About the Author

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

]Rabbi Jonathan Sacks served as Britain’s chief rabbi from 1991 to 2013. He was recently named as the 2016 Templeton Prize Laureate. His latest book is Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence

A Test of Character

Judaism is a faith for those who seek to change the world.

Healing an Ancient Wound

The meaning of tikkun and its connection to Shavuot.

The Sound of Silence

Bemidbar is usually read on the Shabbat before Shavuot. So the sages connected the two. Shavuot is...

A Sense of Direction

Smartphones can do amazing things – few more amazing than Waze, the Israeli-designed...

Family Feeling

Family is central to Judaism.

Holy Times

The parsha of Emor contains a chapter dedicated to the festivals of the Jewish year. There are...

In Search of Jewish Identity

The other day I was having a conversation with a Jewish intellectual and the question came up, as...

The Courage to Admit Mistakes

Judaism helps us admit our mistakes in three ways.

The Power of Shame

Internet and social media as instruments of public shaming illustrates the power and the danger of a culture of shame.

The Eighth Day

Our parsha begins with childbirth and, in the case of a male child, "On the eighth day the...

The Dangers of Enthusiasm

Understanding the death of Nadav and Avihu.

Understanding Sacrifice

One of the most difficult elements of the Torah and the way of life it prescribes is the...

The Pursuit of Meaning

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

Don't Sit: Walk

Judaism is a journey, not a destination.

The Social Animal

At the beginning of Vayakhel Moses performs a tikkun, a mending of the past, namely the sin of the...

The Closeness of God

Many nations worship God, but Jews are the only people to count themselves His close relatives.

Inspiration and Perspiration

Achieving any form of spiritual growth requires sustained effort and daily rituals.

The Gift of Giving

It was the first Israelite house of worship, the first home Jews made for God. But the very idea...

Doing and Hearing

One of the most famous phrases in the Torah makes its appearance in this week's parsha. It has...

To Thank Before We Think

The Ten Commandments are the most famous religious-and-moral code in history. Until recently they...

Renewable Energy

The first translation of the Torah into another language - Greek - took place in around the second...

The Spiritual Child

Connecting children to something larger than themselves.

Spirits in a Material World

The Torah sometimes says something of fundamental importance in what seems like a minor and...

Turning Curses Into Blessings

Genesis ends on an almost serene note. Jacob has found his long lost son. The family has been...

On Not Predicting the Future

Jacob was on his death-bed. He summoned his children. He wanted to bless them before he died. But...


If we change the way we think, we will change the way we feel.

To Wait Without Despair

God answers our prayers, but often not when we thought or how we thought.

How to Change the World

Change a life, and you begin to change the universe.

Feeling the Fear

Courage does not mean having no fear. It means having fear but overcoming it.

How the Light Gets In

Why Jacob? That is the question we find ourselves asking repeatedly as we read the narratives of...

Faith in the Future

First you have to build a future. Only then can you mourn the past.

The Jews, 50 Years from Now

What will be the condition of the Jewish community 50 years from now?

To Bless the Space Between Us

There is a mystery at the heart of the biblical story of Abraham, and it has immense implications...

Journey of the Generations

Mark Twain said it most pithily. “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could...

The Art of Listening

Exploring the sin of the first man.

Moses' Death, Moses' Life

And so Moses dies, alone on a mountain with God as he had been all those years ago when, as a...

The Arc of the Moral Universe

In majestic language, Moses breaks into song, investing his final testament to the Israelites with...

Torah as Song

Moses' long and tempestuous career is about to end. With words of blessing and encouragement he...

Why I Am a Jew

The most fateful moment in my life came when I asked myself, “Who am I?” This is my answer.

The Two Voices: A New Perspective on the Meaning of Teshuvah

An intellectual journey exploring the concept and deep meanings of Teshuvah. (1 hr class)

Why Judaism?

Because there is no more challenging way of choosing life.

The Pursuit of Joy

Happiness, said Aristotle, is the ultimate good at which all humans aim.[1] But in Judaism it is...

To the Third and Fourth Generations

There is, on the face of it, a fundamental contradiction in the Torah. On the one hand we hear, in...

Environmental Responsibility

Some commands in the Torah were understood so narrowly by the sages that they were rendered almost...

The Second Tithe and the Making of a Strong Society

Biblical Israel from the time of Joshua until the destruction of the Second Temple was a...

The Power of Gratitude

Gratitude is at the heart of what it means to be a Jew.

The Right and the Good

Heroes of the moral life go the extra mile and do more than they are commanded.

Why Are There So Many Jewish Lawyers?

Justice lies at the beating heart of Jewish faith.

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