About the Author

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks zt”l was an international religious leader, philosopher, and respected moral voice. The author of over 35 books, he received multiple awards in recognition of his work including the 2016 Templeton Prize. He was the recipient of 18 honorary doctorates, and was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005 and made a Life Peer, taking his seat in the House of Lords in October 2009. Rabbi Sacks zt”l served as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013. Rabbi Sacks zt”l was born on the 8th March 1948 and passed away on the 7th November 2020 (Shabbat Kodesh 20th MarCheshvan 5781).

These weekly teachings from Rabbi Sacks zt”l are part of the ‘Covenant & Conversation’ series on the weekly Torah reading. Read more essays from the series on www.rabbisacks.org.

Also available: The FAMILY EDITION of Covenant & Conversation, designed to enhance your parsha conversation with everyone from teenagers to great-great-grandparents. To read and print this family-friendly learning resource, for an inter-generational discussion around your Shabbat table on Rabbi Sacks’ ideas for the week, please click here.

On Judaism and Islam

The language of the Torah is, in Erich Auerbach's famous phrase, "fraught with...

God and Strangers

God appeared to Abraham by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the entrance to his tent in the heat of...

Abraham’s Journey: Four Dimensions

To be a child of Abraham is to have the courage to be different, to challenge the idols of the age.

A Drama In Four Acts

The maturation of humanity through the prism of responsibility and moral development.

Three Stages of Creation

The enormous challenge and privilege to be like God.

Emotional Intelligence

In March 2015 I had a public conversation at Yale with the University's President Peter Salovey....

The Second Mountain

What do you do when you have achieved it all, when you have risen to whatever career heights fate...

Investing Time: Ten Life-Changing Principles

Judaism is the satellite navigation system of the soul, and Rosh Hashanah is the day we stop and see whether we need to change direction.

The World Is Waiting For You

Something remarkable happens in this week's parsha, almost without our noticing it, that changed...

The Story We Tell

Judaism’s uniqueness of transforming history into memory.

Social Capital: Gauging the Health of Society

Wealth has nothing to do with money and everything to do with the level of trust within a society.

Jewish Monarchy: To Lead Is To Serve

Our parsha talks about monarchy: "When you enter the land that the Lord your God is giving...

Don't Define Yourself as a Victim

In any given situation we can look back or we can look forward.

Listen, Really Listen

If we can't truly listen to other people, then we certainly can't listen to God, whose otherness is not relative but absolute.

Making Love Last

Mitzvot are the framework that keeps love alive.

The Effective Critic

The first verse of Devarim, the fifth and culminating book of the Torah, sounds prosaic....

Miles To Go Before I Sleep

Etre ailleurs, "To be elsewhere - the great vice of this race, its great and secret virtue,...

Seven Principles for Maintaining Jewish Dialogue

How to overcome disagreements respectfully to ensure we continue to thrive as a people.

The Lost Masterpiece

We inherit what we truly love.

A People That Dwells Alone

Assimilation is no cure for Anti-Semitism.

Mortality and Meaning

Despite being human and imperfect, we are God's partners in creation.

The First Populist

What matters in Judaism is why the argument was undertaken and how it was conducted.

Are Religion and Science Destined to be in Conflict?

Each one is important, and when we understand the relationship between them, we will be able to appreciate how they can form a great partnership.

Seeing What Isn't There

Applying cognitive behavior therapy to the story of the spies.

Faith and Friendship

In this week's parsha Moshe reaches his lowest ebb. Not surprisingly. After all that had happened...

Lifting Heads

We are as important as we make other people feel.

The Two Journeys

The journey from is always easier than the journey to.

We Are What We Do Not Own

The late Maurice and Vivienne Wohl were one of the most remarkable couples I ever met. They were a...

In the Diary

Time management is more than management and larger than time. It is about life itself. God gives...

Love Is Not Enough

Relationships need rules and boundaries.

When Weakness Can Become a Strength

What we think of as our greatest weakness can become, if we wrestle with it, our greatest strength.

The Power of Praise

How to save your marriage.

Giving Thanks

Gratitude is the bedrock of Judaism.

The Call

The difference between a gift and a vocation.

Making Space

Creating a home for God on earth.

Anger: Its Uses and Abuses

We should never feel anger. But there are times when we should show it.

Crushed for the Light

Great faith can turn pain into love and holy light.

Why We Value What We Make

Why the greatest gift is to give people the chance to create.

The Power of Empathy

You have been oppressed; therefore come to the rescue of the oppressed, whoever they are.

The Bond of Loyalty and Love

In the course of any life there are moments of awe and amazement when, with a full heart, you...

The Longer, Shorter Road

Lasting achievement takes time.

Freewill: Use It Or Lose It

Freedom is not a given, nor is it an absolute. We have to work for it.

Why Judaism Should Matter to You

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on the greatness of being Jewish.

God Loves Those Who Argue

A safe space is not one in which you silence dissenting views.

Five Ideas for Life

Some ideas worth thinking about as we begin our journey into a new calendar year.

What It Takes To Forgive

How Joseph was a trailblazer in the art of forgiveness.

The First Psychotherapist

How to change the way we feel by changing the way we think.

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