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Future Tense Paperback – 13 May 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (13 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340979852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340979853
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

A global religious leader, philosopher, author and moral voice for our time, Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks is currently the Ingeborg and Ira Rennert Global Distinguished Professor of Judaic Thought at New York University and the Kressel and Ephrat Family University Professor of Jewish Thought at Yeshiva University. He has also been appointed as Professor of Law, Ethics and the Bible at King's College London. Previously, Rabbi Sacks served as Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth between September 1991 and September 2013, only the sixth incumbent since the role was formalized in 1845.

Described by H.R.H. The Prince of Wales as "a light unto this nation" and by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as "an intellectual giant", Rabbi Sacks is a frequent contributor to radio, television and the press both in Britain and around the world. A visiting professor at several universities in Britain, the United States and Israel, Rabbi Sacks holds 16 honorary degrees, including a Doctor of Divinity conferred to mark his first ten years in office as Chief Rabbi, by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey.

In recognition of his work, Rabbi Sacks has won several international awards, including the Jerusalem Prize in 1995 for his contribution to diaspora Jewish life and The Ladislaus Laszt Ecumenical and Social Concern Award from Ben Gurion University in Israel in 2011. Rabbi Sacks has also recently been named as The Becket Fund's 2014 Canterbury Medallist for his role in the defence of religious liberty in the public square. He was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen in 2005 and made a Life Peer, taking his seat in the House of Lords in October 2009.
The author of 25 books, Rabbi Sacks has published commentaries to the daily Jewish prayer book (siddur) and has completed commentaries to the Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Pesach festival prayer books (machzorim) to date. His most recent secular book - The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning - was published in July 2011. A number of his books have won literary awards, including the Grawemeyer Prize for Religion in 2004 for The Dignity of Difference, and a National Jewish Book Award in 2000 for A Letter in the Scroll. Covenant & Conversation: Genesis was also awarded a National Jewish Book Award in 2009, and the Koren Sacks Pesach Machzor won the Dorot Foundation National Jewish Book Award for Modern Jewish Thought and Experience for 2013. His Covenant & Conversation commentaries on the weekly Torah portion are read by thousands of people in Jewish communities around the world.

Born in 1948 in London, Rabbi Sacks attended Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, receiving honors in philosophy. He continued his studies at New College, Oxford, and King's College London, where he earned his doctorate in 1981. The same year he was ordained at Jews' College and at Yeshiva Etz Chaim, both in London. He served as the rabbi for Golders Green synagogue and Marble Arch synagogue in London. Before taking the post of chief rabbi, he also was Principal of Jews' College, the world's oldest rabbinical seminary. In 1970, Rabbi Sacks married his wife, Elaine, and they have three children, Joshua, Dina and Gila and several grandchildren.


Tradition in an Untraditional Age (1990)

Persistence of Faith (1991)

Arguments for the Sake of Heaven (1991)

Crisis and Covenant (1992)

One People? (1993)

Will We Have Jewish Grandchildren? (1994)

Community of Faith (1995)

Faith in the Future (1998)

The Politics of Hope (1997)

Morals and Markets (1999)

Celebrating Life (2000)

Radical Then, Radical Now (2001)

The Dignity of Difference (2002)

The Chief Rabbi's Haggadah (2003)

From Optimism to Hope (2004)

To Heal a Fractured World (2005)

The Authorised Daily Prayer Book: new translation and commentary (2006)

The Home We Build Together (2007)

Future Tense (2009)

Covenant and Conversation; Exodus (2010)

The Koren Sacks Rosh Hashana Mahzor (2011)

The Great Partnership: God Science and the Search for Meaning (2011; 2012)

The Koren Sacks Yom Kippur Mahzor (2012)

The Koren Sacks Pesach Mahzor (2013)

Product Description


'One of the most engaging thinkers of our time' (The Times)

'Always thought-provoking' (The Times)

Britain's most authentically prophetic voice (Daily Telegraph)

He has done more than anyone in Britain today to focus our attention on the needs and challenges of community in the global world (Prime Minister Gordon Brown)

'A towering figure in the intellectual life of Britain today'. (Former Prime Minister, Tony Blair)

Book Description

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks takes a timely look at the ambiguous position of Judaism in the world today.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard Law on 4 Aug. 2012
Format: Paperback
The central theme of Jonathan Sacks' book is his concern for the potential loss of Jewish identity, as so many Jews are neither practising their religion nor finding marital partners from within their community. That an outsider like me thinks of them as a community is itself a little odd, as Jews have had varying identities through both history and geography. The Diaspora following the Jewish revolts in Roman times resulted in communities isolated from one another developing their religious perspectives and learned writings to the point where modern Judaism is probably a broader church than the Christian faith, which itself varies considerably around the globe.

There are Jewish stereotypes that have nothing to do with religion, such as their apparent predominance is some professions, including banking and theatre. There's a branch of Judaism, magnificently dressed in tall fur trimmed hats around Clapton, London; each variation, as it were, doing its bit to maintain that four thousand year old identity, based, as the author explains, on their covenant with God; a covenant for them as a tribe, a society, not as a nation. They tried nation-hood in ancient times, but suffered from their land being the buffer zone between various regional powers who were so interested in getting at each other than they were happy to use Israel/Judea as the war zone. It was a bit like being Belgium in more recent history; going clockwise, Phoenicians, Hittites Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Philistines and once all that calmed down after the second exile, the Macedonians and then the Romans came and that led to the third exile.

The twentieth century tested Judaism as never before.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When reading this book, it is written in exactly the same way as Rabbi Sacks speaks. There where times when reading it was as if I was actually listening to the Rabbi speak.
My reason for purchasing this book was to try and learn more about the Jewish Faith and Culture (I am not Jewish). Rabbi Sacks does this brilliantly and in a manner that makes the reader at once comfortable and relaxed.
I have learnt so much from this book but in so doing have been left with new questions and wanting to learn even more about Judaism.
It is a challenging read and by that I mean that at times I had to read parts perhaps two or three times to try and understand what was being said and what was meant. At other times, I found my challenged, spiritually despite the fact that I'm not Jewish. Of I'm being honest there have been many times, while reading this book that I have found myself to have been extremely jealous of those who are Jewish and at times I have been angry with those who are Jewish and who choose to ignore and reject the precious 'birthright' that they turn their backs on.
It is a brilliant book, written by one of our times most brilliant teachers and one of our times greatest religious leaders.
It has been a privilege, a blessing and a challenge to me to have read this book.
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