Jonathan Sacks

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Sir Jonathan Henry Sacks (born 1948, London) is the Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom's main body of Orthodox Judaism|Orthodox synagogues. His official title is Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth of Nations|Commonwealth.

As well as the spiritual head of the United Synagogue, the largest synagogue body in the UK, he is the Chief Rabbi of most orthodox synagogues, but not the formal religious authority for the Federation of Synagogues or most of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations. However, he is recognised by the majority of orthodox synagogues throughout the Commonwealth, hence his formal title. In addition the vast majority of UK Jews recognise his wider role as a spokesperson and ambassador for the Jewish community. Sacks is also still recognised as the Chief Rabbi of the Hong Kong Jewish community, a role he was asked to retain after Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule.


Rabbi Sacks heads the Chief Rabbi's Cabinet [1] consisting of over twenty other rabbis who advise him on a number of areas, such as Torah study|Jewish education, Israel, Jewish views of religious pluralism|Jewish-Christian relations, matters relating to the Beth Din (Jewish "religious court"), and several other areas of concern to the Jewish community.

Rabbi Sacks had been Principal (university)|Principal of Jews' College, London, the world's oldest rabbinical seminary, as well as rabbi of the Golders Green (1978-1982|82) and Marble Arch (1983-1990|90) Synagogues in London. He gained Semicha|rabbinic ordination from Jews' College as well as from London's Yeshivat Etz Chaim (London)|Yeshivat Etz Chaim (a yeshiva).

Rabbi Sacks studied philosophy and obtained the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. He has also been awarded honorary doctorates from the universities of: University of Cambridge|Cambridge; University of Glasgow|Glasgow; University of Haifa|Haifa; Middlesex University|Middlesex; Yeshiva University; University of Liverpool|Liverpool and University of St Andrews|St. Andrews, and is an honorary fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge|Gonville and Caius and King's College London.

In September 2001, the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred on him a Doctor of Divinity|doctorate of divinity in recognition of his first ten years in the Chief Rabbinate of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

Rabbi Sacks provoked considerable controversy in the Anglo-Jewish community when he refused to attend the funeral service of the late Reform Judaism|Reform Rabbi Hugo Gryn and a private letter he had written in Hebrew language|Hebrew, which some people suggested in translation claimed that Reform Jews are "dividers of the faith", was leaked and published. He rejected demands that he should resign for these comments, claiming to have been using Rabbinic literature|rabbinical terminology. He did attend a memorial meeting for Rabbi Gryn.

More recently Sacks has been praised for building positive relationships with the Progressive community and notably is the first Chief Rabbi to sit with a Reform Rabbi as a joint President of the Council of Christians and Jews.

In 2004, his book "The Dignity of Difference" was awarded the Grawemeyer Award for Religion.

Rabbi Sacks was knighted in 2005.

Also in 2005, Rabbi Sacks visited the Jewish student organization at the University of Cambridge, appearing as a guest of Samuel Green (rapper)|Samuel Green on the student radio show Kol Cambridge and taking call-ins.

He was made an Honorary Freeman of the London Borough of Barnet in September 2006.


Rabbi Sacks was educated at St Mary's Primary School and Christ's College Finchley, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge (MA), New College, Oxford, University of London (PhD), Jews' College London and Yeshivat Etz Hayyim London.

Current positions

  1. Rabbi and Spiritual Leader, Western Marble Arch Synagogue, London (since May 1, 2004).
  2. Immanuel Jakobovits|Jakobovits Professor in modern Jewish thought, Jews' College London, 1982.
  3. Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth (since September 1, 1991).
  4. Visiting professor of theology at King's College London.
  5. Honorary fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, 1993.
  6. Presentation (Honorary) fellow, King's College London, 1993.

Previous positions held

  1. Lecturer in moral philosophy, Middlesex University|Middlesex Polytechnic, 1971-1973|3.
  2. Lecturer, Jews' College London, 1973-1982; director of its rabbinic facility, 1983-1990|90; Principal, 1984-90.
  3. Visiting professor of philosophy at the University of Essex, 1989-90.
  4. Sherman lecturer at the University of Manchester, 1989.
  5. Riddell lecturer at the Newcastle University|University of Newcastle.
  6. Cook lecturer at the University of Oxford, University of Edinburgh and the University of St Andrews.
  7. Visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The Chief Rabbi is also a frequent guest on both television and radio, and regularly contributes to the national press. He delivered the 1990 BBC Reith Lectures on The Persistence of Faith.

