Coming Home to Israel

Yael Eckstein  |  June 10, 2020

Yael Eckstein holds olim chilld who is coming home to Israel on a Fellowship Freedom Flight, February 2020

I never thought that I would move to Israel. When my husband and I got married, moving halfway across the world was the furthest thing from my mind.

I had lived most of my life in Chicago, then I went to college in New York. My husband and I had chosen New Jersey as the place where we would make our home. But as we started to make plans for the future and thought about starting a family, something felt wrong.

Out of nowhere it came to me: This was not where I belonged. My body might have been in the US, but my soul was telling me that I belonged in Israel. Like God called to Abraham in Genesis 12, telling him to leave everything behind – his country, his home, his family – I felt God calling me home to Israel. It was like He got ahold of my heart and would not let go.

Blessed to Live Prophecy

God opened my eyes and I knew exactly what I had to do. I had prayed the same traditional prayers that my people have prayed for 2,000 years, ever since we were exiled from Israel. I prayed that God would return us to Jerusalem, to our homeland. And now, I was living in the generation that got to witness that return.

We are blessed to be able to live this prophecy. How could I turn my back on the prayers of earlier generations of my people? It was impossible for most of them to make aliyah (move to Israel), though they longed to with all their heart. How could I forfeit the opportunity?

Two weeks later, my husband and I boarded a plane headed for the Holy Land.

The time leading up to our flight was filled with uncertainty. How could I leave my friends and family? What would we do when we got there? There were a lot of unknowns. But once the plane touched down in Israel, I felt at ease immediately. I knew in my heart of hearts that I had made the right decision. I knew that I was home.

God’s Plan

Today, with both Israel and the entire world trying to recover from the terrible coronavirus pandemic, I am blessed and privileged to see Jewish people come home on The Fellowship’s Freedom Flights. I witnessed this just the other day, when a flight of 109 olim (immigrants) arrived in Israel from Ukraine. Like the other thousands of olim we have brought home, they were welcomed with open arms, and will be given the support they need to succeed in their new home – all while observing the necessary precautions to protect them and their fellow citizens from the coronavirus, of course.

I know that this is God’s plan for all Jews. Just like Isaiah prophesized in the Bible, Christians are bringing Jews to Israel: “they will bring your sons in their arms and carry your daughters on their hips” (Isaiah 49:22).

For thousands of years this prophecy seemed utterly impossible and now we are seeing the impossible become reality.

From the Four Corners of the Earth

Not every Jewish person comes to Israel like I did. As I witness through The Fellowship’s work, so many Jews come from countries where life is no longer safe for them. They come from Arab countries where they fear for their life, from Ukraine where they are plagued by poverty, and from so many other countries where anti-Semitism is dangerously on the rise.

I thank God that we are able to bring these Jews home. And I thank God for you, my friends, who have given so generously to fulfill biblical prophecy by bringing God’s people home “from the four corners of the earth” (Isaiah 11:12).

With blessings from the Holy Land,

Yael Eckstein's Signature

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