Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, z”l, served as chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years. This interview with him first aired on the podcast OnBeing in 2010.
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No one ever said that being grateful would be easy; indeed, it can be difficult to be thankful when we have lost so much. Modim anchunu lach, Grateful are we to all those whose have helped us to persevere through this crisis.
It may prove difficult to wait for election results, especially in these times of heightened stress and anxiety; patience may seem impossible. Fortunately, Jewish faith and tradition offer lessons for us as we enter a period of waiting and uncertainty.
“I was in NFTY!” a stranger told me, spotting my years-old T-shirt. This feeling of knowing all of us, that we truly did meet at Sinai, or at least a camp, provides comfort during uncomfortable times.
As our students take their steps in the Old City and then head out to Masada where Herod built his getaway and where zealous Jews built a hideaway, I am deeply moved by their reaction to it all.
Taking Torah into the voting booth also means that pikuach nefesh, saving human life, is Judaism’s highest mitzvah, so consider your voting options carefully.
Not knowing if I would be shunned or accepted, I decided to give my religion another chance. I was not prepared for the warm and welcoming atmosphere I found at temple, where being gay was as acceptable as having brown hair.
Known as z’man simchateinu (season of our rejoicing), Sukkot is the only festival associated with an explicit commandment to rejoice.
This year, even if you do not have a sukkah to visit, you can still experience the kavanah (intention) and the ruach (spirit) of Sukkot.
Election Day is fast approaching, but our work is not done yet. There’s still time to make a difference and ensure every voice is heard and every vote is counted this election.