibility of the government; it’s the responsibility of each and every one of us to take care of and to help others.
This has been the goal of The Fellowship since its inception. And I hope and I pray that God – working through the dedicated staff of this orphanage and generous Fellowship supporters like you who give so selflessly to support God’s people – will help each and every one of these young people become responsible, productive citizens who work, in their own way, for the betterment of Israeli society and the world.
When I addressed the children and staff at this orphanage, I told them about you – Christians around the world whose love for Israel and God’s people expresses itself in such meaningful, tangible ways. Thank you, my friends, and may God bless you as you have blessed His children.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
Founder and President