R' Jonathan Sacks

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  • #600063

    Feif Un
    Participant

    2 years ago, I bought the haggadah he put after hearing a recommendation from a friend. I loved it! In my shul, in the divrei Torah booklet they have available, they almost always have something from him.

    Now, I ordered his sefer on parshas hashavuah, for Bereishis. Does anyone have it? What do you think of it?

    I am definitely a big fan of his stuff. Anyone else?

    #832615

    Feif Un, are you trying to cause problems? You know what this is going to lead to…..

    #832616

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Definitely one of the best writers out there. He writes so eloquently and knows how to make his point in a way that is hard to disagree with, even if he is a bit controversial at times.

    #832617

    brotherofurs
    Participant

    my father gets them every week but im not such a fan.

    #832618

    Feif Un
    Participant

    No, what will it lead to? I really have no idea…

    #832619

    optimusprime
    Member

    From Wikipedia

    “After the publication of his book The Dignity of Difference, a group of Haredi rabbis, most notably Rabbis Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and Bezalel Rakow, accused Sacks of heresy against traditional Orthodox viewpoint. According to them, some words seemed to imply an endorsement of pure relativism between religions, and that Judaism is not the sole true religion, e.g. “No one creed has a monopoly on spiritual truth”. This led him to rephrase more clearly some sentences in the book for its second edition, though he refused to recall books already in the stores.[13]”

    On a personal note, I think highly of him and read his articles frequently.

    #832620

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I am going to hear him speak. I know absolutely nothing about him.

    #832621

    Dr. Seuss
    Member

    R. Sacks went to a Christian church for a religious service for William’s marriage.

    #832622

    adorable
    Participant

    mods…..what do you think this is going to lead to?!?!?1 be smart and close this thread maybe!!

    #832623

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Wikipedia is not considered the best source for anything.

    It is user modified meaning anyone can modify any entry the please.

    While popular entries are harder to “Graffittize” like say Barack Obama, a less popular entry can easily be “Graffitize”

    #832624

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    True, but what optimusprime cited is common knowledge.

    #832625

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I did a quick wikipedia on Rav Bezalel Rakow and it said he was upset with R Sacks saying that jews cannot learn things from other religions.

    The Soup Kitchen is not really a jewish idea and we did not really have them until recently until Masbia came around. While Food Charities like Tomche Shabbos have been around, the place where they make the food for you and serve you like Masbia has not really.

    #832626

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    zahavasdad – What was the ??????

    #832627

    2scents
    Participant

    Adorable, I don’t think that the mods close a thread because it might lead to something bad. Each thread has the potential to become a bad thread.

    #832628

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I am not 100% sure here, but I think some of the servers at Masbia as paid, While there are some volunteers it seems thats it tough to get full time volunteers to serve the food at Masbia.

    The Soup kitchens are almost all volunteers and all donations can go to help the hungry eat.

    #832629

    Feif Un
    Participant

    I read through the sefer on the Parsha over Shabbos, and I really enjoyed it! He gives an explanation regarding tzelem Elokim that I’ve never heard before:

    He brings the question Rashi brings about why did the Torah begin with creation, and not the first mitzvah? He then says that when man was created b’tzelem Elokim, it can’t refer to the way we look, as Hashem has no body. He says that it refers to something that we Share with Hashem that no other creatures do – the ability to rise above nature and instinct, and have our own free will. He then quotes the Rambam that says that without free will, there can be no reward or punishment for doing right or wrong.

    Therefore, the Torah begins with creation to tell us that we are b’tzelem Elokim, and it’s our choice to follow the mitzvos or not. Once that is established, it can then tell us how to live our lives, with it being our option to follow it or not.

    #832630

    bezalel
    Participant

    I am not 100% sure here, but I think some of the servers at Masbia as paid, While there are some volunteers it seems thats it tough to get full time volunteers to serve the food at Masbia.

    The Soup kitchens are almost all volunteers and all donations can go to help the hungry eat.

    It’s almost impossible to run a commercial kitchen entirely with vollenteers and still comply with food safety (documentation) requirements.

    #832631

    Jothar
    Member

    This is my favorite quote from Rabbi Dr. Jonathan Sacks:

    “Western civilisation has moved from what was once called the Judeo-Christian ethic to a consumer-driven, choice-fixated culture… Such a world is not chol but chiloni, not secular but secularist. It is impermeable to the values of kedushah.”

    #832632

    tahini
    Member

    Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks of the UK is a great writer and inspirational speaker. Of course we have here in Britan disagreements between different groups of orthodox Jews, something perhaps that is not so new!!!

