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The Office of Rabbi Sacks

Follow the audio shiurim, lectures and speeches of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, global religious leader, philosopher, author of over 30 books and moral voice for our time. Rabbi Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth between September 1991 and September 2013. A full biography - together with an extensive online archive of Rabbi Sacks' work - is available at www.rabbisacks.org or you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @rabbisacks.

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Why Do We Sacrifice? (Rabbi Sacks on Vayikra, Covenant & Conversation)

Welcome to Rabbi Sacks' commentary on the weekly Torah portion. This series of Covenant & Conversation essays examine the ethics we can derive from the Torah, week-by-week, parsha by parsha.Covenant & Conversation on Ethics is kindly supported by the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation in memory of Maurice and Vivienne Wohl z”l.For more articles, videos & other material from Rabbi Sacks, please visit www.rabbisacks.org or follow @RabbiSacks.This piece was recorded by Rabbi Sacks in 2015.

9mins

17 Mar 2015

Rank #1

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Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Simon Schama - Genius and the Story of the Jews

The extraordinary resilience of the Jewish people—in the face of adversity through every generation since Moses—gives power and resonance to their collective vision, and provides the key to Jewish identity and sense of purpose.Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Emeritus Chief Rabbi of Britain and the Commonwealth and current professor at New York University, Yeshiva University and King’s College London and Simon Schama, author of The Story of the Jews, dig deep into Jewish history to explore and explain the genius of Jewish survival, resilience, security, prosperity and leadership. The conversation was moderated by US television journalist, David Gregory.This event took place in New York as part of 92nd St Y’s ‘7 Days of Genius’ festival on Monday 16th February 2015.

1hr 26mins

18 Feb 2015

Rank #2

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Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence - Rabbi Sacks speaks at The Brookings Institution

In his new book, "Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence," Rabbi Jonathan Sacks examines the recent phenomenon of violent extremism by exploring the origins of violence and its relationship to religion. Rabbi Sacks challenges the assertion that religion is an intrinsic source of violence and describes how theology can be central to combating religious violence and extremism. Through analysis of biblical texts tied to the three Abrahamic faiths, Rabbi Sacks illustrates how religiously-inspired violence stems from a critical misreading of these texts.On November 12, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted a discussion addressing Rabbi Sacks’ book and other important issues related to the roots of religious violence. This event is part of the long-running Governing Ideas book series, which is hosted by William A. Galston.

1hr 32mins

19 Nov 2015

Rank #3

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Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks In Conversation With David Brooks

As part of his engagement with New York University as the Ira and Ingeborg Global Distinguished Professor of Jewish Thought, Rabbi Sacks was interviewed by distinguished New York Times columnist David Brooks.The conversation - co-sponsored by NYU Alumni and NYU Bronfman Centre for Jewish Student Life - formed part of NYU’s Speaker on the Square programme.Recorded on 29th January 2015, the discussion touched on a range of topics including the role of the Jewish voice in the public square, morals and ethics in the 21st century, and the challenge facing the world from religious fundamentalism.

1hr 7mins

17 Mar 2015

Rank #4

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'Finding a Moral Compass in Challenging Times' - David Brooks & Rabbi Sacks in conversation

On 21st March 2017, prominent New York Times columnist David Brooks and Rabbi Sacks held a public conversation at 92nd St Y in New York entitled ‘Finding a Moral Compass in Challenging Times’. The conversation was not just intellectually stimulating but an amusing one as well. This event was co-presented with The Edgar M. Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life at New York University and endowed by Francine and Abdullah Simon z”l.

59mins

24 Mar 2017

Rank #5

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Faith In Our Future: A Panel Discussion With Rabbi Jonathan Sacks And Rabbi Joseph Dweck

On November 15th, young Jews from New York’s Sephardic community had the chance to explore existential questions about Judaism’s future alongside two majorly influential rabbis. The event, “Faith in Our Future,” was organized by the Sephardic Community Alliance (SCA) and hosted by the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and featured an almost 90 minute moderated conversation between Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Rabbi Joseph Dweck, all targeted directly towards young Jews under 30.

1hr 22mins

7 Dec 2016

Rank #6

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Healing A Fractured World: Instability Refugees And Our Responsibility

On Wednesday 13th April, Rabbi Sacks took part in a public conversation with David Miliband, CEO and President of the International Rescue Committee and former British Foreign Secretary. Their discussion was entitled “Healing a Fractured World: Instability, Refugees and our Responsibility” and was moderated by Rebecca Blumenstein, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, The Wall Street Journal. It was hosted by New York University’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life and was part of the Selma Ruben Distinguished lecture series.

1hr 7mins

20 Apr 2016

Rank #7

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Cultural Climate Change: The Role of Religion in a Secularised West

On Thursday 13th July, Rabbi Sacks delivered a keynote lecture on the concept of what he called 'Cultural Climate Change' and what religion has to offer in an increasingly secularised West. The lecture was hosted by The Chautauqua Institution, an arts and cultural lifelong learning community on the shores of Lake Chautauqua in Western New York.

54mins

21 Jul 2017

Rank #8

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The Genesis of Love (Covenant & Conversation - Bereishit 5780)

Here is the audio recording of Rabbi Sacks' Covenant & Conversation commentary essay on the Torah portion of Bereishit 5780. You can download a PDF of this commentary, as well as an accompanying Family Edition, from http://rabbisacks.org/bereishit-5780/. Covenant & Conversation is kindly sponsored by the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation.

