Source: Torah Musings
The passing of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks zt”l leaves thousands if not millions of people of faith — Orthodox and non-Orthodox, Jewish and gentile — mourning their teacher and source of inspiration. Everyone is unique but some of us, just a few, are irreplaceable. I doubt whether anyone can fill Rabbi Sacks’ oversized role in this world. In this age of disbelief, Rabbi Sacks improbably achieved great success in projecting an uncompromising pride and confidence in the wisdom of Jewish tradition, motivating non-affiliated Jews to come closer to tradition, inspiring faith in people across all nations and religions, and achieving respect for his global message of the societal importance of family, community, morality and religious faith. I know of at least three sides to Rabbi Sacks’ unique role, each of which is challenging but the combination of all three in one person seem quite remarkable.
The Rabbi’s Rabbi
- The Early Sacks
With the passing of Rabbi Sacks we have lost a unique, multi-faceted voice of religious passion. Within this void, we each have to work harder to inspire ourselves and others. However, thanks to his prodigious creation of audio and video recordings, Rabbi Sacks characteristically leaves us with a new interpretation of the Talmudic phrase “sifsosav dovevos ba-kever, his lips move in the grave” (Yevamos 97a), and he can continue to inspire us and future generations. May his memory and teachings continue to generate passion toward greater religious devotion.