    He is a controversial figure, and that makes him rather interesting As for attending the royal wedding, in his role of Chief Rabbi for the UK he represents British Jewry, he is our ambassador. Of his intellect and fabulous eloquency there is no question. His views may not please everyone , but why should they?

    #832633

    Toi
    Participant

    all i know about him is from an insider source; a source highly respected who is one of the bigest poskim in england. he said that R J sacks constantly makes problems for the right wing community.

    #832634

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Toi,

    1. An unnamed source is not a valid one. If he is so highly respcted and big, why not name him?

    2. Please define ” right wing”

    #832635

    Toi
    Participant

    less- it quite sensible, as this source holds a public position and if i didnt name him than obviously i feel that info this sensitive could potentially harm him and i dont want that to happen.2. the more yeshivish less zionist crowd.

    #832636

    tahini succinctly said it all

    #832637

    lesschumras
    Participant

    Toi,

    Since you won’t name your source or how the right wing is being harmed, what is your point other than motzei shem rah?

    #832638

    Dr. Seuss
    Member

    How can a Jew attend a Christian church service? Especially the church sanctuary. For an avodah zora service. It is strictly prohibited to enter. According to all poskim from the mishna and gemorah Avoda Zora to S”A (and Rambam, Ritba, Rosh, Rashba, etc.) to contemporary poskim (Rav Moshe, Tzitz Eliezer, Rav Ovadia Yosef, etc.)

    The Rashba says even for pikuach nefesh you can’t enter.

    #832639

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Dr. Seuss –

    According to all poskim…

    That is a very broad statement.

    Off the top of my head, here are some things to consider: Was it a trinitarian or a unitarian church? Even if it was trinitarian; since everybody knows his intention when he’s going in, is it still assur?

    #832640

    Dr. Seuss
    Member

    yitay: It was an Anglican Church — The Church of England. And it was an actual Avoda Zora service. Galachim with tzeilim’s invoking yushke’s name and saying the Christian lithurgy. With the “Chief Rabbi” sitting in the pew. Please find me ONE posek from the time of the Tannaim through Rav Moshe. There isn’t any.

    #832641

    Feif Un
    Participant

    I started this thread to see if anyone enjoyed his writings. I even shared a dvar Torah that he had written. All I see is bashing. Mods, can you please delete all the inappropriate posts here, and can we keep this thread clean? Thanks!

    #832642

    old man
    Participant

    The Me’iri held that Christianity is not avodah zara.

    #832643

    Dr. Seuss
    Member

    old man: For goyim the Meiri writes that. (And even in that case many seforim write that that was written in the Meiri for the Christian censors.)

    But that is irrelevant for this case, as for Yidden everyone including the Meiri agrees Christianity is Avoda Zora.

    And in any event, all the poskim agree it is strictly forbidden to attend a Christian church service. (It is even forbidden to go into a church sanctuary when there is no service being held.)

    #832644

    Sam2
    Participant

    Dr. Seuss: There is also a possible issue that Mishum Eivah the argument of “Eis La’asos Lahashem” might apply. I don’t think he was Matir any other Jew to go.

    #832645

    Dr. Seuss
    Member

    Why would attending an Avoda Zora service be any different than bowing down to an Avoda Zora “Mishum Eivah”? The poskim all say forbidden to enter a church. You will not find even one, otherwise, to allow attendance of a Christian church service.

    #832646

    Feif Un
    Participant

    He said that if he didn’t go, it could cause a big incident over religion, and possibly cause hatred towards Jews. I forgot what it’s called, but in some such cases, even chillul Shabbos is allowed. He held that this was such a case.

    #832647

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Dr. Seuss –

    You can’t go into a church because of mar’is ayin. Who says you can’t go in if everyone knows your intention, i.e. you are a chief rabbi going in for the purpose of public relations?

    #832648

    Dr. Seuss
    Member

    You can’t go into a church because of avoda zora. The gemora says you shouldn’t even go into a *city* where avoda zora is practiced, but we can’t follow that since it is virtually impossible. But as far as a church, ALL the poskim say forbidden. (Mishna, Gemorah, Rambam, Ritba, Rosh, Rashba, Rav Moshe, Tzitz Eliezer, Rav Ovadia Yosef, et al).

    I’m still waiting for one who says otherwise.

    Anyone? There isn’t any.

    #832649

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    The gemora says you shouldn’t even go into a *city* where avoda zora is practiced, but we can’t follow that since it is virtually impossible.

    You are making up reasons. Go vaiter in the Gemara, you’ll see why we “don’t keep” that one.

    #832650

    Dr. Seuss
    Member

    Still no posek that disagrees with the Rambam, Ritba, Rosh, Rashba, Rav Moshe, Tzitz Eliezer, Rav Ovadia Yosef, and every other posek who comments on going into the sanctuary for a christian church service?

