Yael Eckstein on Celebrating Women of Faith

Yael Eckstein waves to an onlooker as she welcomes Jewish migrants from the Ukraine to their new home in Israel at Ben-Gurion International Airport in February 2019. | IFCJ

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of BCNN1. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

This week, on February 26, we welcome the Hebrew month of Adar. This month contains the Holiday of Purim, and beginning on the first of the month, the messages of the Book of Esther, which we read every Purim, are particularly relevant.

A Time of Happiness and Joy, Gladness and Honor

The first of Adar is also the Hebrew date of my father’s passing. Looking back now, I can see that it is no coincidence that God chose that date to call him home.

At my father’s funeral, I noted that the month of Adar encapsulates his life’s work. The Purim story tells how, “For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor” (Esther 8:16) as they were saved after a period of extreme hardship. Similarly, my father brought joy and comfort to so many Jews in difficult situations.

Such a Time as This

However, I see now that Adar not only fits my father’s life story, but also my own. It was the story of Esther that gave me strength during those first difficult weeks after my loss, and it’s the story that has inspired me throughout the year.

When my father died, I lost not only a parent, but also my mentor and predecessor. I had worked with my father at The Fellowship for over 15 years and I had already been chosen as the next President of the organization. With his passing, I became one of the few female leaders of any comparable non-profit organization in the United States and Israel.

Was I ready to lead? Could I do my job without my father’s guidance and support? My doubts quickly dissipated as I realized that, just as God had prepared Esther for “such a time as this,” He had been preparing me my entire life for that very moment. And I knew that just as God helped Esther succeed in her mission, He would surely help me in mine.

Growing up, my parents instilled in me the belief that I could achieve any goal that I was called to. I am the youngest of three girls, and my parents were very aware that they were raising women in a world often dominated by men. My father told me that as a woman of faith, there was nothing I could not do — and my mother led by example.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Yael Eckstein