Baruch Dayan HaEmet - Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks zt"l
Baruch Dayan Ha’Emet. It with the deepest sadness that we inform you that Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (HaRav Ya’akov Zvi ben David Arieh z’’l) passed away early this morning, Saturday 7th November 2020 (Shabbat Kodesh 20th MarCheshvan 5781). Devastating news.
With deep sadness, Yeshivat Har Etzion joins in mourning the passing of
Rabbi Lord Jonathan (Yaakov Zvi) Sacks, zt"l
A beacon of Judaism across the world
From the words of the Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Mosheh Lichtenstein:
On the past two Shabbatot we read Parashiyot Lekh-Lekha and Vayera. Chazal (Berakhot 13a), in addressing the transformation of Abram into Abraham, have drawn our attention to our forefather’s differing conduct in these two parashot.
In Parashat Lekh-Lekha Avram appeals to the outside world and bears the message of Judaism to the entire world. In similar fashion, Rabbi Sacks presented the message of Judaism to the world at large and merited to bring many closer to love of God. Like Avram, he erected altars that addressed all the nations, who have learned to appreciate and cherish the wisdom of the Torah regarding universal spiritual issues and the relationship of man to the world. His words were an embodiment of "This is your wisdom and understanding in the sight of the nations" (Devarim 4:6).
However, in Parashat Vayera Avraham turns inward to his own house: "For in Yitzchak shall your seed be called" (Bereishit 21:12). Rabbi Sacks did not content himself with his outward achievements and in recent years was a beacon to many of our people who gained through his teachings faith, guidance, and connection to the heritage of our ancestors.
Just as Avraham's work did not cease with his death, but continued with Yitzchak, so we are confident that Rabbi Sacks' teachings will continue to inspire and guide us long into the future.
"The righteous in their death are called living."
We look back to a better time, ten years ago, when Har Etzion had the privilege of honoring Rav Sacks with the 2010 Rabbinic Leadership Award. Yehi zikhro barukh.
Click here to see Rav Sacks's address that evening.
Click here for text and audio shiurim by Rav Sacks zt"l on the Hatanakh.com website of Herzog Academic College.
Click here for audio tributes aired on KMTT - the yeshiva audio website.