Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (1948 – 2020) - A Few Wise Words

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (1948 – 2020)

As a religious leader, philosopher, theologian and award-winning author, Rabbi Sacks was one of the most respected intellectuals and inspiring moral voices of our time. From 1991 until 2013, he held the position of Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. Among the thirty books he published, several have become widely acclaimed for the significant intellectual contribution they have made to Judaism and beyond.

Rabbi Sacks was knighted by Her Majesty the Queen in 2005 and made a life peer, taking his seat in the House of Lords in 2009. He held professorships at several academic institutions, and was the recipient of seventeen honorary doctorates and a number of prestigious international awards, including the 2016 Templeton Prize. Rabbi Sacks sadly passed away on 7th November 2020. He will be hugely missed by all that new him and by the millions of lives he touched around the world in such a positive and inspirational way.

It’s your failures that really make you grow up, grow strong and grow to be the person you could be. None of us would like to relive our failures, of course, but we couldn’t be the person we are today without those failures. But if you do not have the courage to fail, then you do not have the courage to succeed – full stop!

Self-doubt is the fuel that keeps the engine running. You say to yourself, ‘Maybe I’ll get it right next time,’ which then forces you to do a next time, and a next time. It means that you never quite stop growing, because you are never quite satisfied, and with it your resilience grows too.

What is true about the mind is what is true about the body – use it or lose it. You just have to keep stretching yourself mentally, and don’t even think of coasting.

It’s always important for parents to share the passion of their children and support them in the pursuit of their dreams. But I think parents have to take a step back as well, and empower them to find their own way. Just applaud every success and be very, very forgiving of every failure.

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