Such a Tremendous Ability to Give

The Fellowship  |  February 13, 2019

Rabbi Eckstein shaking Bibi's hand after getting off a flight.

As the Eckstein family mourned the loss of their husband, father, and grandfather, they received a heartfelt letter from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who remembered Rabbi Eckstein as “a zealous Zionist and a devoted Jewish leader whose generosity embraces the world” — which included the following beautiful sentiments:

It is rare when one person embodies such a tremendous ability to give, as in Yechiel’s case.  His unique personality represented a perfect combination of vision and fulfillment. His love of our people and our country, his adherence to universal moral values and his sensitivity to the distress of others have been translated into practical action programs for the benefit of the poor and the needy. Yechiel regarded the rebirth of Israel as the crowning glory of the prophecies of the Bible, and he was fully committed to strengthening our state.

The Fellowship, which was Yechiel’s pride and joy, has improved the lives of tens of thousands of people in Israel and the diaspora. Low-income families, needy people, Holocaust survivors, communities in distress, and countless others have benefited from his gifts. They saw him as a legendary benevolent figure who entered their lives and changed them for the better. He knew how to touch hearts — with a warm embrace, with a winning smile, and with a kind word.

Yechiel, who during the Yom Kippur War brightened the spirit of the IDF combat soldiers on the front line, enlisted in recent years to help the communities in the Gaza vicinity. The new Trauma Centers established in the north and western Negev serve the communities that stand on the front line against terrorist elements. At the same time, he continued to promote interfaith dialogue, out of a deep faith in Tikkun Olam (repairing the world)…

“May the Almighty comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, and may you have no more sorrow.”

With you in your Grief,

Benjamin Netanyahu

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