Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence

b National Jewish Book Award Winner b br br In this powerful and timely book one of the most admired and authoritative religious leaders of our time tackles the phenomenon of religious extremism and violence committed in the name of God If religion is perceived as being part of the problem Rabbi Sacks argues then it must also form part of the solution When religion becomes a zero sum conceit that is my religion is the only right path to God therefore your religion is by definition wrong and individuals are motivated by what Rabbi Sacks calls altruistic evil violence between peoples of different beliefs appears to be the only natural outcome br br But through an exploration of the roots of violence and its relationship to religion and employing groundbreaking biblical analysis and interpretation Rabbi Sacks shows that religiously inspired violence has as its source misreadings of biblical texts at the heart of all three Abrahamic faiths By looking anew at the book of Genesis with its foundational stories of Judaism Christianity and Islam Rabbi Sacks offers a radical rereading of many of the Bible s seminal stories of sibling rivalry Cain and Abel Isaac and Ishmael Jacob and Esau Joseph and his brothers Rachel and Leah br br Abraham himself writes Rabbi Sacks sought to be a blessing to others regardless of their faith That idea ignored for many of the intervening centuries remains the simplest definition of Abrahamic faith It is not our task to conquer or convert the world or enforce uniformity of belief It is our task to be a blessing to the world The use of religion for political ends is not righteousness but idolatry To invoke God to justify violence against the innocent is not an act of sanctity but of sacrilege Here is an eloquent call for people of goodwill from all faiths and none to stand together confront the religious extremism that threatens to destroy us and declare Not in God s Name

The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations

The year began as the United Nations Year of Dialogue between Civilizations By its end the phrase that came most readily to mind was the clash of civilizations The tragedy of September intensified the danger caused by religious differences around the world As the politics of identity begin to replace the politics of ideology can religion become a force for peace br br The Dignity of Difference is Rabbi Jonathan Sacks s radical proposal for reconciling hatreds The first major statement by a Jewish leader on the ethics of globalization it also marks a paradigm shift in the approach to religious coexistence Sacks argues that we must do more than search for values common to all faiths we must also reframe the way we see our differences

The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning

Writing with his usual grace and fluency Jonathan Sacks moves beyond the tired arguments of militant atheists such as Dawkins and Hitchens to explore how religion has always played a valuable part in human culture and far from being dismissed as redundant must be allowed to temper and develop scientific understanding in order for us to be fully human Ranging around the world to draw comparisons from different cultures and delving deep into the history of language and of western civilisation Jonathan Sacks shows how the predominance of science oriented thinking is embedded deeply even in our religious understanding and calls on us to recognise the centrality of relationship to true religion and thus to see how this core value of relationship is essential if we are to avoid the natural tendency for science to rule our lives rather than fulfilling its promise to set us free

To Heal a Fractured World: The Ethics of Responsibility

One of the most respected religious thinkers of our time makes an impassioned plea for the return of religion to its true purpose as a partnership with God in the work of ethical and moral living br br What are our duties to others to society and to humanity How do we live a meaningful life in an age of global uncertainty and instability In To Heal a Fractured World Rabbi Jonathan Sacks offers answers to these questions by looking at the ethics of responsibility In his signature plainspoken accessible style Rabbi Sacks shares with us traditional interpretations of the Bible Jewish law and theology as well as the works of philosophers and ethicists from other cultures to examine what constitutes morality and moral behavior We are here to make a difference he writes a day at a time an act at a time for as long as it takes to make the world a place of justice and compassion He argues that in today s religious and political climate it is more important than ever to return to the essential understanding that it is by our deeds that we express our faith and make it real in the lives of others and the world br br To Heal a Fractured World inspirational and instructive timely and timeless will resonate with people of all faiths br br br i From the Hardcover edition i

A Letter in the Scroll: Understanding Our Jewish Identity and Exploring the Legacy of the World's Oldest Religion