10mins

23 Oct 2019

Rank #9

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"Religion is not a threat" - Rabbi Sacks in conversation with Father Raymond de Souza at Cardus

The world, it seems, might be better off without religion. Witness the horrific violence of the Islamic State, or look across the ages and see crusades, inquisitions, and a European world awash in violence, all done in the name of religion.But what if, as Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks argues, religion is not the problem? What if the very potent idea of "religion" is often hijacked and abused by those who wield it with violence?Religion belongs here. This event by Cardus was recorded on 15th March 2016 at The Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, Canada. Rabbi Sacks was in conversation with Convivium Editor and National Post Columnist Father Raymond de Souza.

1hr 23mins

21 Mar 2016

Rank #10

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Rabbi Sacks on NPR's All Things Considered

On 8th October 2015, NPR's Robert Siegel talked with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks about his new book, Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence.

7mins

20 Oct 2015

Rank #11

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The Light in the Ark (Noach 5780)

Here is the audio recording of Rabbi Sacks' Covenant & Conversation commentary essay on the Torah portion of Noach 5780. You can download a PDF of this commentary, as well as an accompanying Family Edition, from rabbisacks.org/noach-5780/. Covenant & Conversation is kindly sponsored by the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation.

10mins

28 Oct 2019

Rank #12

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Confusing Satan - Pre-Rosh Hashanah shiur by Rabbi Sacks

To mark the launch of 'Ceremony and Celebration: An Introduction to the Holidays' (published by Maggid Books), Rabbi Sacks delivered a pre-Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur shiur entitled 'Confusing Satan'. Before listening, please download the accompanying source sheet here: http://rabbisacks.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/RH-5778-source-sheet.pdf.

1hr 1min

17 Sep 2017

Rank #13

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A Tale Of Two Women - A Shavuot Shiur By Rabbi Sacks

To launch the new Koren-Sacks Shavuot machzor, Rabbi Sacks delivered a keynote shiur in London on 7 June 2016 to a packed room in Finchley United Synagogue. Co-hosted by Koren Publishers and the London School of Jewish Studies, Rabbi Sacks talked about the similarities between Ruth and Tamar, and what we can learn from their experiences about our identity as a Jewish people.

47mins

8 Jun 2016

Rank #14

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On Not Predicting the Future(Vayechi, Covenant & Conversation 5776 on Spirituality)

The Covenant and Conversation 5776 series on Spirituality is kindly supported by the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation in memory of Maurice and Vivienne Wohl z”l. To join Rabbi Sacks’ mailing list, please subscribe via www.rabbisacks.org. You can also follow him on Twitter @RabbiSacks.

10mins

21 Dec 2015

Rank #15

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The Two Voices- A New Perspective On The Meaning Of Teshuvah

Listen to Rabbi Sacks' keynote Ellul shiur - "The Two Voices: A New Perspective on the Meaning of Teshuvah". Download the accompanying mekorot sheet here: http://www.rabbisacks.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/Source-sheets-for-The-Two-Voices.pdf. Watch a video of the shiur here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8036H-Jfdg.

1hr 9mins

4 Sep 2015

Rank #16

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The Crown All Can Wear (Pinchas 5779)

"I am delighted to share with you the newest cycle of Covenant & Conversation essays on the weekly parsha (Torah reading). I am particularly excited to introduce a Family Edition accompaniment to this year's series which has two main aims. First, to present the ideas in Covenant & Conversation in a simplified way, making my ideas more accessible to children and teenagers. Second, to act as an educational resource for parents, teachers and anyone else to engage their children and students in meaningful and stimulating conversations about the parsha."Main edition: http://rabbisacks.org/the-crown-all-can-wear-pinchas-5779/Family edition: rabbisacks.org/cc-family-edition-pinchas-5779/

13mins

17 Jul 2019

Rank #17

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Rabbi Sacks Interviewed By Fareed Zakaria On CNN GPS - 22 November 2015

On 22 November 2015, Rabbi Sacks was interviewed by Fareed Zakaria on CNN's flagship international relations programme GPS. They spoke about the rise of Islamic extremism and his new book 'Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence', which Fareed Zakaria noted was "terrific" and "an important book that I urge you to read and buy."

5mins

3 Dec 2015

Rank #18

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Lessons From Kohelet - A Sukkot Shiur By Rabbi Sacks

Listen to a Sukkot shiur by Rabbi Sacks to discover what it is about the book of Kohelet that makes it such a relevant text for today's society.

53mins

3 Oct 2017

Rank #19

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'Listen. Really Listen.'| Eikev, Covenant & Conversation 5778

What is Judaism? It is a way of thinking, a constellation of ideas: a way of understanding the world and our place within it. Judaism contains life-changing ideas.Each week as part of his Covenant & Conversation series for 5778, Rabbi Sacks will explore a single life-changing idea in the Hebrew Bible. You can download a written version of his commentary from www.RabbiSacks.org.Covenant and Conversation 5778 is kindly supported by the Maurice Wohl Charitable Foundation in memory of Maurice and Vivienne Wohl z”l.

11mins

2 Aug 2018

Rank #20