God Bless the U.S.-Israel Friendship

Yael Eckstein  |  July 3, 2024

Yael Eckstein at Berko Archaeological Park (ancient ruins in Tiberias, Israel). white dress Israeli and American flags
(Photo: Avishag Shaar-Yashuv)


As I write this, I think of the millions of Americans preparing to celebrate July 4 – U.S. Independence Day.

I remember my childhood in Chicago, where I was privileged to be born and raised. I remember watching fireworks light up the summer sky every Independence Day. My father, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, of blessed memory, always spoke about how lucky we were, especially as Jews, to live in the U.S., where we were free to practice our faith and be part of one of the greatest countries in the history of the world.

Now that I live in Israel, U.S. Independence Day has taken on additional significance to me. I celebrate America for the extraordinary country that she is and because of the wonderful friend that she has been to Israel. And I deeply admire Israel and America’s shared commitment to democratic values and biblical principles.

Like any relationship, the friendship between America and Israel has had its ups and downs. Yet, our connection has never been severed. It has transcended challenges and changes through more than seven decades. What unites us has proven to be far more powerful than our disagreements.

The U.S.-Israel alliance is especially meaningful now, as Israel is at war, and surrounded by enemies on all sides – Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran. Thank God for the millions of Americans who stand in solidarity with Israel during these times! Your prayers and support are a continual source of blessing to us.

Here in Israel we have learned that, when faced with difficult times and uncertainty, nothing beats having a good friend. The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us that “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” (4:9-10). We are blessed to have each other as the world faces unprecedented challenges.

So, as we celebrate America, I hope that you will join me in giving thanks for the friendship between our two great countries – a friendship that I know will continue to grow, no matter what lies ahead.

May God bless America, may God bless Israel, and may He bring peace and healing to the world!

With blessings from the Holy Land,

Yael Eckstein's Signature