“Win the respect of people you respect, and you can forget the rest.”
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (@RabbiSacks) is an international religious leader, philosopher, and respected moral voice. He was the chief rabbi of the UK and Commonwealth from 1991 to 2013 and the recipient of the 2016 Templeton Prize, in recognition of his “exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.” Rabbi Sacks has been described by HRH The Prince of Wales as “a light unto this nation” and by former British prime minister Tony Blair as “an intellectual giant.” He is an award-winning author of more than 30 books, including Not in God’s Name. His new book, Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times , recently became a bestseller in the UK and is now available in North America.
He is a frequent and sought-after contributor to radio, television, and the international press and a renowned public speaker, and he has degrees from both Cambridge and Oxford universities, as well as 18 honorary degrees. He was knighted by HM The Queen in 2005 and took his seat in the House of Lords in October 2009. Born in 1948 in London, he has been married to his wife Elaine since 1970. They have three children and several grandchildren.
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Want to hear an episode with someone on the other side of the spiritual spectrum? Check out my latest conversation with Sam Harris here in which we discuss mindfulness as a way to conquer fear, the future of psychedelics and empathogens as therapy, quarantine mushroom trips, worthwhile nonprofits to support during this pandemic, and much more.
SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE
Connect with Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks:
- Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times by Jonathan Sacks
- Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence by Jonathan Sacks
- Rehearsals | TEDx Organizer Guide
- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks: How We Can Face the Future without Fear, Together | TED Talk
- Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks: How We Can Navigate the Coronavirus Pandemic with Courage and Hope | TED Talk
- Tim Ferriss: Why You Should Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals | TED Talk
- Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World by Timothy Ferriss
- Bose Noise-Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones | Amazon
- Ecclesiastes 1 NIV: Everything Is Meaningless | Bible Gateway
- Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces That Shape The Universe by Martin Rees
- The Book of Psalms | United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- LEPOWER Clip-On Book Light | Amazon.com
- Relative Values: Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and His Wife, Elaine, on Anti-Semitism and Love at First Sight | The Sunday Times Magazine
- What Makes a Song Sad | The Atlantic
- Holocaust and Diaspora Survival: The Next Generations. Past, Present, Future | ENRS
- The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
- Death March from Auschwitz | United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
- America by Simon & Garfunkel
- Riding the Dirty Dog | Vice
- Lubavitch and Chabad | Jewish Virtual Library
- Oxford Chabad Society
- Jewish Mysticism’s Origins | My Jewish Learning
- What is the Difference Between a Rebbe and a Rabbi? | Jewish Virtual Library
- The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations by Jonathan Sacks
- Religious Leaders Accused of Heresy | The Guardian
- The World Economic Forum
- Ground Zero Facts, Legacy, & Memorial | History
- The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
- The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? by Rick Warren
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- The Imitation Game | Prime Video
- The Descent of Man by Charles Darwin
- Why the US and UK Failed Their Coronavirus Responses | Time
- Jewish Holidays | Chabad.org
- Who by Fire by Leonard Cohen
- Singing “Hatikvah” at Bergen-Belsen | World Jewish Congress
- Coronavirus: What We Need to Learn from the 1918 Flu Epidemic | Los Angeles Times
- The Education Act of 1944 | UK Parliament
- The Birth of the NHS | Historic UK
- GI Bill History | Veterans Education Success
- History of the Marshall Plan | George C. Marshall Foundation
- Google Ngram Viewer
- Lincoln Memorial | US National Park Service
- Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address | American Battlefield Trust
- Speech by President Lincoln: Second Inaugural Address | Facing History and Ourselves
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial | US National Park Service
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial | US National Park Service
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial | US National Park Service
- Parliament Square Garden | London City Hall
- The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
- Black Lives Matter
- Hamilton | New York City
- History Behind 7 Passover Traditions: Seder, No Bread, More | Time
- Remembrance Sunday | Royal British Legion
- What Is Cancel Culture? Why We Keep Fighting about Canceling People | Vox
- Safe Spaces On College Campuses Are Creating Intolerant Students | HuffPost
- Audi Alteram Partem Definition | Duhaime’s Law Dictionary
- The Talmud
- Reish Lakish and Rabbi Yohanan on the Power of Repentance: A Reappraisal | The Lehrhaus
- How the Talmud Became a Best-Seller in South Korea | The New Yorker
- Think Like An Attacker: How a Red Team Operates | DarkReading
- The Federalist Papers: A Collection of Essays Written in Favour of the New Constitution by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay
- How China Is on the Verge of Totalitarianism 2.0 | National Security College
- Understanding the Butterfly Effect | American Scientist
- To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility by Jonathan Sacks
- Going Viral: Coronavirus in a Polarized World | AISH.com
- The Ten Plagues | My Jewish Learning
- The Jobbik Party in Hungary: History and Background | Human Rights First
- A Whole New Jew: The Antisemite Who Turned Out to Be One of the Jews He Despised | The Jerusalem Post
Note from the editor: Timestamps will be added shortly.
