Yesterday I met Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks in London, for a pre-Rosh-HaShanah talk. Here are a few of the ideas that I gleaned from him:
* “When I hear the Shofar on Rosh HaShanah, I hear the Shofar from the Binding of Isaac, the Shofar that was heard at the Giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai, the Shofar that proclaimed liberty on the Jubilee year, the Shofar that was blown in Auschwitz. All of these moments echo together in the moment in which we blow the Shofar again at the beginning of a new year.”
* “The Jews know how to cope with crisis, with a distressful situation, but our biggest task today is to cope with the challenge of prosperity and success. When we have an enemy, we remember well who we are and we keep our tradition with devotion. Do we remember who we are when we do not have an enemy?”.
* “Parents invest a lot in choosing a school for their children, but the true school is the home. The parents are more important educators than the teachers. I remember well from my childhood the enthusiasm that my father had for Jewish things. He was not religious, but I could see him standing straight and tall, becoming emotional whenever something Jewish was involved – whatever was Jewish, gave him pride. This is the biggest lesson for our children, the things that we are enthusiastic about.”
Shabbat Shalom from London!