Chief Rabbi's plea for pride in Judaism

Lack of pride in Judaism and its achievements had increased assimilation and reduced the community’s ability to defend Israel, Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks told 100 Manchester leaders on Sunday.

Before an audience including Foreign Office Minister Ivan Lewis at the local representative council, Lord Sacks declared: “If we are not strong in ourselves, how can we fight the massive challenges that face us? Non-Jews respect Jews who respect Judaism.”

Asked how people should respond to the arguments of Jewish pro-Palestinians, he replied that such disagreements should ideally be kept within the community rather than displaying a fractious Anglo-Jewry to the wider world. “The other way is simply to ignore them and the non-Jewish world will see them as marginal Jewish views.”

Speaking afterwards about the impact of the legal ruling on Jewish school admissions, Rabbi Sacks said it would not “threaten” Manchester’s King David schools in the immediate future. But the judgment was a concern for smaller provincial communities.

Lord Sacks spent Shabbat at south Manchester’s Hale Synagogue. He later addressed 400 people and presented eight youngsters with Chief Rabbi awards at Whitefield Hebrew Congregation to mark its jubilee celebrations. He also inducted Rabbi Daniel Walker as minister at Heaton Park Synagogue.

    Last updated: 4:22pm, November 26 2009