Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

One People?: Tradition, Modernity and Jewish Unity (The Littman library of Jewish civilization) Hardcover – 1 Mar 1993

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
£143.24 £34.80

Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization (1 Mar 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1874774005
  • ISBN-13: 978-1874774006
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 14.6 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,762,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks

Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks has been Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth since September 1, 1991, the sixth incumbent since 1845.

In July 2009, appointed to the House of Lords as a cross-bencher.

Prior to becoming Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Sacks served as Principal of Jews' College, London, the world's oldest rabbinical seminary, as well as rabbi of the Golders Green and Marble Arch synagogues in London. He gained rabbinic ordination from Jews' College and London's Yeshiva Etz Chaim.

His secular academic career has also been a distinguished one. Educated at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he obtained first class honours in Philosophy, he pursued postgraduate studies at New College, Oxford, and King's College, London. Sir Jonathan has been Visiting Professor of Philosophy at the University of Essex, Sherman Lecturer at Manchester University, Riddell Lecturer at Newcastle University, Cook Lecturer at the Universities of Oxford, Edinburgh and St. Andrews and Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. He is currently Visiting Professor of Theology at Kings' College London. He holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Bar Ilan, Cambridge, Glasgow, Haifa, Middlesex, Yeshiva University New York, University of Liverpool, St. Andrews University and Leeds Metropolitan University, and is an honorary fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and King's College London. In September 2001, the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred on him a Doctorate of Divinity in recognition of his first ten years in the Chief Rabbinate.

At his installation as Chief Rabbi in 1991, Dr Sacks set out his vision of a reinvigorated Anglo-Jewry and launched it with a Decade of Jewish Renewal, followed by a series of innovative communal projects. These included Jewish Continuity (a national foundation funding programmes in Jewish education and outreach), the Association of Jewish Business Ethics, the Chief Rabbinate Awards for Excellence, the Chief Rabbinate Bursaries, and Community Development, a national programme to enhance Jewish community life. In 1995, he received the Jerusalem Prize for his contribution to diaspora Jewish life. In September 2001 the Chief Rabbi began his second decade of office with a call to Jewish Responsibility and a renewed commitment to the ethical dimension of Judaism. He was awarded a Knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in June 2005. A notably gifted communicator, the Chief Rabbi is a frequent contributor to radio, television and the national press. He frequently delivers BBC RADIO 4's THOUGHT FOR THE DAY, writes a monthly CREDO column for THE TIMES and delivers an annual Rosh Hashanah message on BBC 2. In 1990 he was invited by the BBC Board of Governors to deliver the annual Reith Lectures on the subject of THE PERSISTENCE OF FAITH.

The Dignity of Difference was awarded the 2004 Grawemeyer Prize for Religion, and A Letter in the Scroll a National Jewish Book Award 2002.

Born in 1948 in London, he has been married to Elaine since 1970. They have three children, Joshua, Dina and Gila and five 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)

Product Description


A tour de force. Brilliantly documented and skilfully presented, it looks honestly at the Jewish experience of the past in order to find a resolution to the problems that today threaten the Jewish people with dissolution. Rabbi Sacks asserts in the preface that, in writing about Liberal, Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist Judaisms, I have tried to come to terms with positions that are fundamentally not my own. He is, I believe, the first Orthodox rabbi in a position of authority ever to do so, and for this he deserves our praise . . . One People? is essential reading for all who wish to establish the basis for a constructive dialogue between the various religious sections in Jewry . . . for those who truly love Klal Yisrael, his is the only reasonable way forward. --Sidney Brichto, Jewish Chronicle

His analysis of contemporary orthodoxy, which constitutes the bulk of the book, is recommended, especially for non-traditional or secular Jews who wish better to understand an observant Jew's perspective on the diverse Judaisms of modernity. --A. J. Avery-Peck, Choice

An intellectual and philosophical feast of scholastic diplomacy. Diplomat par excellence, Sacks seeks to forge bridges over the seemingly unbridgeable chasms separating Orthodoxy, Progressive Judaism and Jewish secularism, as well as within Orthodoxy itself . . . a masterly exercise which, it is hoped, will not fall on the deaf ears of a Jewry too divided to love itself . . . a valiant attempt to occupy the pivotal middle ground of Jewry a stance which demands courage in an age such as ours which favours extremism. Let us hope that all sections of Jewry will accept the hand of friendship and understanding stretched out to them by Sacks so that maybe one day we just might become One People. --Jewish Telegraph --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Jonathan Sacks is Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See the customer review
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By sharon on 18 Aug 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A concentrated read but very good.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
an explanation of what separates us 2 May 2004
By Michael Lewyn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In this book, Sacks (the Chief Rabbi of Great Britian] focuses on how Orthodox Jews should relate to Reform Judaism (and to a lesser extent, other liberal Jewish movements; Sacks focuses on Reform because it is the oldest non-Orthodox denomination, and because it differs more sharply from Orthodoxy than does Conservative or Reconstructionist Judaism).
Sacks sketches out three options: exclusivism (that is, treating non-Orthodox Jews as if they were Christians), pluralism (treating other Jewish movements as equally valid), and what he calls "inclusivism"- treating rival Jewish movements as partially but not completely valid.
Sacks endorses the latter, middle, course, asserting that pluralism is impractical because Reform (and to a lesser extent, other Jewish denominations) reject the binding character of traditional Jewish law, and thus create unbridgeable gaps between Orthodoxy and its rivals.
Sacks also explains the differences among Orthodox Jews, focusing on the concept of "aggadic pluralism." Sacks explains that even though Orthodox Jews may abide by the same day-to-day religious law (or halacha) there is no uniform Orthodox position on matters outside halacha - for example, what the stories in Genesis mean, or the theological implications (if any) of the Holocaust. I thought his discussion of this issue was valuable for both non-Orthodox and Orthodox Jews (both of whom occasionally mistake the position of one or two rabbis or intellectuals with the "Orthodox position").
I think this book is an excellent guide to the differences among Jews, and would recommend it to anyone mystified by 20th-century Judaism.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
well written and thoughtful 2 Jun 2009
By N. W de K.,Amsterdam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this book. It addresses in a thoughtful manner many of the problems which we see in our people.
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know