The title of the text is actually "Cultural Climate Change", but this is a extremely thoughtful and well laid out thesis and arguments on the importance of faith, family, and community in society - and how they are all interrelated. This text is lengthy, but it is worth taking the time to read every word - and you do not need to be Jewish to appreciate the thoughts and arguments laid out here.
Rabbi Sacks was the Chief Rabbi when we lived in the UK. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but I have read a great deal of his work and he is very wise.
Click here to read the entire text.
Here are a few teasers from this text:
Now I simply want to ask: how does this affect us in the contemporary world? The answer lies in three dimensions. First, family. Second, community. Third, society. What happens to family, community, and society when the West loses its faith, its religious faith?
Having children or raising them involves enormous sacrifice of time, money, effort and energy. Religious people understand the concept of sacrifice. We live by it. It’s part of our lives. But people in a secular, consumerist, individualist culture find it much harder to live by sacrifice. Nothing in the culture says sacrifice, and throughout history that is the reason why when a culture begins to lose its faith, its birth rate starts to decline. This is not just happening now. It has happened throughout history.
It is that ability to come together as communities to help one another that is our apprenticeship in liberty. Today, this kind of community exists mainly in religion. Let me give you a dramatic example of this. In 2011, a British medical charity did a survey in Britain. It discovered that the average Brit between 18 and 30 has 237 Facebook friends. When asked how many of those you could rely on in an emergency, the average answer was “two”. A quarter replied one, and an eighth replied none.
But America, which received wave after wave of immigrants, had to work for this identity, this shared bond of society. You had a word for it and that word is a very interesting one. It’s a key word in American politics. That word is covenant.