Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks: 1948-2020

The former chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, died yesterday at the age of 72. In an article for The Spectator, republished here, he wrote about the need for less ‘I’ and more ‘we’: Last Monday night and Tuesday were our Jewish festival of Purim, when we recall the events described in the Book of Esther. It is the oddest of all festivals. There is rejoicing, which starts a fortnight before at the beginning of the Jewish month of Adar. There’s a celebratory meal on the day itself. We send charitable gifts to the poor and presents to friends. There’s riotous noise during the reading of Esther whenever the name of the arch-villain Haman is

A rabbi stabbed, but no hate crime?

A mystery has occurred. In The Affluent People’s Republic of North London, a rabbi was stabbed on the street multiple times by a knifeman. Rabbi Alter Yaakov Schlesinger was rescued by two builders and a Deliveroo driver and is now in hospital, where hopefully he will recover. Apparently no robbery was attempted. The police, however, have said that this was not a terrorist incident, thus suggesting – by extension – it was also not a hate crime. A crime of love, or indifference, then? Who knows? All a mystery. A familiar mystery.