Awaiting a Time of Rejoicing, Not Sorrow
Dear Friend of The Fellowship,
Right now we are in the middle of a period on the Jewish calendar known as “The Three Weeks.” Historically, these 21 days leading up to the holiday of Tisha B’Av have been a time of calamity and misfortune for the Jewish people.
During this period throughout history, both the First and Second Temples were destroyed, wars began, Jewish families were thrown out of their homes, and pogroms (organized massacres of Jews) killed off entire Jewish communities. At this time of year, we look back at these tragedies and grieve.
Now we also grieve for the continued threats leveled at Israel by her enemies, for the disturbing rise in anti-Semitism around the world, and for the disappearing Christian communities throughout the Middle East as they flee or are killed off by extremists.
And yet, even as we mourn, we recognize that we still have a duty to engage in the blessed act of tikkun olam “repairing the world.” Through the generosity and compassion of our supporters, The Fellowship is able to continue bringing Jews who are in need or in danger, home to Israel. It is why we continue to expand our work in Israel, ensuring that every person in crisis has a place to turn for help. It is, in short, why The Fellowship does its work: because God tells us to help the poor, the downtrodden, the oppressed, and to do our best to repair a broken world.
The Three Weeks is certainly a time of solemnity and reflection. But it is also a time of hope. Jewish tradition holds that someday this period will become a time of rejoicing, not sorrow. As we await that day, we stand firm in God and His promises.
Our faith in God is what keeps us from falling into despair as we remember past tragedies, and as we cope with the tragedies happening in our world today. Let us continue to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” and for peace throughout the world, our eyes fixed on God, and our feet firmly planted in the hope and comfort He offers us.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein
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