The Words of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks from Those He Inspired

Courtesy of the Office of Rabbi Sacks/Bret Hartman/TED

A resonant timbre, both powerful and subtle, arises from everything Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wrote. Alongside his talent and intellect, it accounts for his influence. It is one single word that he made prismatic and personal, shining and shimmering: faith. —Rabbi Dr. Hillel Goldberg

From the tribute to mark the sheloshim of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, zt”l, by The Office of Rabbi Sacks.


“God is vaster than the universe, but He is closer to us than we are to ourselves.”

—Quoted by Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, executive director, Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life, New York University


“Few are the days where we cannot make some difference to the lives of others.”

—Quoted by Alana Newhouse, founder and editor-in-chief, Tablet magazine


“The Torah is a commentary on life, and life is a commentary on the Torah.”

—Quoted by Dr. Daniel Rose, independent Jewish educator and educational consultant


“Where what we want to do meets what needs to be done, that is where God wants us to be.”

—Quoted by Rabbi Dr. Meir Y. Soloveichik, director, Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, Yeshiva University


“Words are the language of the mind. Music is the language of the soul.”

—Quoted by Shimon Craimer, chazzan and musician


“Making a blessing over life is the best way to turn life into a blessing.”

—Quoted by Hayley Gross, headteacher, Sacks Morasha Jewish Primary School, London, UK


“The world is a book in which our life is a chapter. The question is whether others reading it will be inspired.”

—Quoted by Rabbi Gil Student, book editor and Editorial Committee member, Jewish Action, and editor,


“The choice humankind faces in every age is between the idea of power, and the power of ideas. Judaism has always believed in the power of ideas.”

—Quoted by Rabbi Dr. Stu Halpern, senior advisor to the provost, YU and senior program officer, Zahava and Moshael Straus Center for Torah and Western Thought, YU


More in this Section:

In Memory of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks by Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter

Never Was a Failure More Prophetic by Rabbi Dr. Hillel Goldberg

Rabbi Sacks on Contemporary Issues

“Elaine and I” by Rabbi Gideon Black

This article was featured in the Spring 2021 issue of Jewish Action.
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