    Didn’t think so.

    #832651

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    Point is, it’s because of mar’is ayin. And we do find heteirim for mar’is ayin when everybody knows.

    #832652

    Dr. Seuss
    Member

    Which posek provides this “heter” to enter the sanctuary of a christian church for the service with cross donning priests invoking cheese ‘n crackers and reciting the christian religious lithurgy?

    All the aforementioned (and more) poskim strictly forbid it. None provide any such alleged “heter”.

    #832653

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    #832654

    tahini
    Member

    Thanks Chocandpatience for your kind words!

    Discussing Rabbi Sacks and the royal wedding is interesting, with different opinions making the exchange worth reading, but please remember here in Europe we Jews are not so comfortable as our American cousins.

    We say a prayer every Shabbat in shul for our royal family, it is not done just out of respect, it is done to show the host nation we are loyal citizens albeit of a different faith. I am not a fan of the royal family and British establishment by any means, that is why I appreciate what Rabbi Sacks does in acting as our representative. Discussing halacha and the rights and wrongs of attending a state occasion we should remember that we are guests in our host countries, freedom to express and practice our religion must be accompanied by respect for the status quo. I do not like saying this, I do not like to conform but I recognise that we must guard our hard won privileges with respectful behaviour. In Israel we are free to disagree or question our fellow Jews, and we do, with protests, riots, petitions, etc,. Outside of our precious land, we need to protect our religious rights and show the establishment we pose no threat, we have been doing this for years all over the world, sometimes sitting quite wrongly with dictators and tyrants for the sake of good relations and being left alone in peace. Our brothers in Iran who choose to stay there, ( do not ask me why!) have perfected the art of being respectful guests, I do not agree with them at all, but I understand why. Rabbi Sacks here in the UK is a great ambassador for Jewry, showing himself to be a fantastic speaker and leader. Religious politics is an arena full of disagreement and debate, just look at our history!!

    #832655

    shlishi
    Member

    Jews for millenia have given up their freedom, homes and even lives rather than recognize a foreign religion.

    #832656

    tahini, as a fellow Britisher, I appreciate what you write.

    #832657

    shlishi
    Member

    Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jacobowitz declined to attend the wedding of Charles and Diana at Westminster Abbey. There were no anti-Jewish riots as a result.

    #832658

    yitayningwut
    Participant

    ???? ????? ?????? ?????

    #832659

    zahavasdad
    Participant

    I was in London 12 years ago and I saw the Shul had a guard 24/7 .

    When I was in Rome this summer, You could not attend services at the Shul unless you told them in advance .

    My inlaws have shown me pictures of other shuls in Europe and its pretty much the same, Most shuls in Europe have guards, I saw one in Stockholm with a Jersey Barrier in front. Some you had to tell them in advance that you were going.

    We are spoiled here in the US

    #832660

    tahini
    Member

    Zahavasdad, you are indeed so right, we are envious of your comfortable approach in the US to religious tolerance.

    There were no anti-Jewish riots in the UK when our great previous Chief Rabbi Jackobovitz did not attend a royal wedding. There would be no anti-Jewish riots now, instead there is a mood in Europe and Britain in particular which is not comfortable or truly safe for us. Charles and Diana married in 1981, today in 2011 the mood in the UK is very different. I teach in a London university, sometimes the things I hear are truly shocking. Ordinary people just want to get on with their lives, but at times especially on subjects such as Israel or Jewish education and the opening of new schools public sentiment is far from friendly. Chief Rabbi Sacks unfailingly presents a positive image of Judaism to the public, broadcasting on the radio with gracious dignity. The debate of whether or not he should attend a royal wedding were obviously carefully considered by him, and he responded with all the wisdom of the Chief Rabbi’s office behind him in the affirmative, if you were in the same boat and chose not to go, fine. Since when do we agree on everything?

    #832661

    The Late Chief Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovitz Zt”l was quite different on many regards in comparison to R Jonathan Saks

    I think everyone would agree Chief Rabbi Jakobovitz Zt”l had more “right winged” veiws than of R Jonathan Saks

    besides for being a massive talmid chacham and respected dayan.

    #832662

    but putting down R Jonathan Saks is nothing short of lashon hara & motzi sheim ra

    as far as that which someone quoted from wikipedia:

    1) first verify that it is true before posting

    2) besides, as I always say, stay out of the machloksim between gedolei ysroel. “gotta be a gaint to understand a giant, till then youre a midget”

    #832663

    Obaminator
    Member

    There’s no machlokes between gedolei yisroel here. The Chief Rabbi isn’t one of the gedolim.

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