web analytics
September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post


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.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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.

Binyamin and Chaya Maryles, uncle and aunt of Emes Ve-Emunah author Harry Maryles.
Current Top Story
Sen.Barbara Mikulski
Maryland’s Sen. Mikulski Gives Obama Veto-Proof Majority for Iran Deal
Latest Blogs Stories
Doug Goldstein

Why is the study of demographics essential to predict the economy?

Seems Obama "Loved" Sderot when he was running to be Pres.

Jews & Israel will have a smaller role and value in the 2016 Pres. election campaign than in decades

obamatargetiran

No one wants war; sometimes there’s no choice. Sometimes it’s the lesser of 2 evils. US must prepare

Palestinians attack an Israeli soldier during clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters, Aug28, 2015, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh near Ramallah.

Despite many IDF soldiers jailed for defending themselves, families say,”Rather jailed than dead.”

Why won’t the gov’t finally annex YESHA & Jordan Valley formalizing their status in State of Israel?

Both “Half-Shabbat” & R’ Yosef’s opinion champion an extreme. There most certainly is a happy medium

Trump’s slogan and story gives American restores hope to dream to: “Make America Great Again”

Is GDP outdated an measure of prosperity? Are there any alternative methods of assessing $ growth?

In their attack on Ban Ki Moon, Hamas admitted to committing a different war crime.

The ideal of Modern Orthodoxy should be not be viewed as a compromise the way most Charedim view it.

Israel shouldn’t rely on US; It has an awful record in protecting allies.

The Halacha of shmirat einayim (guarding one’s eyes) is incumbent on the MAN; it’s his obligation

Dem. presidential candidate Doug Shreffler talks about his campaign & its motto “as good as it gets”

I’ve decided to move away from my safety net-and I wouldn’t change that decision for anything.

Was “Jerusalem” the song Matisyahu planned to perform? It was the PERFECT response to BDS campaign

More Articles from Harry Maryles
obamatargetiran

No one wants war; sometimes there’s no choice. Sometimes it’s the lesser of 2 evils. US must prepare

Rabbi Norman Lamm of Yeshiva University

The ideal of Modern Orthodoxy should be not be viewed as a compromise the way most Charedim view it.

The Halacha of shmirat einayim (guarding one’s eyes) is incumbent on the MAN; it’s his obligation

Calling the Jewish Press‘closest thing to a frum English-language weekly’ insults the publication

Professor Cohen’s quotes statistics proving Reform & Conservative Judaism are in free fall.

Most that struggle abandon observance altogether. Why did these 3 remain observant?

Esav Sonei L’Yaakov: Is this how we should think of all non Jews?

Surprisingly, many Hareidi communities do not advocate full time Kollel study for life as the ideal.

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: