Passing Faith Forward

Yael Eckstein  |  March 31, 2020

Yael with elderly Jewish woman, Lydia

Just a few weeks ago, I was blessed to release my new book titled Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to our Children.

On the one hand, releasing it while the coronavirus closed down travel and public gatherings meant that I had to forgo my plans to go on a book tour to get the word out and connect with readers. On the other, I believe the timing is absolutely Divine timing.

Returning to Biblical Roots

My book is about how parents and grandparents can pass their faith on to the next generation, using practical tools from the Bible. When I began writing it over a year ago, I had no clue that most of the world would need to homeschool their children for weeks, if not months. Right now, parents around the globe are being called to lean in and teach their children, not just math and science, but most importantly, about faith and God.

There are no coincidences in life, and it is no mistake that this is all happening as we prepare for the biblical holiday of Passover, which will begin in just over a week. Usually, the Jewish people spend this time of year purging our homes of all leavened products – with a fair bit of spring cleaning mixed in.

However, this year, with our children at home, it is very difficult to get rid of every last crumb, and hope that every crevice will stay clean for more than a week. So our Passover preparations have instead focused on teaching our children and instructing them in faith. Yet, as I thought about this new reality, I realized that this sort of preparation is exactly in line with the original Passover – and it is what subsequent Passovers were intended to be about.

Teaching the Next Generation

This excerpt from my book has taken on added significance this year:

“This responsibility to pass on the faith from one generation to the next is imbedded into the very DNA of the nation of Israel. On the eve of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, Moses had but one recurring message for the people of Israel: Teach your children – share your story, tell them about God’s greatness, your faith, and God’s miracles. Moses entreated the people to teach the next generation no less than three times on that historic night. First, just after he gave them God’s instructions regarding the Passover lamb sacrifice, Moses told the people, “When you enter the land that the Lord will give you … And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes…’” (Exodus 12:25-27). In the instructions Moses gave the people for observing the Passover, he reminded them, “On that day tell your son, ‘I do this because of what the Lord did for me when I came out of Egypt’” (Exodus 13:8). And again, just as the Israelites were about to leave Egypt, Moses said, “In days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ say to him, ‘With a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery’” (Exodus 13:14). From the very beginning of the nation, teaching the next generation and passing on the faith was presented as a vital factor in the success and survival of Israel.”

Inspiration from the Exodus

I take great comfort in knowing that what God is calling us to do right now is exactly what we need to be doing to ensure a better and more faith-filled world in the future. I feel peace knowing that everything that is taking place is by His design, even if I cannot understand the plan and purpose of it.

And I am inspired by focusing on the Exodus story, as we always do this time of year, remembering that God hears our prayers, sees our suffering, and works miracles on behalf of His people. I trust that just as God saved the Israelites from Egyptian slavery, He will bring us through every challenge we face now.

The faith that I received from revisiting the Exodus story year after year on Passover is the very faith that we are intended to pass forward at this particular time. The call of the day is clear. We must stay home and stop the spread of infection from one person to the next. At the same time, we must spread faith and hope far and wide — beginning with ourselves, passing it on to our children, and ultimately reaching all of humankind.

With blessings from the Holy Land,

Yael Eckstein's Signature

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