Friday, November 13, 2020

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks RIP

Lord Jonathan Sacks, former Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community in the UK, died of cancer on Saturday at the age of 72.

He was one of comparatively few religious leaders in our age whose wisdom could appeal far beyond those of his own faith and country.

Sacks was the Orthodox chief rabbi for 22 years until 2013, and was made a life peer in 2009. His regular broadcasts on Thought for the Day on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, and newspaper articles reached a wide audience for his views on Jewish values in the 21st century but appealed to many of other faiths and none.

He also wrote more than 30 books: the most recent, "Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times," was published earlier this year. 

Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said: 

“We are distraught at the news of the passing of Rabbi Lord Sacks. He was a giant of both the Jewish community and wider society. His astounding intellect and courageous moral voice were a blessing to all who encountered him in person, in writing or in broadcast. 

“His outstanding tenure as chief rabbi led to a revolution in Jewish life and learning which has ensured his legacy will pass not just through his own beloved family, but through generations of our community’s young people too.” 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "deeply saddened" by Lord Sacks' death, adding: "His leadership had a profound impact on our whole country and across the world." 

Lord Sacks is survived by his wife of 50 years, Elaine Taylor, their three children and several grandchildren. 

Shalom.

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