Stopping S-wine flu

Swine flu has claimed another victim, and this time the casualty is a time-honoured Jewish tradition. In a bid to prevent the spread of infection, the head of the largest Chasidic group in Israel has called for a temporary halt to the 200-year-old custom of congregations drinking wine together from the same cup. Instead, Rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter has ruled that the community should use individual, disposable plastic beakers when making toasts.

According to the Haaretz.com website, Israel has had more than 750 confirmed cases of what the Orthodox community prefers to term Mexican flu.

    Last updated: 10:22am, July 16 2009