It was a great zechut to welcome Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, motzaei Shabbat, November 7 to speak for the community in an event sponsored by the Academy.
Prior to the lecture, over 100 Society of Patrons Members joined a special reception featuring Rabbi Sacks. SOP members received a signed copy of his new book, Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence, heard Rabbi Sacks speak on the importance of Jewish education and met him personally. View photos of the SOP event.
Following the reception, SOP members joined over 1,100 community members who attended the public lecture with Rabbi Sacks at Congregation KINS.
Rabbi Sacks opened by emphasizing the importance of Jewish education, saying, “Jews survived and flourished under all circumstances, benign or adverse, because we made our citadels as our schools. Our heroes were our teachers, and our passion education and the life of the mind. So, congratulations on a great school, may it be in its new building renewed and ever strengthened and may you continue to send out as builders of the Jewish future, the young people of this community, of whom you can be proud.”
He went on to discuss the topic of his new book, saying, “What prompted me of course to write Not in God’s Name was the world’s oldest hatred and the most dangerous anti-Semitism that has become suddenly real again.”
He went on to say, “What makes the new anti-Semitism so worrying is that it’s happening after the most determined attempt in all of Western history to construct an immune system so complete that anti-Semitism would never happen again.”
Explaining that anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism, Rabbi Sacks said that we have come to a time when we have to say “enough.” He attempts to get to the very root of anti-Semitism in his book, saying to Christians and Muslims alike, “We cannot allow this anymore. This is not religion but a desecration of God’s name.”
There is nothing whatsoever inevitable about anti-Semitism, says Rabbi Sacks.