Former UK Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks passes away on the sabbath

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, one of the foremost Jewish leaders of his generation, succumbed to cancer on Saturday morning.

By World Israel News Staff

“It with the deepest sadness that we regret to inform you that Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks passed away early this morning,” an official statement from the office of the former chief rabbi of Great Britain announced on Saturday.

The announcement noted that Rabbi Sacks died on the sabbath, and included his full Jewish name, “HaRav Ya’akov Zvi ben David Arieh z’’l.”

Rabbi Sacks was 72 years old and had survived two previous bouts with cancer.

The author of dozens of influential books on a wide-range of topics, Rabbi Sacks earned a reputation as a bridge-builder who served as the face of Torah-observant Judaism throughout the world, even after his official role as chief rabbi of the UK came to an end in 2013.

Prior to his death, Rabbi Sacks was named a finalist for the Genesis Prize, which is considered the Israeli version of the Nobel Prize.

Rabbi Sacks’ most recent book, “Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times,” was published in September.

Among the awards Rabbi Sacks received in his lifetime was the 2016 Templeton Prize in recognition of his “exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.”

The Prince of Wales once described Rabbi Sacks as “a light unto this nation” and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair called the rabbi “an intellectual giant.”