Refua Shlaima Rabbi Sacks

For the record, I’m not a Jonathan Sacks groupie. The Lord Rabbi business — the flashy displays of secular erudition are not my cup of tea, but this week Rabbi Sacks has won my heart.

What has he done? Written a new book, made a film, won a Nobel prize, a Pulitzer?

I wish.

Sadly, the former UK Chief Rabbi has heard words no one wants to hear — his doctors told him that he’s got cancer.

He could have kept it quiet. Many people, both great and small, hide their diagnoses, going to great lengths to appear normal, but Rabbi Sacks didn’t want to have to pretend.

Instead, he went public, announcing his situation on his Twitter feed.

That is very brave, and it’s also leadership by example. Rabbi Sacks wants to be real.

What is even more remarkable is the second part of the announcement.  The man called “the Chief Rabbi of the World” asks for our prayers, revealing his Hebrew name Yaakov Tzvi Ben Liba.

He wants our prayers, the prayers of simple people without titles, who don’t hobnob with presidents and kings, who don’t have seats in the House of Lords. This request shows that he’s genuinely humble.

It also indicates a deep faith—that he believes that prayers count.

To that, I say Kol HaKavod Rabbi Sacks and, of course, Refua Shlaima.

About the Author
Carol Ungar is a prize-winning author who writes from the Judean Hills.
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