A Letter in the Scroll, by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the Chief Rabbi of Britain, was inspired by a project he assigned to several university students. He suggested that they write to some of the most accomplished Jewish men and women in the world and ask what being Jewish meant to them. They sent out 200 letters and received six, mostly tepid, responses. Sacks considered these responses to be evidence of "confusion and demoralization at the heart of contemporary Jewish identity." He then decided to address the question himself, and A Letter in the Scroll is his answer. The book is a personal theology of Judaism, and it is a challenge to new generations of Jews to define the nature of their place in the story of Israel. Sacks's central theme is that "Judaism is not a theory, a system, a set of speculative propositions, an 'ism.' It is a call, and it bears our name." Sacks makes this argument in many ways, with reference to theology, philosophy, ancient history, and his personal experience.
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