For too long Jews have defined themselves in light of the bad things that have happened to them And it is true that many times in the course of history they have been nearly decimated when the First and Second Temples were destroyed when the Jews were expelled from Spain when Hitler proposed his Final Solution Astoundingly the Jewish people have survived catastrophe after catastrophe and remained a thriving and vibrant community The question Rabbi Jonathan Sacks asks is quite simply How How in the face of such adversity has Judaism remained and flourished making a mark on human history out of all proportion to its numbers br br Written originally as a wedding gift to his son and daughter in law i A Letter in the Scroll i is Rabbi Sacks s personal answer to that question a testimony to the enduring strength of his religion Tracing the revolutionary series of philosophical and theological ideas that Judaism created from covenant to sabbath to formal education and showing us how they remain compellingly relevant in our time Sacks portrays Jewish identity as an honor as well as a duty br br The Ba al Shem Tov an eighteenth century rabbi and founder of the Hasidic movement famously noted that the Jewish people are like a living Torah scroll and every individual Jew is a letter within it If a single letter is damaged or missing or incorrectly drawn a Torah scroll is considered invalid So too in Judaism each individual is considered a crucial part of the people without whom the entire religion would suffer Rabbi Sacks uses this metaphor to make a passionate argument in favor of affiliation and practice in our secular times and invites us to engage in our dynamic and inclusive tradition Never has a book more eloquently expressed the joys of being a Jew br br This is the story of one man s hope for the future a future in which the next generation his children and ours will happily embrace the beauty of the world s oldest religion

Genesis: The Book of Beginnings

In this second volume of his long anticipated five volume collection of parashat hashavua commentaries Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks explores these intersections as they relate to universal concerns of freedom love responsibility identity and destiny Chief Rabbi Sacks fuses Jewish tradition Western philosophy and literature to present a highly developed understanding of the human condition under Gods sovereignty Erudite and eloquent Covenant amp Conversation allows us to experience Chief Rabbi Sacks sophisticated approach to life lived in an ongoing dialogue with the Torah

Future Tense

Jonathan Sacks takes a timely look at the ambiguous position of Judaism in the world today

The Koren Sacks Siddur: Hebrew/English Prayerbook for Shabbat & Holidays with Translation and Commentary

The Koren Sacks Siddur is the first new Orthodox Hebrew English siddur in a generation The Siddur marks the culmination of years of rabbinic scholarship exemplifies Koren s tradition of textual accuracy and intuitive graphic design and offers an illuminating translation introduction and commentary by one of the world s leading Jewish thinkers Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks Halakhic guides to daily Shabbat and holiday prayers supplement the traditional text Prayers for the State of Israel its soldiers and national holidays for the American government upon the birth of a daughter and more reinforce the Siddur s contemporary relevance A special Canadian Edition is the first to include prayers for the Canadian government within the body of the text

Celebrating Life: Finding Happiness in Unexpected Places

I have tried to say what happiness is how we make it how we lose it and how we sometimes walk past it without recognising it Happiness isn t somewhere else it s where we are It isn t something we don t have we do It isn t fantasy it s reality experienced in a certain way Happiness is a close relative of faith Following the painful loss of his father Chief Rabbi Sacks began to learn how to celebrate life in a new way He discovered where happiness lives often in unexpected places through family community friendship and responsibilities He also found it through a renewed relationship with God who spoke to his deepest needs Based in part on his columns in the UK s Times newspaper Celebrating Life is for people of all faiths and none It shows us how to be human and in becoming so how we can touch the divine

The Home We Build Together: Recreating Society

Arguing that global communications have fragmented national cultures and that multiculturalism intended to reduce social friction is today reinforcing it Sacks calls for a new approach to national identity He envisions a responsibility based rather than rights based model of citizenship that connects the ideas of giving and belonging We should see society as the home we build together bringing the distinctive gifts of different groups to the common good Sacks warns of the hazards free and open societies face in the st century and offers an unusual religious defence of liberal democracy and the nation state br br b b This logical sequel to Sacks award winning The Dignity of Difference Continuum The Home We Build Together makes a compelling case for integrated diversity within a framework of shared political values b b