A Teacher, a Leader, and a Moral Voice

Highlighting some of the key achievements of Rabbi Sacks as a global thinker, writer, leader and teacher.

On 13th June 2022, Rabbi Sacks was posthumously awarded with an Honorary Doctorate from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He had served as a visiting professor at the university for a number of years, amongst many other universities worldwide.

The Hebrew University’s degree of Doctor of Philosophiae Honoris Causa is conferred annually on a select number of esteemed honourees from around the world. Rabbi Sacks’ brother, Eliot Sacks, accepted the award on his behalf.

This video was created for the ceremony, to showcase in 3 minutes some of the main achievements of Rabbi Sacks in his lifetime as a global thinker, writer, leader and Rabbi. We present Rabbi Sacks in three of his key roles: a Teacher of Torah, a Leader of Leaders, and a Moral Voice for the world, with a legacy that will endure.

HRH Charles, The Prince of Wales:

“…Through his writings, sermons, and broadcasts, Rabbi Sacks touched the lives of countless people with his unfailing wisdom, with his profound sanity, and with a moral conviction which, in a confused and confusing world, was all too rare.”

Narrator:

On the 8th of March 1948, Jonathan Sacks was born in London to parents who instilled in him the values that would mark out the template of his life: concern for members of his community, aspiration for knowledge, love of culture and fierce pride in being Jewish.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks sought to demonstrate how the best of Western thought could enhance our understanding of Judaism, and how Jewish values could help to repair the fractures in our society. For 22 years as Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, and in the years that followed, Rabbi Sacks’ impact was felt far beyond the Jewish community. Advisor and friend to global leaders, he was a Moral Voice in the modern world, teaching the dignity of difference and the power that faith communities can achieve when they work together.

Rabbi Sacks:

“…that a nation is strong when it cares for the weak, that it becomes rich when it cares for the poor, that it becomes invulnerable when it cares about the vulnerable: that is what makes great nations.”

[Source: TED Talk 2017]

Narrator:

As a Teacher of Torah, he was profoundly admired and deeply respected, penning 40 books in his lifetime, publishing the first new translation and commentary of the siddur in a generation, and creating a full suite of commentaries on the weekly Torah reading. He was as prolific as he was insightful.

Rabbi Sacks:

“…I want to say to Jews around the world: take it, cherish it, learn to understand and to love it. Carry it and it will carry you. And may you in turn pass it on to future generations, for you are a member of an eternal people, a letter in their scroll. Let their eternity live on in you.”

Narrator:

A Leader of Leaders, his personality, sense of humour and an extraordinary gift of public speaking came together in complete harmony. He was regarded at the highest level on whichever stage he stood, and left behind words and teachings that will be his everlasting legacy.

Rabbi Sacks:

“…We need to restate the moral and spiritual dimensions in the language of the 21st century to inspire, to give hope and to unite.”

Narrator:

After his passing, The Rabbi Sacks Legacy Trust was established to promote the timeless and universal wisdom of Rabbi Sacks as a teacher of Torah, a moral voice, and a leader of leaders.

Rabbi Sacks:

“It’s hard to lead a nation of individuals, but this is the most challenging, empowering, inspiring leadership of all.”

[Source: Covenant & Conversation, Bamidbar: Leading a Nation of Individuals]

hebrew university ceremony video screen playing convocation