Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis gave a moving tribute to Rabbi Lord Sacks on BBC Radio 4 on Monday.
Known for his work with the popular ‘Thought for the Days and other work for the station, Mohit Bakaya, BBC Radio 4 Controller, of said Lord Sacks was a “man of great intellect, humanity and warmth” following his death.
He added, “He brought all of that to Radio 4 through some of the most erudite Thought for the Day as well as a landmark series on morality.”
Recalling his predecessor, Chief Rabbi Mirvis recalled, “He had a distinctive, familiar voice. It was a voice of clarity and erudition, a voice of hope and promise, a voice of tolerance and love, a voice of warmth and wisdom, interlaced with sensitivity and humour, a voice that will be profoundly missed by Thought for the Day listeners, by Jewish communities around the world and by all those right across the globe who found in him an invaluable guide who inspired faithfulness, moderation and compassion.
“The pain of his loss has been felt far and wide, the world will not be the same without the voice of Rabbi Sacks.”
He added, “One of Rabbi Lord Sacks’s brilliant original thoughts relates to history, for which there is no word in the Hebrew Bible. Rather, the word ‘Zachor’ is used, which means memory. He explained that history is ‘his story’, an account by another person about events which happened to others. We recall it and study it, but we feel disconnected. Memory is quite different, we internalise it, carry it with us and make it a part of our future.
“Rabbi Sacks is now not only a part of our shared history. He will also live on in our collective memory.
“As ever, he himself put it perfectly. “Mortality,” he said, “is written into the human condition, but so too is the possibility of immortality, in the good we do that continues long after we are here, to beget further good. There are lives that defeat death and redeem existence from tragedy.”
“It is from Rabbi Sacks’ own words that we can be certain that his remarkable voice will continue to be with us always.”