Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
November 15, 2020 | Michael Selutin
Between traditional Judaism and modern antisemitism
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks died of cancer in November. As Chief Rabbi of Great Britain, he cared for the Kingdom’s Jews for 22 years, but it was his public appearances after this time that made him popular around the world.
In his more than 20 books and commentaries, the rabbi’s worldview becomes clear, outlining a fusion of traditional Judaism with modernity. His writings expose the modern relevance of the biblical commandments. Morals and ethics are lar
gely in disrepair today, but only unshakable, love-based laws can hold a society together. Sacks emphasized this in his writings and appearances.
Unlike other clergymen, R
abbi Sacks was never on the defensive against modernity, which is often hostile toward religion. Neither the Bible nor Judaism have to prove or explain themselves. It testifies to its divine origin.
It was also his secular education that made Rabbi Sacks such an effective spokesman for Orthodox Judaism. As a doctor of philosophy, he was able to describe Judaism in a modern way. It became clear again and again that his knowledge went far beyond Judaism. He was a professor at several universities in Great Br