A whale of a mitzvah
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In some communities, it is traditional to auction the honour of reciting the book of Jonah on Yom Kippur afternoon for a pledge to charity. While it is not unheard of for donations to run into thousands, I rubbed my eyes when I heard that at the Great Synagogue Moscow this year, it went for 20 million rubles. But its minister, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, assures me the amount was true. That’s £391,000, by the way.