- Rabbi Sacks was a psychologist, Rabbi and Philosopher.
- He served as Chief Rabbi of the Commonwealth for twelve years.
- His contributions to Judaism and World Faith will never be forgotten.
Rabbi Lord Jonathon Sacks passed away at the age of 72 in November. He devoted his life toward uniting the secular world with the religious world. He served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth the largest the largest synagogue body in the UK. He held this position from September 1991 until September 2013. He is known to be not only a Rabbi but also a philosopher, theologian, author and politician.
The Orthodox Jewish Community in England and throughout the world is divided between Ultra-Orthodox, Conservative and Reformed Jewry. Rabbi Sacks represented Orthodox Jewry which reached out to all Jews from all backgrounds and also to represent the Jewish people stretching out to all of mankind in the goal of World Unity and Peace. He maintained his strong Orthodox Jewish values but also connected Judaism with the secular world who are very often against religion even to be Anti-Semitic. He fought against Anti-Semitism through communicating with the world using his broad secular and religious knowledge.
Sacks began his formal education at the St. Mary’s Primary School, and at the Christ’s College in Finchley England. He completed his higher education at Cambridge where he gained a first class Masters Degree in Philosophy. While studying in Cambridge, Sacks became interested in Jewish studies. He travelled to the United States to meet with two of the great rabbinical leaders of the world, Rabbi Joseph Soleveitchik and the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson the Chief Rabbi of the Lubavitch Chassidic movement.
Through meeting with these Jewish leaders he was encouraged to seek Rabbinic Ordination and to enter the Rabbinate. Rabbi Sacks extended his secular education to receive a PHD at the University of London in 1982. He received his rabbinic ordination from Jews College and Eitz Chaim Rabbinical school. His first rabbinical appointment was as Rabbi for the Golder’s Green Synagogue in London. He worked in Jewish Education, principal of the Jews College on the way to becoming Chief Rabbi.
Throughout his career and after his retirement in 2013 he was a guest speaker and author discussing the history of religion beginning with Judaism. He believed that the conflicts between religions can be worked out through understanding the source of religion its benefits to civilization but also recognizing that secular values are also important. His goal was always to unite religion with the secular world.
His knowledge of philosophy gave him the ability to connect to the atheist discussing Spinoza who grew up in a religious Jewish home but later became one of the great rationalists of the 17th century. He united his knowledge of the Bible with the teaching of Victor Frankel an Austrian Holocaust survivor, neurologist and psychiatrist. From the eye of Psychology Victor Frankel devoted his life to help people finding meaning in their lives. Frankel’s most famous book is Man’s Search for Meaning. Rabbi Sack connected with Victor Frankel as a Rabbi teaching to his followers the meaning of life through Judaism and all religions.