web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Rabbi Sacks is All that Is Right with Judaism

I do not envy Chief Rabbi Elect, Ephraim Mirvis. Lord Sacks’ shoes will be hard to fill.
The Prince of Wales with Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.

The Prince of Wales with Lord Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.
Photo Credit: Facebook

Miriam Shaviv has penned one of the most important articles in recent memory. It highlights what we will truly be missing when the current Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom officially enters retirement in September.

This may sound a bit fawning or overblown. But I don’t think it is. Rabbi Sacks is all that is right with Judaism. He is a brilliant thinker who has written numerous books on Jewish thought. Largely through his efforts Jewish education for the masses has increased to record numbers in his country.

Those items alone makes his retirement regrettable. But in perhaps one of his most important functions as a Chief Rabbi – he has done the ultimate Kiddush HaShem.  He has made Judaism among British leadership something to look up to. Something to respect and admire. A religion that more than any other has taught lessons about ethics and leadership to world leaders. In short he has done a lot to spread the light of Torah.

His final farewell dinner was attended by not only British government leadership, both past and present, it was attended by British royalty. From the Times of Israel  article:

The guest of honor was Charles, the Prince of Wales, who in a deliberate misquote of the prophet Isaiah, called Lord Sacks “a light unto this nation.”

…Prince Charles admired Lord Sacks’s “lightness of touch and elegant wit,” and said that he had personally benefited from his advice.

 “Your guidance on any given issue has never failed to be of practical value and deeply grounded in the kind of wisdom that is increasingly hard to come by,” he said.

The heir to the British throne actually read his books to much acclaim. The effusive praise did not stop there:

In a video message, former prime minister John Major said, “As a student of your books over many years you have absorbed more hours of my time than I can possibly remember,” while Labour’s former prime minister Gordon Brown, with whom Sacks was reputed to have had a particularly close relationship, praised his book “Politics of Hope” for suggesting a way “between markets and state… He saw that the ethics of markets were an issue long before the financial crisis.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said that “The Home We Build Together” “had a significant influence on my own mission to build a bigger and stronger society right here in Britain,” which was a cornerstone of his platform in the early years of his premiership.

Lord Sacks had an excellent relationship with clergy of other faiths as well, particularly with the Chief cleric of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

It is also rather well known that former prime minister Margaret Thatcher thought so well of Lord Sacks’ wisdom that she turned more often to him for advice than she did to clergy of her own religion.

It is also a tribute to Lord Sacks that clergy of other Jewish denominations attended this event too:

In a rare display of solidarity amongst Britain’s Jewish religious leaders, there were representatives from all the denominations, including Reform’s Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner and the Liberal movement’s Rabbi Danny Rich.

The only ones apparently not in attendance were England’s Charedi establishment rabbis.

The well deserved accolades from the distinguished speakers were far too many to quote here. But aside the huge Kiddush HaShem that Lord Sacks has made during his 22 year tenure, another important issue was addressed that evening. It was on the subject of the shrinking moderate center at the expense of the growth of Ultra- Orthodoxy. He considers this phenomenon ‘worse than dangerous’:

Lord Sacks drew an equivalence between assimilated Jews “who embrace the world and reject Judaism, and those who embrace Judaism and reject the world.”

“It is an abdication of the role of Jews and Judaism in the world. We are here to engage with the world, to be true to our faith and a blessing to others regardless of their faith.”

It is important to point out that Lord Sacks does not reject the philosophy of Charedim. I’m sure he supports their right to interpret  ‘Talmud Torah K’Neged Kulom’ as learning Torah full time and leading as holy a life as possible. What he rejects is their isolationist approach to the world. This is something we should all reject.

About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at hmaryles@yahoo.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

4 Responses to “Rabbi Sacks is All that Is Right with Judaism”

  1. Hasson Alberto says:

    How about appointing Lord Sacks as Chief Rabbi of Israel, many would certainly benefit from his vision of Judaism and respect for diversity.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately- due to the worst levels of morality and sexual liberalism and corrupted media and social scene Isolationism seems to be the only way to really protect one's childrens just to make sure they stay frum. Just look at the results of modern orthodox children- they are leaving the path in droves. They can't handle all the exposure- they are drawn to the impurity. Better to be isolated then be burned and lose one's kids. In a war you- if you can't beat the enemy you must hide. The kids are not strong enough; we are doing them a disservice. The charedim are smarter- they realize the weakness of the human condition. king Solomon said "Don't trust yourself till the day of death". The stats are out- the modern orthodox and less religious are hurting from the non isolationist approach.

  3. I would like to see some sources on the "modern orthodox children leaving in droves" because just from my personal experience it does not be the case. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I would trust statistics more than either of our subjective perspectives.

  4. You might also be interested in this:

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Drone Intercept Along Syrian Border 1
Israel Shoots Down Syrian Sukhoi-24 Fighter Plane Infiltrating Israeli Airspace
Latest Blogs Stories
Brit Milah

Though the Talmud doesn’t give instructions, Metzitza has always been done B’Peh – by oral suction.

Obama and Netanyahu in the Oval Office

ISIS and Hamas are cut from the same cloth. Obama should listen to Netanyahu.

Rivlin

Last night I attended the big festive celebration of ten years of Menachem Begin Heritage Center and Museum. Security was tight, almost like at a foreign airport, because both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Ruby Rivlin were to be there. And yes, they were and yes they spoke. Officially the evening was a tribute […]

Teens-091214-Shofar

Hamas’ tunnels were destroyed as were plans for their unparalleled terror attacks on Rosh Hashana.

Grandmaster Michael Adams talks about life as a professional chess player.

The Jewish Press stressed the possible ramifications of such a breach of Israeli political protocol

Why some countries are more economically successful than others? Tune in for the answer…

If not scared by God be scared by man; Hopefully ethics will integrate into lives for proper reasons

Smear campaigns by people with agendas other than justice do not faze him; He does what is right.

Countries like Turkey, Europe and even the US have proven fertile ground for recruiting terrorists

How many times have you heard anti-semites spew words like Israel are Nazis, or what you are doing to the Arabs is worse that what the Nazis did to the Jews?!…

My blog, Israpundit, was hacked, and I had to move to a new domain…

There’s much confusion about the definition of Daas Torah; simply put it means the wisdom of Torah.

We’ll never be able to negotiate a true, lasting peace with the Arabs.Their aim is our destruction.

Now I live in a country where every shop in the food court is kosher! I can have anything I want!

Pashkevil: “Come out today and battle the Zionist Amalek and all the traitors in Nahal Haredi…”

More Articles from Harry Maryles
Brit Milah

Though the Talmud doesn’t give instructions, Metzitza has always been done B’Peh – by oral suction.

ethics

If not scared by God be scared by man; Hopefully ethics will integrate into lives for proper reasons

Smear campaigns by people with agendas other than justice do not faze him; He does what is right.

There’s much confusion about the definition of Daas Torah; simply put it means the wisdom of Torah.

Pashkevil: “Come out today and battle the Zionist Amalek and all the traitors in Nahal Haredi…”

Rabbi Fink: “There are many ‘true believers who can’t even be in the presence of Orthodox Judaism.”

“The Obama administration proved once again that it is the best friend of its enemies, and the biggest enemy of its friends.”

1st thing that must be done: tear down that wall; 2nd thing: allocate empty classrooms to Charedim.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/rabbi-sacks-is-all-that-is-right-with-judaism/2013/06/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: