In the address, entitled “Torah V’ Chochma: Judaism in the World,” Sacks presented a brilliant exploration of the dichotomy between Torah and secular knowledge and argued eloquently for the necessity to promote both in contemporary Jewish life.
The event was held in partnership with the Jerusalem Great Synagogue with a crowd of more than 1,000 packing the synagogue hall. Drawing a connection between Sacks and B’nai B’rith, the late Fred Simon Worms, OBE, chairman of the B’nai B’rith World Center International Board of Trustees, noted in his introduction that Sacks committed himself to a life in the rabbinate while on a trip to New York on a B’nai B’rith scholarship. On that trip, during a visit with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Rebbe told the young Sacks that he should become a rabbi.
The “Jerusalem Address” was established by the B’nai B’rith World Center in 1985 as its most prestigious forum for addressing fundamental issues pertaining to Israel and the Jewish people. The Jerusalem Address has consistently hosted some of the most outstanding minds of our times including: Abba Eban: Reflection on Heritage (1985); Professor George Steiner: The Dissent from Reason (1986); Rabbi Dr. Lord Immanuel Jakobovits: Religious Responses to the Holocaust (1987); Professor Shlomo Avineri: Glasnost, the Jews and Soviet Policy in the Middle East (1988); Seymour D. Reich: The Challenge of Jewish Unity (1989); Bernard-Henri Levy: The Intellectual and the Struggle for Liberty (1991); Amb. Dr. Max M. Kampelman: Negotiating Toward a New World: The Art of Conflict Resolution Through Diplomacy (1993); Harvey M. Krueger: Israel in a Global Economy as a Foundation of a Transfigured World (1995); Professor Bernard Lewis: The Middle East Toward the Year 2000 – Patterns of Change (1996); Jack J. Spitzer, Naphtali Lau-Lavie, Professor Yehezkel Dror: Redressing the Past: Chapters in Jewish Restitution and Material Claims (1997); Professor Edward N. Luttwak: The Future of Israel-U.S. Relations (1999); Melanie Phillips: The War Against Israel: the Defining Issue of our Time (2011); Howard Jacobson: When will Jews be forgiven the Holocaust (2013).
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org.