Eckstein believed that bringing non-Jews into the miraculous rebirth of the State of Israel was part of our divine mandate as a nation and his personal calling.
A few years ago, I went out on a limb and wrote an article in favor of Christmas. At the time, it was a big deal. Very few rabbis had gone on the record on behalf of the holiday that epitomized Christianity. I wrote a column in 2014, “Je-Wish You a Merry Christmas” encouraging my fellow Jews to wish their Christian friends a Merry Christmas, a phrase that was often taboo in Jewish circles.