View on Noahides

Main article Judaism and Other Religions

The current Chief Rabbi of England, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks became embroiled in controversy for stating a similar sentiment in the first edition of his work, The Dignity of Difference, writing, “In the course of history, God has spoken to mankind in many languages: through Judaism to Jews, Christianity to Christians, Islam to Muslims." He was forced to clarify the statement as, "As Jews we believe that God has made a covenant with a singular people, but that does not exclude the possibility of other peoples, cultures, and faiths finding their own relationship with God within the shared frame of Noahide law.”[20]

Judaic Views of Christianity and Islam

From Maimonides' insistence that to be one of the chassidim of "the nations of the world" one must believe in the Mosaic revelation, it follows that the revelation itself was intended not for Jews alone but for all humanity. There are many statements to this effect in the rabbinic literature, of which the following are representative:

When the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed himself to give the Torah to Israel, he revealed himself not only to Israel but to all the other nations as well.[1]
"And all the people heard the thunderings" (Ex. 20:15). Since there was only one voice, why "thunderings" in the plural? Because G-d's voice mutated into seven voices, and the seven voices into seventy languages, so that all the nations might hear it.[2]
R.Yochanan asked: What is implied in "The Lord gave the word; great was the company of those that published it" (Ps. 68:12)? That each and every word that issued from the mouth of the Almighty divided itself into seventy languages. Accordingly, citing the verse "As a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces" (Jer. 23: 29), the school of R. Ishmael taught: Just as a hammer that strikes a rock causes sparks to fly off in all directions, so each and every word that issued from the mouth of the Holy One divided itself into seventy languages.[3]

The Torah, according to the sages, was addressed to humanity as a whole. Those who wished to convert, could do so. However, the sages did not seek converts[4]. Indeed, they sought to discourage them. According to a statement in the Talmud, the prospective convert was told: "Do you not know that Israel [= the Jewish people] at the present time are persecuted and oppressed, despised, harassed and overcome by afflictions?"[5]

Instead, they were encouraged to keep the Noahide laws. The historical evidence suggests that prior to the destruction of the Second Temple, throughout the Roman empire there were many individuals who adopted at least some Jewish practices: semi-converts or "G-d-fearers" as they were known. Josephus, writing in the first century C.E., says that "There is not one city, Greek or barbarian, nor a single nation where the custom of the seventh day, on which we rest from all work, and the fasts, and the lighting of candles, are not observed . . . and as G-d permeates the universe, so the Law has found its way into the hearts of all men."[6] It is likely that it was among these people, Christianity first took root when, under the influence of Paul, the new faith ceased to be a Jewish sect and instead turned its attention to the gentiles.

The emergence, first of Christianity, then Islam, posed a deep question for Jewish belief. On the one hand, unlike the polytheistic and pagan cultures of the ancient world, they claimed to worship the G-d of Abraham, creator of heaven and earth. They accepted belief in revelation and drew inspiration from the Hebrew Bible. On the other hand, they represented an unprecedented attack on Judaism itself, each claiming to have superseded it. That attack was physical as well as metaphysical. Under Christian and Islamic rule, Jews were often persecuted, forced to convert, or suffer exile or even death if they stayed loyal to Judaism. Writing in the twelfth century with bitterness born of historical experience, Maimonides writes that in antiquity, Jews faced two enemies: those who sought to destroy Jews by violence, and those who sought to destroy Judaism by intellectual and cultural means. Now, however, they faced both challenges at once: "After that a new class arose [= Christians and Muslims] who combined the two methods, namely, conquest, controversy and dispute into one, in the belief that this procedure would be more effective in wiping out every trace of the community."[7]

Throughout the eighteen centuries between the destruction of the Second Temple and European emancipation, Jews had a double reason to feel pain and anger at Christianity and Islam. Not only were they as hostile as previous secular enemies, sometimes more so; they also claimed to be acting in the name of the very G-d whom Israel had first made known to the world. Given the depth of this tragedy, it is surprising that Jews had anything positive to say about them; yet they did. Many rabbinic sages did see a genuine spiritual gain in the spread of Christianity and Islam to what had previously been pagan countries and cultures, despite the fact that this often resulted in a worsening of the situation of Jews. According to many authorities (not all), Christianity and Islam were held to be valid faiths for their adherents.[8] Needless to say, neither was a valid option for Jews, whose religious obligations "had already been foresworn at Sinai."[9]

"Valid" in this context means "satisfies the requirements of the Noahide laws". It does not and cannot mean "true in all respects"[10]. Judaism, Christianity and Islam conflict on many substantive issues. Specifically, Jews cannot accept Christian or Islamic contentions that G-d's covenant with Israel has been superseded. Indeed one of the moral implications of "the dignity of difference" is that no religion or civilization should predicate its existence on the elimination of others. That is what the post-Babel covenant with Abraham taught: that one could be true to one's faith while at the same time being a blessing, not a threat, to others.

The Hebrew Bible is premised on the faith that G-d's covenant with Israel is eternal (brit olam [11]) and unbreakable. There are many texts to this effect, of which the following are representative:

Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them. I am the Lord their G-d. But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their G-d. I am the Lord.[12]
This is what the Lord says,
He who appoints the sun to shine by day,
Who decrees the moon and stars to shine by night,
Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar -
The Lord Almighty is His name:
"Only if these decrees vanish from My sight," declares the Lord,
"will the descendants of Israel ever cease to be a nation before Me."[13]
Our nation, the children of Israel, is a nation only by virtue of its laws. Since, then, the Creator has stated that the Jewish nation was destined to exist as long as heaven and earth exist, its laws would, of necessity, have to endure as long as would heaven and earth.[14]

An eternal covenant links the eternal people to the eternal G-d. This idea is not merely fundamental to Judaism. It shapes the very meaning of the words truth (emet), faithfulness (emunah) and covenant (brit) when applied to G-d. It means that G-d, having made a covenant with the patriarchs (brit avot) and then with the children of Israel as a nation (brit Sinai), will be true to His word. He will not break it, terminate it, or replace it. In the language of the prophets, in the marriage between G-d and Israel there will be no divorce. A G-d who could abandon His people is unthinkable to the biblical mind. That is why, to a Jew, the replacement theology of classical Christianity and Islam is untenable as an interpretation of the Hebrew Bible.

What is significant about Christianity and Islam is that these faiths, from a Jewish perspective[15] and from their own, trace their provenance to the biblical covenants with Noah and Abraham. That is why they are known as "Abrahamic faiths". Insofar as [a] they are religions of revelation, [b] they "recognize the authority of the Hebrew Bible as the word of G-d to humankind"[16] and [c] they uphold the Noahide laws, their adherents satisfy Maimonides' definition of the pious of the nations, namely that they keep the seven Noahide laws "because the Holy One blessed be He commanded them in the Torah and made known through Moses our teacher that their observance had been enjoined on the descendants of Noah even before the Torah was given." At Sinai, as well as making a covenant with the children of Israel, G-d reaffirmed His earlier covenant with mankind.

The following are some of the rabbinic sources on Christianity and Islam:

These Muslims [Ishmaelim] are not in any way idolators. [Idolatry] has already been removed from their mouths and their hearts, and they unify G-d in the appropriate manner without any admixture [of idolatrous beliefs].[17]

Here, despite his knowledge of the suffering certain Islamic groups had visited on Jews, Maimonides insists that Islam in a genuine monotheism. Though he did not hold the same view of the Christianity of his time (the 12th century), he nonetheless ruled that it was permitted to teach Torah to Christians:

It is permitted to teach the commandments to Christians and to draw them close to our religion . . . because they believe in the text of the Torah [as we have received it, and do not argue] that it has changed, through they frequently interpret it differently . . .[18]

R. Menahem Ha-Meiri, the fourteenth century Provencal scholar, introduced a new perspective in framing relations between Jews and the wider Christian or Islamic societies in which they lived:

It has already been stated that these things [laws relating to gentiles] were said concerning periods when there existed nations of idolaters, and they were contaminated in their deeds and tainted in their dispositions . . . but other nations, which are restrained by the ways of religion and which are free from such blemishes of character - on the contrary, they even punish such deeds - are, without doubt, exempt from this prohibition.[19]

According to Meiri, all mishnaic rules circumscribing business and other transactions with non-Jews are to be understood as referring to pagan or polytheistic cultures, no longer extant, which in addition to being idolatrous were also unprincipled in their dealings with people. That has now changed. The nations amongst whom Jews lived were now "restrained by the ways of religion" and were therefore to be regarded as on a par with the "resident alien" of biblical times, namely as "the pious of the nations of the world."[20]

