It’s well known that Harry dressed up as a Nazi for a costume party.
To his credit, he now calls it “one of the biggest mistakes of my life.”
It is also well known that he met with Rabbi Sacks afterwards.
What is new is what he says in his new book about that meeting….
Father sent me to a holy man. 51 years old. Bearded, bespectacled, with a face with deep wrinkles and dark, intelligent eyes…. He was Britain’s chief rabbi, that’s all I was told. But I immediately saw that he was much more. A distinguished scholar, a religious philosopher, a prolific writer with more than two dozen books to his name, he spent many of his days staring out of windows and pondering the root causes of sorrow, evil, and hatred.
He didn’t mince words. He condemned my actions. It’s not that he was unkind, but it had to be done. He also put my stupidity in a historical context. He talked about the six million, the people who were destroyed. Jews, Poles, dissidents, intellectuals, children, babies, Old men who turned to ash and smoke a few short decades ago.
I arrived at his house full of shame, but afterwards I felt something else, bottomless self-loathing. But that was not the rabbi’s goal. It was certainly not how he wanted me to leave him.
He urged me not to be devastated by my mistake, but to be motivated. He assured me that people do stupid things, say stupid things, but that should not be their inner nature. He said I showed that my true nature when I asked to atone for the act and I’m looking for forgiveness. He gave me grace. He’s a really wise man. He told me to raise my head, get out, and use this experience to make the world better.