Sunday, November 08, 2020

Jonathan Sacks

 Rabbi Jonathan Sacks has died.

Sacks was among the world’s leading exponents of Orthodox Judaism for a global audience. In his 22 years as chief rabbi, he emerged as the most visible Jewish leader in the United Kingdom and one of the European continent’s leading Jewish voices, offering Jewish wisdom to the masses through a regular segment he produced for the BBC. He had a close relationship with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who called Sacks “an intellectual giant” and presented him with a lifetime achievement award in 2018.

I wrote about his fascinating essay Wealth and Poverty at the Social Affairs Unit in my own post Understanding Jewish Thought a dozen years ago. (The link to his essay ends up at  page that says the site is temporarily unavailable, but I included the link anyway, just in case.) I still think it is a reasonable quick explanation of why Talmudic learning is different than what we are used to. And it's a fun story.

1 comment:

PenGun said...

I can offer contrast. A zen master was dying, and called his chosen successor to offer him his collection of notes and writings, that he had accumulated during his long teaching career.

The chosen successor took the large pile of papers given to him and tossed them on the fire. "What are you doing?" cried the master. "What are you saying" said his chosen successor, and left him to die.