R. Moses Rivkes gives halakhic expression to the difference between pagan and monotheistic gentile cultures:

The rabbis of the Talmud meant by the term 'idolators' the pagans who lived in their time, who worshipped the stars and the constellations and did not believe in the Exodus from Egypt and in the creation of the world out of nothing. But the nations under whose benevolent shadow we, the Jewish nation, are exiled and are dispersed among them, they do believe in the creation of the world out of nothing and the Exodus from Egypt and in the essentials of faith, and their whole intention is toward the Maker of heaven and earth, as other authorities have said . . . these nations do believe in all of this[21]

So does the introduction to R. Jonathan Eybeschutz's halakhic commentary, Kreti uPleti:

The Christian nations among whom we live, generally observe the principles of justice and righteousness, believe in the creation of the world and the existence and providence of G-d, and in the Law of Moses and the prophets, and oppose the Sadducean view that denies the resurrection of the dead and the immortality of the soul. Therefore it is fitting to be thankful to them, to praise and extol them, and to bring upon them blessings and not, G-d forbid, curses.[22]

R. Israel Lipschutz (1782-1860) suggested that there are broad parameters of religious belief which lead to ethical conduct and are universal among civilized societies. He called such belief "torah" in an extended sense:

R. Elazar ben Azaryah said, "If there is no Torah there is no culture [derekh eretz]" - The word "Torah" here cannot be meant literally, since there are many ignorant people who have not learned it, and many pious among the gentiles who do not keep the Torah and yet are ethical and people of culture. Rather, the correct interpretation seems to me to be that every people has its own religion [dat Eloki] which comprises three foundational principles, [a] belief in a revealed Torah, [b] belief in [Divine] reward and punishment, and [c] belief in an afterlife (they disagree merely on the interpretation of these principles). These three principles are what are called here "Torah".[23]

By far the most significant analysis of Christianity, however, from a Judaic point of view was provided by R. Jacob Emden (1697-1776):

The writers of the Gospels never meant to say that the Nazarene came to abolish Judaism, but only that he came to establish a new religion for the Gentiles from that time onward. Nor was it new, but actually ancient; they being the Seven commandments of the sons of Noah, which were forgotten. The Apostles of the Nazarene established them anew . . . It is therefore a habitual saying of mine . . . that the Nazarene brought about a double kindness in the world. On the one hand, he strengthened the Torah of Moses majestically, as mentioned earlier, and not one of our sages spoke out more emphatically concerning the immutability of the Torah. And on the other hand he did much good for the gentiles . . . by doing away with idolatry and removing the images from their midst. He obligated them with the seven commandments . . . and also bestowed on them ethical ways, and in this respect he was much more stringent with them than the Torah of Moses, as is well known.[24]

Citing Acts 15, Emden argues that the founders of Christianity were not engaged in creating a new religion but rather bringing the Noahide covenant and its seven laws to the gentiles. That is why they did not require their followers to observe the Sabbath or the command of circumcision (which do not apply to non-Jews). Only later did Christians (mistakenly, Emden argues) see their faith as a rival to and replacement of Judaism. Emden urges Christians to go back to their own first principles. If they did so they would "bring their people to love the ancient Children of Israel who remain loyal to their G-d, as indeed commanded to Christians by their original teachers."

Summing up the mainstream Jewish position, R. Samson Raphael Hirsch writes:

The Talmud teaches us that non-Jews who recognize and worship the G-d of heaven and earth as proclaimed in the Bible, and who fully accept the fundamental rules incumbent upon all men, such as the prohibitions against murder, theft, adultery, etc., are to be placed on an equal level with Jews when it comes to our performing the duties all men owe to one another. They are entitled to look to us not merely for justice but also for active charity and compassion (Maimonides, Laws of Kings, 10:12)

The Sages of the Talmud are the teachers of probably the only religion that does not claim that it alone holds the key to salvation. Instead, they teach that the righteous of all nations have a portion in the world to come (Sanhedrin 105a). According to the Talmud, the Mosaic Law is eternally binding only upon the people of Israel. All others are regarded as wholly righteous in the eyes of G-d as long as they obey the seven Noachide laws.

