Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
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Bamidbar is usually read on the Shabbat before Shavuot. Shavuot is the time of the giving of the Torah; “bamidbar” means “in the desert.” What is the connection between … more
I argued in my “Covenant and Conversation” for parshat Kedoshim that Judaism is more than an ethnicity. It is a call to holiness. In one sense, however, there is an important ethnic … more
THE parsha of Emor contains a chapter dedicated to the festivals of the Jewish year. There are five such passages in the Torah. Two, both in the book of Exodus (Ex. 23:14-17; Ex. 34:18, 22-23), are … more
Some years ago I was visited by the then American ambassador to the Court of St James, Philip Lader. He told me of a fascinating project he and his wife had initiated in 1981. They had come to … more
The Rabbis moralized the condition of tzara’at (often translated as leprosy), the subject that dominates both Tazria and Metzora. It was, they said, a punishment rather than a medical … more
The following is an extract from the introduction to the Koren Sacks Pesach Machzor. Pesach is the oldest and most transformative story of hope ever told. It tells of how an otherwise … more
One of the most difficult elements of the Torah and the way of life it prescribes is the phenomenon of animal sacrifices — for obvious reasons. First, Jews and Judaism have survived without … more
It was never my ambition or aspiration to be a rabbi. I went to university to study economics, then switched to philosophy. I also had a fascination with the great British courtroom lawyers, … more
The more I study the Torah, the more conscious I become of the immense mystery of Exodus 33. This is the chapter set in the middle of the Golden Calf narrative (between Exodus chapter 32 … more
Beethoven rose each morning at dawn and made himself coffee. He was fastidious about this: each cup had to be made with exactly 60 beans, which he counted out each time. He would then sit at his desk … more
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