Herzog, hundreds of leaders reflect on legacy of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

President Herzog spoke about his relationship with Rabbi Sacks in Beit HaNassi.

The Sacks Conversation (photo credit: INGRID MULLER)
The Sacks Conversation
(photo credit: INGRID MULLER)

Israeli President Isaac Herzog was joined by over 200 government officials, Jewish figures and religious leaders to commemorate the UK's former chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and his impact on modern Israeli society.

President Herzog spoke about his relationship with Rabbi Sacks at an event hosted in Beit HaNassi.

A former student of Rabbi Sacks and Director of Yeshiva University's Sacks-Herenstein Center for Values and Leadership, Dr. Erica Brown, led the discussion with Herzog as part of the second annual "Sacks Conversation" series.

"We will see Rabbi Sacks' legacy from generation to generation. It will change the dialogue in the Jewish world," President Herzog said. "The real impact that Rabbi Sacks had on me is with the weekly reading on the Torah portion. I say so because I continue reading his books and they are a fountain of strength, an unbelievable fountain of originality, of ideas, of understanding the content of the Bible and of course, with immense sources of wisdom, knowledge from all facets of humanity."

"For my husband, Torah and Halacha were not just spiritual guides for the individual but a blueprint for society.

Lady Elaine Sacks
RABBI JONATHAN SACKS – his recipe for repair was the building of ‘covenantal communities’ based on a ‘we’ consciousness. (credit: Courtesy)RABBI JONATHAN SACKS – his recipe for repair was the building of ‘covenantal communities’ based on a ‘we’ consciousness. (credit: Courtesy)

"Attending the event today is particularly special for me because all through the years, Israel has meant so much to both my late husband, Rabbi Sacks, and I," Lady Elaine Sacks added. "For my husband, Torah and Halacha were not just spiritual guides for the individual but a blueprint for society. More than once he recounted that Israel is the only place on the planet where the Jewish people have a chance to create their own society in accordance with our own faith. Here, in Israel, the Jewish values of responsibility, the dignity of difference, Chessed and Tzedakah can truly be woven into the fabric of society, thereby creating this ideal civilization."

What is The Sacks Conversation?

The Sacks Conversation is a well-known annual event organized by the nonprofit organization The Rabbi Sacks Legacy.

The nonprofit is dedicated to preserving the vision and philosophies of Rabbi Sacks. First formed in 2013 as the Office of Rabbi Sacks, the organization became the Rabbi Sacks Legacy after he died.

The organization provides programs and media to Sacks' followers and makes his life's work accessible.

“Rabbi Sacks’ teachings continue to be relevant and guide conversations around the world, his timeless vision continuing to ring true today. This year, we wanted to bring the Sacks Conversation to Israel, which was so central to his message and where so many of his colleagues, students and supporters live,” said Joanna Benarroch, Chief Executive of the Rabbi Sacks Legacy. “We are grateful to President Herzog for hosting this important event and critical conversation.”

More information about Rabbi Sacks and the Rabbi Sacks Legacy can be found at www.rabbisacks.org.