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.
Related Blog Posts on COVID-19 and Jewish Values
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.
In addressing epidemics, there are a number of provisions of Jewish law directly relevant to challenges we face today. The spirit of these laws and their wisdom speaks across the centuries to us now.
Gathering in grief gives us a window into the blessings of life. Jewish tradition does this so well – which makes it all the more difficult to cope with loss in the time of COVID-19.
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 told them, "As someone who is in the process of return to Temple Israel, I wanted to briefly share what a meaningful experience I had for Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur services."
“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.
As the United States grapples with COVID-19 and faces a renewed focus on racial justice, this week provides an important opportunity to take stock of how both issues affect mental health.