On 20 Marcheshvan 5782, we mark the first yahrtzeit of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, zt”l, former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom. Rabbi Sacks – a brilliant and erudite author and lecturer – was renowned as a shining light not only to the Jewish people but to the world at large. As NCSY International Director Rabbi Micah Greenland wrote:
“The passing of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, zt”l, is a terrible loss to the Jewish people and to the entire world. Rabbi Sacks was at once both a leader of leaders and a leader of people, who made the world brighter through his speaking, writing, and bridge-building. He elevated every audience, of every background, like no one else.”
To commemorate Rabbi Sacks’ legacy, we thought we’d share a few of Rabbi Sacks’ contributions to OU Torah and elsewhere around the OU’s virtual world.
First and foremost, we must recognize Covenant and Conversation, Rabbi Sacks’ long-running column on the weekly parsha. This column – which embraces classic and contemporary works of literature, psychology and political science in addition to traditional Torah sources – has long been one of the most popular features on OU Torah, as well as consistently one of the top-performing items in the OU’s Shabbat Shalom email. (Since we’re posting this the week of parshas Vayeira, here’s a selection of essays on this week’s sedra.)
One of Rabbi Sacks’ many ambitious projects was the Covenant and Conversation Family Edition. Appearing on OU Life, this visually-attractive feature includes The Parsha in a Nutshell, relevant stories, questions for Shabbos-table discussion and more, making the weekly Torah portion even more accessible for family members of all ages. (Once again, here’s a sample selection for parshas Vayeira.)
In OU Holidays, Rabbi Sacks shared his unique insights on such important occasions as Chanukah, Purim, Pesach and Shavuos, among many others. See them all here.
As a prolific author, many of Rabbi Sacks’ numerous works are available through OU Press. A small sampling of these includes Studies in Spirituality, Essays on Ethics, Lessons in Leadership and, of course, his acclaimed translation of the siddur. See these and more here.
If you poke around OU Torah and other OU sites, you’ll find such gems as Rabbi Sacks on Yerushalayim, Why I Am a Jew and The Jewish People in a Post Corona World: Finding Hope Beyond the Darkness. Here, Rabbi Simon Taylor shares his personal reflections of Rabbi Sacks.
Rabbi Sacks was a tremendous voice in modern Jewish thought whose influence has not been diminished in the year since his untimely passing. Take a deep dive on OU Torah and discover the world of Torah and Jewish thought through Rabbi Sacks’ unique vision.