Covenant & Conversation 5775 on Ethics

The Face of Evil (Beshalach 5775)

Covenant & Conversation

After 9/11, when the horror and trauma had subsided, Americans found themselves asking what had happened and why. Was it a disaster? A tragedy? A crime? An act of war? It did not seem to fit the pre-existing paradigms. And why had it happened? The question most often asked about Al Qaeda was, “Why do they hate us?” In the wake of those events an American thinker Lee Harris wrote two books, Civilization and its… read more

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70 Days for 70 Years - A unique project of Holocaust remembrance and education

Rabbi Sacks is deeply honoured to be the international president for the 70 Days for 70 Years project, a wonderful initiative of Holocaust remembrance and education led by The United Synagogue. Starting today, thousands of Jews across the globe will join together, reading one essay each day from the 70 Days Ziff Family Edition book in memory of someone who perished in the Holocaust. Each of these seventy thought-provoking questions, ideas, stories and articles have been written by world-renowned authors and scholars, including Rabbi Sacks. As Rabbi Sacks writes in his introduction: "Commemorating the 70 years that have passed with 70 days of study, linking individuals with Holocaust victims, and communities with communities that perished - this is the Jewish way of remembering. Few things could do more to give those who died a living memorial." To purchase a copy of the book or for more details on the 70 Days for 70 Years project, please visit or follow @70days70years on Twitter.

Confronting violence

Confronting Violence in the Name of God

At a time when there are many conflicts around the world which claim to be in the name of God, particularly (although not only), the Middle East, Rabbi Sacks reflects on how we might challenge this situation and confront this violence, and do so in the name of God. In this keynote address, jointly hosted by King’s College London and New York University London, Rabbi Sacks argues that religious violence requires a religious response. To watch a video of his address, please click here.

  • ““Antisemitism is never ultimately about Jews. It is about a profound human failure to accept the fact that we are diverse and must create space for diversity if we are to preserve our humanity.””

  • ““To ask is to believe that somewhere there is an answer. The fact that throughout history people have devoted their lives to extending the frontiers of knowledge is a compelling testimony to the restlessness of the human spirit and its constant desire to go further, higher, deeper. Far from faith excluding questions, questions testify to faith – that history is not random, that the universe is not impervious to our understand, that what happens to us is not blind chance. We ask, not because we doubt, but because we believe.” ”

  • ““Change has become part of the texture of life itself, and there are few things harder to bear than constant flux and uncertainty.””

  • ““I know of nothing more moving than watching children pray. When I visited synagogues I always try to spend a few moments in the children’s service, seeing the faces of young girls and boys as they say the Shema, or listen to stories taken from the weekly Sidrah, or sing their first Jewish songs. Here as nowhere else I witness the miracle of Jewish continuity, the simple yet infinitely subtle way in which we pass on our faith to our children. There is nothing more precious we can give them. One day they will discover – as we who have been there before them discovered – that the siddur is nothing less than our route to the Divine presence.””

  • ““The message of the Hebrew Bible is that serving God and our fellow human beings are inseparably linked, and the split between the two impoverishes both.””

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