- Why is Rabbi Sacks known for wearing yellow ties, and how did he bypass the “no ties” policy when preparing to give his TED talk?
- Rabbi Sacks explains in further detail why he considers noise-canceling headphones “the most religious objects” he’s come across.
- A purchase of perhaps less than $10 that has made a positive contribution to Rabbi Sacks’ life.
- On the sadness of Jewish music and the profound effect it’s had on Rabbi Sacks since he was a toddler.
- Why Rabbi Sacks considers it such a blessing that he married someone so unlike himself half a century ago.
- Fromt thousands of available accounts of the Holocaust, here’s what Rabbi Sacks finds particularly inspiring about The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger.
- What set young Jonathan Sacks on the path to becoming Rabbi Sacks?
- Who was the Lubavitcher Rebbe, and what’s the difference between a rabbi and a rebbe?
- Why was there a public outcry for Rabbi Sacks’ resignation in response to Dignity of Difference, the book he wrote reflecting on the events of 9/11? What was the minimal change he made to make things right with the naysayers and ensure there would be a second edition?
- Why winning the respect of people you respect — and forgetting the rest — is such an empowering life lesson.
- “It’s not about you” — the value of altruism over ruthlessness from the personal to the societal.
- The problems common to societies too centered on the notion of I over We, and how a Jewish perspective might help those of us who feel like we’re currently experiencing an irreversable tailspin into the abyss.
- What is cultural climate change, and what can we do to fix it?
- On cancel culture, free speech, and why Rabbi Sacks believes there’s “nothing less safe than safe space.”
- The lesson we could all learn from an important cornerstone of Roman law: Audi alteram partem (Listen to the other side).
- The constant challenge of maintaining the delicate balance between I and We.
- How long did Rabbi Sacks date his now wife before proposing marriage?
- A Passover tradition that demonstrates the value of empathizing with the enemy.
- Parting thoughts.
- Lady Elaine Taylor Sacks
- Chris Anderson
- Ray Dalio
- Gary Kasparov
- Harold Macmillan
- Martin Rees
- Richard Dawkins
- William Shakespeare
- Ludwig van Beethoven
- Franz Schubert
- Leonard Cohen
- Bob Dylan
- Paul Simon
- Irving Berlin
- George Gershwin
- Viktor Frankl
- Edith Eger
- Sam Harris
- Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson
- Charles Darwin
- Rick Warren
- Leo Tolstoy
- Benedict Cumberbatch
- Alan Turing
- Keira Knightley
- Patrick Gordon Walker
- Robert Putnam
- Abraham Lincoln
- Thomas Jefferson
- Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Martin Luther King Jr.
- Nelson Mandela
- Winston Churchill
- John F. Kennedy
- Lin Manuel Miranda
- John Jacques Rousseau
- John Major
- Tony Blair
- Gordon Brown
- David Cameron
- Sir Bernard Williams
- Rabbi Yochanan
- Reish Lakish
- Rabbi Eleazar ben Pedat
- John Milton
- John Locke
- James Madison
- Csanád Szegedi