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    Jewish saints? – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Mary MacKillop recently became Australia’s first saint.* Why don’t Jews have saints like the Catholics?

    pray daven tefillah salvation shamayimA. Jews do not have saints in the Catholic sense of being a person who has performed a miracle.

    What Judaism reveres are giants of the spirit whose lives have been devoted to living for God and His Torah.

    No-one needs to make official application to have such people canonised. It is the people as a whole, and history, which grants them their status.

    There are also people who have sacrificed their lives for God and Judaism. We do not allocate the term “saint” to such individuals though we call them k’doshim and speak of their Kiddush HaShem.

    * This article first appeared on this site in 2010.

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