About the Author


Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is an international religious leader, philosopher, and respected moral voice. The author of over 30 books, Rabbi Sacks has received multiple awards in recognition of his work including the 2016 Templeton Prize. He is the recipient of 17 honorary doctorates, 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. He served as the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013.

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

Now available for additional learning: 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 new learning resource, for an inter-generational discussion around your Shabbat table on Rabbi Sacks’ ideas for the week, click here!


Europe’s Alarming New Anti-Semitism

Attacks and hateful rhetoric against Jews are on the rise – and it’s not just Jews who should worry.

On Leadership: Staying Young

Moses did not fade. That is the accolade the Torah gives him at the end of his long and eventful...

On Leadership: Consensus or Command?

What do you say to your successor? What advice do you give him or her? Vayelech is the place to...

A Leader’s Call to Responsibility

The story of humanity has been for the most part a flight from responsibility.

Defeating Death

Only now, reaching Nitzavim-Vayelech, can we begin to get a sense of the vast, world- changing...

A Nation of Storytellers

Howard Gardner, professor of education and psychology at Harvard University, is one of the great...

On Leadership: Against Hate

Do not forget the past but do not be held captive by it.

Learning and Leadership

The parsha of Shoftim is the classic source of the three types of leadership in Judaism, called by...

On Leadership: Defining Reality

One of the gifts of great leaders, and one from which each of us can learn, is that they frame...

On Leadership: To Lead Is To Listen

Understanding the depth of listening.

On Leadership: The Fewest of All Peoples

Israel would be the smallest of the nations for a reason that goes to the very heart of its existence as a nation.

Why So Much Suffering?

Creating freedom without anarchy, order without tyranny.

The Leader as Teacher

No other book so encapsulates and dramatizes all the key elements of Judaism as a faith and way of life.

Leadership at Times of Crisis

Moses, Isaiah and Jeremiah: lessons in leadership.

On Leadership: Conflict Resolution

Moses as a guide to negotiation and conflict resolution.

Lessons of a Leader

Sometimes a leader can go too fast.

Sanctifying Life

In memoriam Eyal, Gilad and Naftali.

Leadership and Loyalty

Is leadership a set of skills, the ability to summon and command power? Or does it have an...

On Leadership: Miriam, Moses' Friend

It is one of the great mysteries of the Torah. Arriving at Kadesh the people find themselves...

On Leadership: Confidence

It was perhaps the single greatest collective failure of leadership in the Torah. Ten of the spies...

On Leadership: The Politics of Envy

Few things in the Torah are more revolutionary than its conception of leadership. Ancient...

On Leadership: Leading a Nation of Individuals

Judaism’s remarkable insistence – like no other civilization before – on the dignity and integrity of the individual.

On Leadership: "We the People"

In Bechukotai, in the midst of one of the most searing curses ever to have been uttered to a...

On Leadership: Think Long

In last week's parsha and this there are two quite similar commands, both of which have to do with...

On Leadership: Followership

There is a fascinating sequence of commands in the great "holiness code" with which our...

On Leadership: Sprints and Marathons

It was a unique, unrepeatable moment of leadership at its highest height. For forty days Moses had...

On Leadership: How to Praise

The sages were eloquent on the subject of lashon hara, evil speech, the sin they took to be the...

On Leadership: The Price of Free Speech

The dangers of gossip, especially in the age of the Internet.

On Leadership: Reticence vs. Impetuosity

It should have been a day of joy. The Israelites had completed the mishkan, the sanctuary. For...

On Not Trying to Be What You Are Not

The great leaders know their own limits. They do not try to do it all themselves. They build teams...

On Leadership: The Sins of a Leader

Leaders make mistakes. That is inevitable. So, strikingly, our parsha implies. The real issue is...

On Leadership: Celebrate

If leaders are to bring out the best in those they lead, they must give them the chance to show...

On Leadership: Team-Building

How do you re-motivate a demoralized people? How do you put the pieces of a broken nation back...

On Leadership: The Counterpoint of Leadership

One of the most important Jewish contributions to our understanding of leadership is its early...

On Leadership: The Home We Build Together

The sequence of parshiyot, Terumah, Tetzaveh, Ki Tissa, Vayakhel and Pekudei, is puzzling in many...

Vision and Detail

Our parsha takes us through a bewildering transition. Until now in Shemot we have been carried...

On Leadership: A Nation of Leaders

This week's parsha consists of two episodes that seem to be a study in contrasts. In the first, in...

On Leadership: Looking Up

The Israelites had crossed the Red Sea. The impossible had happened. The mightiest army in the...

On Leadership: The Far Horizon

To gain insight into the unique leadership lesson of this week's parsha, I often ask an audience...

On Leadership: Overcoming Setbacks

At first, Moses' mission seemed to be successful. He had feared that the people would not believe...

On Leadership: Surviving Failure

Bereishit ends on a sublime note of reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers. His brothers...

On Leadership: The Unexpected Leader

The mark of a leader is not righteousness. It’s the ability to admit mistakes and to learn and grow from them.

On Leadership: The Power of Dreams

In one of the greatest transformations in all literature, Joseph moves in one bound from prisoner...

On Leadership: Be Thyself

I have argued in previous years of Covenant and Conversation that the episode in which the Jewish...

On Leadership: Light in Dark Times

To try, to fall, to fear, and yet to keep going: that is what it takes to be a leader.

On Leadership: The Price of Silence

The price we pay for a failure to communicate​.

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