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Poll results
British Chief Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks has won a $200,000 prize for his book The Dignity of Difference. What should he do with the money?

Keep it all 22.2%
Keep some and give the rest to charity 47.5%
Give it all to charity 30.3%


Started 1 December, 2003 14:29
Finished 18 December, 2003 12:40

Poll comments
This poll has a total of 12 comments. Each page can hold no more then 20 comments..

Pages: 1        

Permanent link to this comment Posted by James : 17 January, 2006 01:44
I happened across this page on a search for something quite different, and realise it's a little late to post a response - but I can't resist.

A chief rabbi becomes what he is not only as a result of his own talents and hard work, but because his paid rabbinical position gives him the time and opportunity to do so. Therefore a successful book is at least in part due to the backing of the rabbinate. Had he been a lawyer rather than a rabbi it is quite possible that he wouldn;t have had the time or acquired the knowledge to write the same award-winning book, though possibly he would have been able to write quite a different one.

He certainly owes some of his success to his community.

Permanent link to this comment Posted by TIKVA : 15 December, 2003 23:58

Permanent link to this comment Posted by Ahmed Schwatrz : 11 December, 2003 10:58
I find it amazing how many people would waste their precious time to comment on such a foolish theoretical question. Bottom line - it is his money. Who cares what anybody else's thoughts are on how he should handle the se funds? To all those individuals out there who are writing out the Grand Rabbi's checks for him, I say GET A LIFE!!!


Permanent link to this comment Posted by Larry Lennhoff : 10 December, 2003 09:15
I expect the Rabbi will give between 10 and 20% of the prize to various charitable causes, as is required by halacha. I see no reason for him to give more than that.

Kol Tuv


Permanent link to this comment Posted by Zoe : 8 December, 2003 09:22
As a Rabbi, he has surely taken on the role of setting a good example to the rest of us. It is true to say that he worked for the money, and it is his to do with as he pleases - but on his conscience too, should be what example he is setting to everyone else if he doesn't share at least a small percentage of it with someone who needs it more.

Permanent link to this comment Posted by kultur : 7 December, 2003 03:39
It's absurd to suggest that any "personal production" -- whether it be a book, movie, song, wood carving, etc. is the product of a single individual's creative energy and labour. We are all rooted in the rich history, social fabric, and human civilization of our species. We bear the burden of preserving and furthering the entire social organism, and thus our own interests must be considered, but so too must the interests of mankind. Of course, perhaps the book was contribution enough.
"Mere goodness can achieve little against the power of nature." -- George Wilhelm Friederich Hegel

Permanent link to this comment Posted by Yochi Dibella : 2 December, 2003 15:07
Firstly I would like to congratulate the Chief Rabbi on receiving this award. We all should take pride in his achievements.
The prize money is personal and private. Why should any of us have a say on how to spend it.
Can't we just be happy for him?!

Permanent link to this comment Posted by Paul Bassman : 2 December, 2003 15:02
I agree with barbara camden and Rabbi Zvi Solomons. If I wasn't so lazy and had the ability. I would have wrote a book years ago. If I did and won 200 grand I certainly wouldn't give it all to charity. If we all gave a little to all the charity leaflets that came through the door, we would need charity! Also charity's need a closer look at, there is so much fraud going on these days. Finally, if I could give to the actual people in need and not go through a charity I would give happilly. I want a say on where my charity goes. WELL DONE Rabbi Sacks and MAZELTOV!! keep the money.

Permanent link to this comment Posted by Anonymous : 2 December, 2003 04:01
It's his money. He can do what he likes with it.

Permanent link to this comment Posted by barbara camden : 1 December, 2003 17:32
Since the book is a product of the Rabbi's own creativity, it is clearly his business and not the communities how he spends the money. Should there be a stipulation in the prize itself as to how it is spend, then that should govern. Otherwise, he should be free to put the fruits of his labor to whatever use, be it personal or public he chooses.

Permanent link to this comment Posted by Emma Cohen : 1 December, 2003 17:07
While it is wonderful that the Chief Rabbi should win such an award, it does present an issue for him in terms of what to do with the prize.

At the very least he should give some of the money to charity because after all, it is the Jewish community that had paid and supported him in his role as Chief Rabbi.

It is the community that pays him his salary and he is also allowed to make money writing books and doing other projects.

Maybe he should set up a foundation project with the money and thereby is giving something back.

Permanent link to this comment Posted by Rabbi Zvi Solomons : 1 December, 2003 16:55
Why give it all away or demand that he give any of it to charity? It's his money, he wrote the book and he won the prize for it. Let him decide what he should do with the money. To suggest that he give it away or that we are in any position to say what he should do with it is to say that we own it - and we do not. If we were clever and able enough to write such a wonderful book and win a prize for it then we would be outraged that anyone tell us what to do with it. Anyone who says anything but that he should decide what to do with it is participating in an invidious and twisted approach to what doesn't belong to them.

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