The Diary

Stamping on the amps

By Simon Rocker, June 10, 2011

Time for over-amplified bands who turn simchas into aural assault courses finally to face the music - from the Beth Din of London's Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations.

The rabbis have issued a ruling repeating experts' warnings that loud music can damage your ears and telling party hosts to ask the band to keep the volume down to reasonable levesl - or else suffer a deduction in their fee.

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Stripped to his last assets

By Simon Rocker, June 10, 2011

Disgraced financier Bernie Madoff's boxer shorts fetched $200 at an auction in Florida the other day to help raise compensation for his victims. That's what you might really call short-selling.

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Bagel fiend is unmasked

By Simon Rocker, June 2, 2011

A hooded graffiti artist with a bone to pick over non-authentic bagels has confused shoppers with mysterious "Reclaim the Bagel" graffiti. The "clean graffiti", created by cleaning a pattern into pavements in Golders Green, Edgware and Radlett promoted a campaign against inferior bagels in favour of the boiled variety.

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Division belle Luciana

By Simon Rocker, June 2, 2011

The craze sweeping the offices across the country this week is sexyMP.co.uk, where MP's are rated on what really counts, their sex appeal.

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Belieber in Yeshua

By Simon Rocker, June 2, 2011

Pintsized popstar Justin Bieber may have left Israel with more than some sand in his suitcase. The teenage singer, who delighted fans with a concert in Tel Aviv last month, was recently spotted sporting a new tattoo in Ivrit. The tattoo, on his left ribcage, is of the Hebrew word Yeshua, translated into English as Jesus.

Justin is a devout Christian, but his manager Scooter Braun is Jewish.

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Unlikely Freemason

By Simon Rocker, June 2, 2011

A Greek Orthodox Palestinian Arab freemason has been installed in Tel Aviv as the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Israel.

According to the British magazine 'Freemasonry Today', Haifa-born Nadim Mansour will be in the position until 2013.

The Grand Lodge of Israel has about 1,299 freemason members in 56 lodges, working in 10 languages and has members of five different religions.

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Birbeck College Zionists

By Simon Rocker, June 2, 2011

Birkbeck College, University of London was one the key players in the NUS' new boycott of Israel, seems to have had a pleasing change of heart. One reader spotted posters for Arts Week with a picture of Zionist Vladimir Jabotinsky emblazoned on the posters.

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A naughty neurotic success

By Simon Rocker, May 26, 2011

For the past week, itunes' audiobook fiction chart for the UK has been headed by Sue Margolis and her raunchy comedy of north London Jewish life, Neurotica.

The tale of the extramarital adventures of a suburban wife exasperated at her hypochondriac husband, originally appeared in print 16 years ago: since the audiobook's release, Margolis said, "It's gone ballistic".

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Ed's dinner with chief

By Simon Rocker, May 26, 2011

The Chief Rabbi - whose riposte to Richard Dawkins, The Great Partnership: God, Science and the Search for Meaning, is out next month - has been keeping up to speed with politics. His dinner guests this month included opposition leader Ed Miliband and founder of "Blue Labour" Lord Glasman.

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How the author won a pig

By Simon Rocker, May 26, 2011

Congratulations to Gary Shteyngart, the first American winner of the annual Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction.

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