The Diary

All hail to a truly top dog

By Simon Rocker, February 2, 2012

Let's bask in the glory of Muzzle Tov, the greyhound who romped to victory in the 20.17 at Romford on Saturday night. It was the seventh win out of 43 races for the speedy kosher canine.

I notice he was racing after Shabbat; there must be a lesson in that. Give that dog a bone.

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Does Cora read the torah?

By Simon Rocker, February 2, 2012

The online salon talk this week has been whether award-winning ITV drama Downton Abbey requires a mezuzah.

Leading character Lady Cora (below) has already been revealed to be the daughter of Cincinnati millionaire Isidore Levinson.

Later this year you will be able to learn about her matrilineal line when her mum - played by Shirley MacLaine - turns up in the next series.

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The pic they didn't want seen

By Simon Rocker, February 2, 2012

What could be more innocuous than a picture of a rabbi at prayer? But when this shot of Lord Sacks on official tour of Australia last week appeared on the J-Wire website, photographer Henry Benjamin was asked to remove it by the Chief Rabbi's Office.

Hardly the work of a prying paparazzo.

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Peston's hair-raising claim

By Simon Rocker, February 2, 2012

"No, I don't dye my hair," BBC business editor Robert Peston told his Observer interviewer on Sunday, "It's good Jewish genes. My dad, who's 80, has still got a full head of dark hair."

Is our DNA indeed hairier? I already see the protest letter from the League of Bald Jewish Gentleman.

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Dramatic gift from Israel

By Simon Rocker, February 2, 2012

The New Israel Fund has received a donation with a difference. Israeli writer A.B. Yehoshua, a guest of the UK charity last year, has offered it the English premiere of his new play, about a London meeting between Israel’s future premier David Ben Gurion and revisionist Zionist leader Vladimir Jabotinsky.

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Why the JC is well-balanced

By Simon Rocker, January 26, 2012

Guardian writer Kira Cochrane recently complained of male bias in the press, with almost 80 per cent of articles written by men.

Allow us to blow our own trumpet. A byline count of recent JCs shows nearly half of our articles were by women.

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Mezuzah with a twist?

By Simon Rocker, January 26, 2012

Jewellery brand Lovebullets has a new item out for Valentine's Day: a pendant containing a paper scroll to deliver a message to your beloved. Sounds familiar?

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Speaking of little Israel

By Simon Rocker, January 26, 2012

The CIES Football Observatory, which publishes reports on European soccer, has done a survey of player heights in the top leagues.

The tallest belong to the German Bundesliga averaging above 6 foot.

And the shortest? Israel's Ligat Ha'Al, of course, whose members do not quite reach 5 foot 11.

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Pesach comes early at Tesco

By Simon Rocker, January 26, 2012

The seasons are surely out of synch. The other day I spotted a bee struggling to find a flower.

Now someone tells me that Brent Cross Tesco are stacking the shelves with Pesach goods - and it's not even near Purim.

But then what do you expect from a company that has Easter eggs on sale on Boxing Day?

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In defence of large portions

By Simon Rocker, January 26, 2012

Metro reviewer Marina O'Loughlin enjoyed Mishkin's, London's new Jewish-themed but distinctly unkosher deli which serves smoked eel and pork hot dog beside chicken soup and knishes.

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