Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman considered Rabbi Eckstein not just a close friend, but a partner in advocating for Israel and her people. In this note of condolence, Lieberman recalls all that the Rabbi did, saying, “I cannot think of anyone I have ever known who did more good for more people than Yechiel Eckstein”:
I am shocked and saddened by the passing of Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. The world has lost one of its truly great religious leaders and I, like so many others, have lost a dear friend.
One of the most important changes that I have experienced during my lifetime is the reuniting of Christians and Jews. One of the people who was most responsible for that transformation was Yechiel Eckstein. He had a vision of a shared interfaith future based on a shared interfaith past that began with God’s creation.
When Yechiel first came to visit me more than 25 years ago to tell me about the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, I was immediately impressed by him and his plans for the organization. I offered to help him in any way I could, and that was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I cannot think of anyone I have ever known who did more good for more people than Yechiel Eckstein. The Jewish people and the Jewish state of Israel have never had a better friend and supporter than Yechiel Eckstein. He was, like Moses our Teacher, a man of God. My wife Hadassah and I offer our condolences to the family of Yechiel Eckstein and pray that they will be comforted along with the mourners of Israel and Jerusalem who lived to see the State of Israel re-established and it’s Capital of Jerusalem restored and reunited — thanks in such great measure to Yechiel Eckstein.Tags: Reflections on Rabbi Eckstein US-Israel Relations