On November 7, the former Chief Rabbi of the united Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth passed away at the age of 72 after a battle with cancer. Now, Prince Charles has paid an emotional tribute to his “trusted guide and friend”.
In a column in Jewish News, the Prince of Wales said Lord Sacks’ death was the “most profound loss to the Jewish community, to this nation and to the world”.
He wrote: “Those who, like myself, had the privilege of knowing him personally, have lost a trusted guide and an inspired teacher.
“I, for one, have lost a true and steadfast friend.”
The Prince of Wales said his friend was committed to “listening and learning from others”.
Prince Charles heartbroken over Lord Sacks’ death
Prince Charles and Rabbi Lord Sacks
He added: “His life was distinguished by three commitments: commitment to listening to, and learning from, others without fear of compromising either his or their deeply held convictions; commitment to the institutions of the Nation which he nurtured through his own advocacy and participation; commitment to the integrity and harmony of God’s Creation, to Shalom.”
Charles then opened up about how over the years he had “come to value” Lord Sacks’ counsel “immensely”.
The heir apparent wrote: “With his seemingly inexhaustible store of learning, his never-failing wisdom and his instincts for the power of the story in our lives, he could be relied upon to identify clearly the moral issues in question, and to define fearlessly the choices being faced.”
He added: “In contemplating a life so tragically and unexpectedly cut short, we can only look to the divine Providence in which Rabbi Sacks placed his own trust, and have faith that, as the Psalmist says, our times are in his hands.”
READ MORE: Lord Sacks had moral force unafraid that someone might take offence
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
A spokesperson from Lord Sacks’ office confirmed he had passed away in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Last month a statement from his office announced he has been “recently diagnosed with cancer” and was undergoing treatment.
Following his death, tributes poured in, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying he was “deeply saddened” by his death.
He said: “His leadership had a profound impact on our whole country and across the world.”
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Prince Charles said he has lost a friend
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer added: “He was a towering intellect whose eloquence, insights and kindness reached well beyond the Jewish community.”
Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis hailed his predecessor as an “extraordinary ambassador for Judaism”.
Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, praised his religious devotion and leadership.
He said: “You couldn’t help but be swept up in his delight at living, his sense of humour, his kindness and his desire to know, understand and value others.”
Rabbi Lord Sacks was an outspoken critic of Corbyn
Lord Sacks was made a crossbench life peer in 2009 and often tried to find compromise between conservative and liberal factions within the British Jewish population.
Lord Sacks was an outspoken critic of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn amid the ongoing antisemitism claims from within the party.
He said in 2018: “We can only judge Jeremy Corbyn by his own words and his actions.
“He has given support to racists, terrorists and dealers of hate who want to kill Jews and remove Israel from the map.
Boris Johnson paid tribute to Lord Sacks
“When he implies that, however long they have lived here, Jews are not fully British, he is using the language of classic pre-war European antisemitism.
“When challenged with such facts, the evidence for which is before our eyes, first he denies, then he equivocates, then he obfuscates.
“This is low, dishonest and dangerous.
“He has legitimised the public expression of hate, and where he leads, others will follow.”