Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein On Wings of Eagles

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Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein On Wings of Eagles

Postby Guest » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:48 pm

Shalom. is on the wings of eagles a good cause to donate to ?

Re: Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein On Wings of Eagles

Postby admin » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:55 pm

Occasionally I see solicitations from Jewish organizations trying to persuade Christians to give them money based on Genesis 12:3: "I will bless them that bless thee." The idea seems to be that if a Christian gives this organization some money, then they will merit God's favor. God will "bless" them in a commensurate manner, "like for like," so it is surely in their self interest to give to this group. Or so their logic goes...

Before I ask some hard questions about this appeal, I think it is worthwhile to ask what is meant by "blessing" the Jewish people, or Israel, in particular. Surely we can (and should) stand with Israel as a people and help them if they are in need. Many Israelis live below the poverty level. There are wonderful humanitarian programs, food shelves, and other organizations in Israel that are worthy of our support. For those who are able to help, it is surely commendable to do so, though it needs to be stressed that nearly all of these organizations are not Messianic and do not attempt to address the spiritual needs of the Jewish people - at least insofar as faith in Yeshua is concerned....

While it's a worthy thing to give tzedakah (charity) to Israel for the sake of helping the poor, or perhaps to support Israel's economy by visiting as a tourist, we need to be careful not to be fooled by some people -- such as Rabbi Eckstein and his "International Fellowship of Christians and Jews" (IFCJ) among others -- who attempt to exploit a Christian's sense of indebtedness to the Jewish people. What does Israeli fundraising in the name of "interfaith dialog" have to do with the preaching of the Gospel, after all? On the IFCJ site, for example, Christians are invited to take cruises and "engage in daily Bible study with Rabbi Eckstein that will help them better understand the Jewish roots of the Christian faith." Now while that may be helpful on some levels, we must ask how a Rabbi who rejects that Yeshua is the true Messiah can help you truly understand the message of the Scriptures... After all, Eckstein himself said, "Once your belly is full of the Talmud, you can work with other faiths" ("Turning To The Gentiles," The Jerusalem Post, 1988 [ref]). Don't be fooled by the pretense of knowledge: the Holy Spirit is your own inner testimony (1 John 2:27).

So now on to the deeper question of what it means to "bless" Israel. Are we to understand this concept in physical terms or in spiritual terms? Before you quickly say "both," let me ask you which of the two is more important. If you had to choose, in other words, whether to give money to a food shelf or to a Messianic outreach in Israel, which would you pick? How did Yeshua choose to "bless" the Jewish people? Did he not share the message of His salvation and issue the call for teshuvah (repentance)? In his mind, was this not the most important matter? True, he multiplied fish and bread for people, but he did so as a means of pointing to himself as the means of lasting sustenance. True, he healed the sick, but there were many in his midst who did not receive healing because they had no faith in Him. True, he was a peacemaker, but he also overthrew the moneychanger's tables....

Look, if you really want to help Israel, I encourage you stand with Messianic fellowships located there and to support them. For instance, consider supporting the work of Yaakov Damkani (Trumpet of Salvation) or other ministries that want to demonstrate the love of Yeshua by sharing the greatest gift of all -- the message of God's salvation. After all, such groups are on the front lines and they need our support... But please think twice before you send that donation to the Jewish group attempting to exploit your Christian sentiments.

So, while it's indeed a worthy thing to give tzedakah (charity) to Israel for the sake of helping the poor, or to support Israel's economy by visiting as a tourist, by investing in Israeli bonds, etc., we need to be very careful not to compromise the truth of Messiah for the sake of a supposed unity.... Yeshua is the ONLY way of Life, and to suggest otherwise is to deny Him.

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