In this spirit, the Talmud (Sanhedrin 59a) comments in connection with Leviticus 18:5 that a non-Jew who observes the laws given to him by G-d is an equal of the High Priest, for it is written: "Keep my statutes and My social ordinances which man [not only Jews] must carry out and through which he gains life." Likewise, Isaiah 26:2 does not read, "Open the gates so that priests and Israel may enter," but, "so that a righteous nation that keeps the faith may enter." In Psalm 118:20 we do not read, "This is the gate of the Lord; priests, Levites and Israel shall enter into it," but, ". . . the righteous shall enter into it." In Psalm 33:1 we are not told, "Exult, O priests, Levites and Israel, in the Lord," but "Exult, O righteous ones, in the Lord." Finally, the Psalmist (Psalm 125:4) does not pray, "Do good, O Lord, to the priests, the Levites and to Israel," but, "Do good, O Lord, to the good."

All the foregoing makes it clear that G-d's nearness, bliss and salvation is promised to every person who loyally and scrupulously carries out the duties laid down for him by G-d . . .

On the basis and in the spirit of the Talmudic teachings cited above, the scholars of Jewish law throughout the ages have exhorted their brethren to be ever mindful of their duties as Jews toward the governments and the peoples in whose midst and under whose protection they dwell. In particular, they have been at pains to stress that, while in other respects their views and ways of life may differ from those of Judaism, the peoples in whose midst the Jews are now living have accepted the Jewish Bible of the Old Testament as a book of Divine revelation. They profess their belief in the G-d of heaven and earth as proclaimed in the Bible, and they acknowledge the sovereignty of Divine Providence in both this life and the next. Their acceptance of the practical duties incumbent upon all men by the Will of G-d distinguishes these nations from the heathen and idolatrous nations of the Talmudic era. Even in the case of the latter, the Talmud commanded us to practice justice and mercy in our dealings with them, albeit with some limitations. But the peoples in whose midst we live today are regarded by the Talmud as the complete equals of the Jews and therefore entitled to our active charity and compassion in every respect."[25]


Books by Jonathan Sacks

  1. Traditional alternatives: Orthodoxy and the future of the Jewish people (1989)
  2. Tradition in an Untraditional Age (1990)
  3. Persistence of Faith (1991)
  4. Arguments for the Sake of Heaven (1991)
  5. Crisis and Covenant (1992)
  6. One People? (1993)
  7. Will We Have Jewish Grandchildren? (1994)
  8. Community of Faith (1995)
  9. Torah Studies: Discourses by Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson (1996)
  10. The Politics of Hope (1997 revised 2nd edition 2000)
  11. Morals and Markets (1999)
  12. Celebrating Life (2000)
  13. Radical Then, Radical Now (published in America as A Letter in the Scroll) (2001)
  14. Dignity of Difference (2002) (Grawemeyer Award winner)
  15. The Chief Rabbi's Haggadah (2003)
  16. To Heal a Fractured World - The Ethics of Responsibility (2005)

