Britain’s Prince Charles Remembers Rabbi Jonathan Sacks: ‘He Will Be Missed More Than Words Can Say’
Britain’s Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, on Sunday mourned the passing of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, the former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom who died of cancer on Saturday morning at the age of 72.
In an official statement, Prince Charles called Sacks, who announced his third battle with cancer in October, “a leader whose wisdom, scholarship and humanity were without equal.”
“It was with the most profound personal sorrow that I heard of the death of Rabbi Lord Sacks,” the statement read. “With his passing, the Jewish community, our nation, and the entire world have lost a leader whose wisdom, scholarship and humanity were without equal. His immense learning spanned the sacred and the secular, and his prophetic voice spoke to our greatest challenges with unfailing insight and boundless compassion. His wise counsel was sought and appreciated by those of all faiths and none, and he will be missed more than words can say.”
Prince Charles also thanked the late rabbi for the positive impact he had on the lives of many people.
“Although Rabbi Lord Sacks’s death is a cause of the greatest possible sadness, we give thanks for the immeasurable contribution which — in the tradition of the most revered teachers of the Jewish people — he made to all our lives,” the statement said. “I send my deepest condolences to his family.”
A message from The Prince of Wales on the passing of Rabbi Lord Sacks. pic.twitter.com/0at7g9BWsP
— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) November 8, 2020
Sacks was considered a friend of the royal family and attended the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.
He served as the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years from 1991 to 2013. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who described Sacks as “a man of huge intellectual stature but with the warmest human spirit,” presented him with a lifetime achievement award in 2018.
Sacks was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005 and awarded a Life Peerage in the British House of Lords in 2009. He became a leader for Jews and non-Jews alike, both in and out of the UK, and published more than 30 books throughout his lifetime. He was successfully treated for cancer twice earlier in his life.
Sacks is survived by his wife of 50 years, Elaine Taylor, their three children and several grandchildren.