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The question Rabbi Sacks heard more than any other

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Tomorrow is the first anniversary of the death of Professor Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the highly esteemed international lecturer and public intellectual. I have many personal memories of Rabbi Sacks, have often quoted his words of wisdom, and have heard numerous stories about him. But Rabbi Zalman Vishedsky shared with me a story that in my opinion is more important than all the rest.

Rabbi Sacks once said that he lectured hundreds of times a year, met thousands of people every month, and spoke constantly with people of every type throughout the world. Which question, do you suppose, was he asked most often?

You can try to guess: Was he asked about the Torah's perspective on science? About Judaism in the modern era? About halacha and the new media? In response to this query about the question he was most frequently asked, he just smiled and revealed it as follows: "Rabbi Sacks, do you remember me?"

In my eyes, this little story is phenomenal. It would seem that our top priority is to gain more knowledge; we attend countless lectures and read a plethora of books in this effort. Yet ultimately all we truly need is that another human being will see us, recognize us, and remember us, that we will matter and be of importance to someone else.

In his memory.


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