External links


  1. Sifrei, Deut. 343. When the Holy One, blessed be He, revealed himself to give the Torah to Israel, he revealed himself not only to Israel but to all the other nations as well.
  2. Tanchuma, Buber, Shemot 22. “And all the people saw the voices” (Ex. 20:14). Since there was only one voice, why “voices” in the plural? Because G-d’s voice mutated into seven voices, and the seven voices into seventy languages, so that all the nations might hear it.”
  3. B. T. Shabbat 88b R.Yochanan asked: What is implied in ‘The Lord gave the word; great was the company of those that published it’ (Ps. 68:12)? That each and every word that issued from the mouth of the Almighty divided itself into seventy languages. Accordingly, citing the verse “As a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces” (Jer. 23: 29), the school of R. Ishmael taught: Just as a hammer that strikes a rock causes sparks to fly off in all directions, so each and every word that issued from the mouth of the Holy One divided itself into seventy languages.”
  4. There were exceptions. During the reign of John Hyrcanus (133-104 B.C.E.), the Idumeans or Edomites were conquered and forced to convert. It seems, however, that experience taught Jews not to repeat this endeavour. Besides which, as I have argued, it runs contrary to the central strand of biblical and post-biblical Judaic principle.
  5. B.T. Yevamot 47a.
  6. Against Apion, 2:282ff.
  7. Maimonides, The Epistle to Yemen.
  8. "The concept of a 'true religion' is often intertwined with the requirements for 'salvation'. The 613 mitzvot are the means by which a Jew earns salvation. The non-Jew can achieve the same goal in seven giant steps, the Noahide laws. If the non-Jew observes these fundamental laws, his religion is equally true." R. Moshe Tendler, The Condition of Jewish Belief, Jason Aronson, Northvale, New Jersey, 1989, 240.
  9. B. T. Shevuot 21b, 22b, 23b, 25a, and elsewhere.
  10. See Rambam, Melakhim 10:9: From an halakhic point of view, what is important in other faiths is that they satisfy the requirements of the Noahide covenant. Beyond that, as Rav Soloveitchik noted, "the logos, the word, in which the multifarious religious experience is expressed does not lend itself to standardization or universalization. The word of faith . . . reflects the numinous character and the strangeness of the act of faith of a particular community which is totally incomprehensible to the man of a different faith community" ("Confrontation", op. cit., 72). In other words, according to Rav Soloveitchik, beyond the requirements of the Noahide laws, we do not presume (nor do we have the requisite insight) to judge the validity of other faiths from the perspective of their followers. For Rav Soloveitchik there are aspects of "the other" that remain radically unknowable from where we (as opposed to G-d) stand.
  11. Exodus 31:16.
  12. Leviticus 26: 44-45.
  13. Jeremiah 31: 35-36.
  14. Saadia Gaon, Emunot veDe'ot, Book III:7
  15. Rabbinic tradition makes the equation Esau=Edom=Rome=Christianity, and Ishmael=Islam (this is how the Koran also traces its ancestry). Thus, both are descendants of Abraham. This may be the meaning of the verse (otherwise unexplained in the Bible), "No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you the father of many nations" (Gen. 17:5). To be sure, the Hebrew Bible itself does not make this connection, since both Christianity and Islam were born in the post-biblical era. Nor do any of the traditional Jewish commentators known to me offer this interpretation (undoubtedly because the Torah itself says - Gen. 21: 12 - "Through Isaac [alone] you will be said to have offspring"). Yet there is an apparent contradiction between Genesis and Deuteronomy. In Genesis, God makes the promise to Abraham that his descendants will be as many as "the dust of the earth" and "the stars of the sky"; yet in Deuteronomy, Moses says, "The Lord did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you are the fewest of all peoples" (Deut. 7:7). One way of resolving this is to make a distinction between the children of the specific covenant of Abraham through Israel ("the fewest of all peoples") and the other Abrahamic faiths, which trace their ancestry to Abraham and today account for more than half of the population of the earth. In this broader sense Abraham is indeed "the father of many nations".
  16. John Haldane, An Intelligent Person's Guide to Religion, London, Duckworth, 2003 (writing of all three Abrahamic faiths).
  17. Maimonides, Responsa, 448. These Muslims [Ishmaelim] are not in any way idolators. [Idolatry] has already been removed from their mouths and their hearts, and they unify G-d in the appropriate manner without any admixture [of idolatrous beliefs]. Mishneh Torah, Forbidden Foods, 11:7 A resident alien [ger toshav], namely one who has accepted the seven [Noahide] commands . . . and similarly, any non-Jew who does not serve idols, such as the Ishmaelites [=Muslims], though their wine may not be drunk, it is permitted to benefit from it.
  18. Responsa, 149.
  19. Meiri, Bet Habechirah, Avodah Zarah, 53. See also, ibid., 39, 46, 48, 59 and in many other places in his writings.
  20. Much has been written about Meiri's conceptual leap in relation to non-Jews: see Jacob Katz, Exclusiveness and Tolerance, New York, Behrman House, 1961, 114-128; Ephraim Urbach, "Shitat Hasovlanut shel Rabbi Menahem Hameiri," in E. Etkes (ed), Perakim beToldot haHevrah haYehudit, Jerusalem, 1980, 34-44; M. Halbertal, Bein Torah leChokhmah, Jerusalem, Magnes Press, 2000, 80-108.
  21. R. Moses Rivkes (Lithuania, 17th century), Be'er haGolah to Choshen Mishpat 425:5).
  22. Introduction to R. Jonathan Eybeschuetz, Kreti uPleti, s.v. ein.
  23. Tiferet Yisrael to Avot 3:17. I am grateful to my brother, Alan Sacks, for reminding me of this passage.
  24. Rabbi Yaakov Emden, Seder Olam Rabbah ve-Zuta, Appendix. Translation, H. Falk, Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 19:1 [Winter 1982], 105-111).
  25. R. Samson Raphael Hirsch, The Collected Writings, volume VII, 225-227.