Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Understanding

“There is a difference between righteousness and self-righteousness. The righteous are humble, the self-righteous are proud. The righteous understand doubt, the self-righteous only certainty. The righteous see the good in people, the self-righteous only the bad. The righteous leave you feeling enlarged, the self-righteous make you feel small. It is easy enough to befriend the former and avoid the latter.

“We need moderates, that is, people who understand that there can be a clash of right and right, not just right and wrong. We need people capable of understanding cognitive pluralism, that is, that there is more than one way of looking at the world. We need people who can listen to views not their own without feeling threatened. We need people with humility.

“That is why I ask for your understanding.”

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

to get my new posts lovingly delivered to your inbox.

Published by

Brent Logan

Engineer. Lawyer. WordPress geek. Bicycle commuter. Blood donor. Snapshooter extraordinaire.

2 thoughts on “Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on Understanding”

  1. OK Brent, this quote does it. I’m putting this Jonathan Sacks book on my to-read list for 2013! Thank you!

  2. Art, thanks! I’d love to hear your opinion after you’ve read the book.

    For those who may not know what book we’re discussing, it’s The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning. I put a mini-review of it on my page about books I’ve read this year:

    I found The Great Partnership: Science, Religion, and the Search for Meaning by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks at the local public library. In early 2009, the British Humanist Association placed advertisements on London buses saying, “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” This book is Rabbi Sacks’ response, about why it matters, what’s at risk, and why the conflict is misplaced, that science and religion need not be at odds with each other, and in fact, that both science and religion are stronger and better when they aren’t. In Partnership, Rabbi Sacks addresses evolution/cosmology, why there is evil in the world, and why so much of it seems to be exhibited by those claiming to be religious.

    This is a book that I will buy and reread.

Comments are closed.