Words matter. These are the best Jonathan Sacks Quotes, and they’re great for sharing with your friends.
Europe today is the most secular region in the world. Europe is the only region in the world experiencing population decline. Wherever you turn today the more religious the community, the larger on average are their families.
Frequent worshippers are also significantly more active citizens. They are more likely to belong to community organizations, especially those concerned with young people, health, arts and leisure, neighborhood and civic groups and professional associations.
There’s always hope. You can lose everything else in the world, but Jews never lose hope.
In virtually every Western society in the 1960s there was a moral revolution, an abandonment of its entire traditional ethic of self-restraint.
People are feeling and sensing a return of anti-Semitism – even in Europe, which, seventy years after the Holocaust, is a very scary thing. I think they are feeling that Israel is very isolated and doesn’t always get what they see as fair treatment in the European media.
Which European leader today would not relish the wonder-working powers of a Moses? Budget deficit? Unpopular cuts? How about just a little miracle, an overnight increase in gold reserves, a new oil field, or the next world-changing communications technology? Surely that’s not too much to ask.
If the history of the Day of Atonement has anything to say to us now it is: never relieve individuals of moral responsibility. The more we have, the more we grow.
What creates freedom? A revolution in the streets? Mass protest? Civil war? A change of government? The ousting of the old guard and its replacement by the new? History, more often than not, shows that hopes raised by such events are often dashed, sooner rather than later.
I think our people in Britain have a normative expectation of ethical conduct.
Cyberspace can’t compensate for real space. We benefit from chatting to people face to face.
The Jewish festival of freedom is the oldest continuously observed religious ritual in the world. Across the centuries, Passover has never lost its power to inspire the imagination of successive generations of Jews with its annually re-enacted drama of slavery and liberation.
Stabilizing the euro is one thing, healing the culture that surrounds it is another. A world in which material values are everything and spiritual values nothing is neither a stable state nor a good society. The time has come for us to recover the Judeo-Christian ethic of human dignity in the image of God.
The world we build tomorrow is born in the stories we tell our children today. Politics moves the pieces. Education changes the game.
Religion survives because it answers three questions that every reflective person must ask. Who am I? Why am I here? How then shall I live?
We believe that what we possess we don’t ultimately own. God is merely entrusting it to us. And one of the conditions of that trust is that we share what we have with those who have less. So, if you don’t give to people in need, you can hardly call yourself a Jew. Even the most unbelieving Jew knows that.
The meaning of the universe lies outside the universe.
The build-up of personal and collective debt in America and Europe should have sent warning signals to anyone familiar with the biblical institutions of the Sabbatical and Jubilee years, created specifically because of the danger of people being trapped by debt.
Yom HaShoah is a vital day in the Jewish calendar, providing us with a focal point for our remembrance. We cannot bring the dead back to life, but we can bring their memory back to life and ensure they are not forgotten. We can undertake in our lives to do what they were so cruelly prevented from doing in theirs.
If we are to negotiate the coming years safely, we may need a new kind of leadership. To put it more precisely, we need the rediscovery of an ancient kind of leadership that has rarely been given the prominence it deserves. I mean the leader as teacher.
If you want a free society, teach your children what oppression tastes like. Tell them how many miracles it takes to get from here to there. Above all, encourage them to ask questions. Teach them to think for themselves.
Religious ritual is a way of structuring time so that we, not employers, the market or the media, are in control. Life needs its pauses, its chapter breaks, if the soul is to have space to breathe.
Freedom is not won by merely overthrowing a tyrannical ruler or an oppressive regime. That is usually only the prelude to a new tyranny, a new oppression.
Jews survived all the defeats, expulsions, persecutions and pogroms, the centuries in which they were regarded as a pariah people, even the Holocaust itself, because they never gave up the faith that one day they would be free to live as Jews without fear.
God’s forgiveness allows us to be honest with ourselves. We recognize our imperfections, admit our failures, and plead to God for clemency.
Governments cannot make marriages or turn feckless individuals into responsible citizens. That needs another kind of change agent.
With wealth comes responsibility.
While we can remember the past, we cannot write the future. Only our children, the future of our community, can do that.
While everyone else is thinking about economics and politics, executive salaries and the future of the euro, do the opposite, even if it’s hard. Invest in the spirit.
In our interconnected world, we must learn to feel enlarged, not threatened, by difference – that is what I have argued.
Jews have deep respect for the Queen and the royal family. We say a prayer for them every Sabbath in synagogue. We recite a special blessing on seeing the Queen.
The message of Passover remains as powerful as ever. Freedom is won not on the battlefield but in the classroom and the home. Teach your children the history of freedom if you want them never to lose it.
The royals – all of them, especially Prince Philip and Prince Charles – have done outstanding work with the faith communities.
To defend a country you need an army, but to defend a civilization you need education.
We are biological creatures. We are born, we live, we die. There is no transcendent purpose to existence. At best we are creatures of reason, and by using reason we can cure ourselves of emotional excess. Purged of both hope and fear, we find courage in the face of helplessness, insignificance and uncertainty.
The Hebrew Bible contains multiple provisions to ensure that no one would go hungry. The corners of the field, forgotten sheaves of grain, gleanings that drop from the hands of the gleaner, and small clusters of grapes left on the vine were to be given to the poor.
Technology gives us power, but it does not and cannot tell us how to use that power. Thanks to technology, we can instantly communicate across the world, but it still doesn’t help us know what to say.
A perfect storm is in the making: financial uncertainty, economic downturn, government cuts, rising unemployment and a future that looks less clear the more we try to fathom it.
Religiosity turns out to be the best indicator of civic involvement: it’s more accurate than education, age, income, gender or race.
Make space in your life for the things that matter, for family and friends, love and generosity, fun and joy. Without this, you will burn out in mid-career and wonder where your life went.
Close to a billion people – one-eighth of the world’s population – still live in hunger. Each year 2 million children die through malnutrition. This is happening at a time when doctors in Britain are warning of the spread of obesity. We are eating too much while others starve.
The universe is more than mere matter in motion. It and we were brought into being by a Creator who seeks our good.
A survey carried out across the U.S. between 2004 and 2006 showed that frequent church- or synagogue-goers are more likely to give money to charity.
Since the 18th century, many Western intellectuals have predicted religion’s imminent demise.
Follow your passion. Nothing – not wealth, success, accolades or fame – is worth spending a lifetime doing things you don’t enjoy.
God is back and Europe as a whole still doesn’t get it. It is our biggest single collective cultural and intellectual blind spot.