Jewish organizations produce video tribute in memory of Rabbi Sacks

Three leading Jewish organizations have produced a video tribute in memory of the former Chief Rabbi of the UK, Lord Johnathan Sacks – released on Sunday.The Orthodox Union, Rabbinical Council of America and Yeshiva University focused on Sacks’ teachings, impact and influence for the 22-minute video, which features commentary from political leaders, communal officials, rabbis, educators and students, who each recorded a personal message to highlight the significance Sacks had on their lives.”The message of the video highlights Rabbi Sacks’ impact as a profoundly eloquent teacher of Torah and spokesman for Torah values within the Jewish community and beyond. He was an intellectual giant whose unique blend of Torah scholarship, academic achievement, human sensitivity and social awareness allowed him to speak to the issues of our times to the broadest of audiences –and he did so with courage, clarity and optimism,” said Orthodox Union president Moishe Bane. “Rabbi Sacks was a beacon of Kiddush Hashem [sanctifying God’s Name], whose thoughtful teachings improved the world and invariably brought honor to the Torah and the Jewish people,” he added. “Among his prolific writings on a wide variety of subjects, his Torah commentary was studied weekly by tens of thousands.”Sacks died at the age of 72 earlier in November.He was highly esteemed around the Jewish world for his erudition, his wisdom and his prolific authorship of works on Jewish thought.

“Rabbi Sacks spent a distinguished life and career serving as a profoundly eloquent teacher and spokesman for Torah values within the Jewish community and throughout the world,” said Rabbinical Council of America president Rabbi Daniel Korobkin.Sacks announced in the middle of October that he had been diagnosed with cancer and was undergoing treatment, but passed away the morning of November 7.He served as the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013, succeeding Rabbi Lord Immanuel Jakobovits. Sacks is succeeded by the current chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis.Before being appointed as chief rabbi of the UK in 1993, Sacks served as principal of Jews’ College, now the London School of Jewish Studies, and rabbi of the prestigious Marble Arch Synagogue in Central London.During his time as chief rabbi, Sacks became an ambassador for the Jewish community in the UK and was respected by many in UK Jewry and in the non-Jewish world as well. “Rabbi Sacks was a world-renowned scholar, teacher and leader who enlightened and inspired, influenced and empowered world Jewry, global leaders and communities throughout the world,” said Yeshiva University president Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman. “He magisterially demonstrated the enduring importance of God and religious values in our contemporary society.”For our community, Rabbi Sacks uniquely exemplified and articulated Yeshiva University’s worldview and mission to the broader Jewish people and the world at large. His legacy will continue through all the lives elevated by his teaching,” he added.Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.
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