The diplomatic duties of an Israeli ambassador don’t normally involve giving Bible and Hebrew lessons to a church of Christian worshippers.
But last Sunday ambassador Daniel Taub found a receptive audience in the form of the congregation of the Anglican Holy Trinity Brompton church in London’s Knightsbridge.
The church, run by the charismatic vicar Nicky Gumbel regularly attracts over 2,000 people each Sunday. As many as 11 separate services are held through the day in order to meet the huge demand.
The ambassador’s informal sit-down with Mr Gumbel started with Mr Taub joking that while he was a fan of synagogue music, the church had some “really great tunes”.
The discussion turned to the importance of the family in Judaism. But Mr Taub again struck a light-hearted note by recalling a family anecdote.
“As a diplomat, my hardest negotiations are still with my kids,” he said. “One of my children told me: ‘you know how much Moses wanted to go into the Holy Land. That’s how much I want a Playstation.”
Between the pews flat TV screens beamed a live video feed of Mr Taub’s talk throughout the building — it would be replayed to congregations at later services, ensuring they would not miss the ambassador’s shiur.