I never met personally Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, but I have read many of his books and consider him to be one of my most esteemed teachers. A public intellectual and global moral leader, humankind lost a magnificent mind and indomitable spirit this past Shabbat when he succumbed to cancer at the young age of 72.
Formerly the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom (1991-2013), Rabbi Sacks’ influence extended far beyond his own nation and the English speaking world. His wisdom, learning, understanding of the human condition, and open heart will be missed by many. Those who knew or read his works can never forget him.
Everything Rabbi Sacks wrote (25 books, countless articles and divrei Torah) is worth reading. If you wish to narrow your focus, I recommend two works that are particularly apt for this era:
Not in God’s Name – Confronting Religious Violence (New York: Schocken Books, 2015)
Lessons in Leadership – A Weekly Reading of the Jewish Bible (Jerusalem: Koren Publishers, 2015)
Zichrono livracha – May the memory of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks be a blessing to us all.