Shaya Cohen -


My Eulogy for Rabbi Sacks

8 Nov 2020

A great thinker, speaker, scholar and leader passed away yesterday, at the young age of 72. Rabbi Sacks has left this mortal coil. If you do nothing else today, please watch this.

I knew Rabbi Sacks, but not closely: I sang in the choir at St. John’s Wood for many years, and I heard him speak there countless times. I have read his writings for years, and engaged him a few times in conversation. Usually, of course, I argued. Rabbis Sacks was often very great. But I learned more from him by the arguments he got wrong, and the holes in his writing which begged to be filled. 

I started writing on the Torah because my Rabbi told me to do so. But the content of my writing has been inspired by Rabbi Sacks, perhaps more by him than by anyone else. For years I have read Sacks’ work every week, bringing it to the Shabbos table either with praise or criticism. I will miss those new works; their absence leaves a hole in my heart. And I know that Rabbi Sacks would have been very proud of my work, even in opposition, because he definitely believed in the goodness of argument for the sake of heaven. 

May his memory always be for a blessing.

Comments are welcome!

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