Former British chief rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was awarded the Guardian of Zion Award in Jerusalem Monday evening for his work on behalf of Israel.
The award, granted by Bar- Ilan University’s Ingeborg Rennert Center for Jerusalem Studies, marked Sacks’s “outstanding contribution to Diaspora Jewish life by bringing the message of Jerusalem to the Diaspora,” Rennert Center Director Prof. Joshua Schwartz said. “He serves as a beacon of light for us all and is a true guardian of Zion.”
Speaking with The Jerusalem Post on Monday, Sacks said that during the early days of the Second Intifada, he realized that attempts to delegitimize Israel in Europe were not isolated incidents but part of a campaign to harm Israel on a moral level.
Previous attempts, through military means and political and economic warfare had failed and now Israel’s enemies were trying to undermine the moral underpinnings of the Zionist enterprise, he said.
In response, Sacks mobilized British rabbis to strengthen their communities and push back against anti-Israel propaganda.
The rabbi, who is known as a public advocate of religion in an increasingly secular world, and a staunch defender of the moral strength of Abrahamic monotheism, downplayed the importance of his actions on behalf of Israel, saying that anyone in his position would have done the same.
Sacks recently won the Katz Award for his contribution to the application of the Halacha (Jewish law) to modern life.