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Mercy mission saves Bahrain's matzah

    Rabbi Leivi Sudak
    Rabbi Leivi Sudak

    Bahrain's tiny Jewish community will have matzahs for Pesach after a mercy dash orchestrated by rabbis, a businessman and an MP.

    A planned delivery of shmurah matzahs went missing en route to the Gulf state earlier this week.

    But after Chabad rabbis in London were alerted to the problem, a last-minute operation ensured the 50 Jews in the country would receive the unleavened goods in time for Seder night.

    Edgware Lubavitch director Rabbi Leivi Sudak said: "We became aware there was a problem with their Pesach delivery, so we got to it. We quickly gathered supplies to send to them.

    "We boxed up everything - grape juice, macaroons, tea, you name it.

    When I heard, I just had to return the favour

    "But when we asked FedEx how much it would cost they wanted £240 per box to send the stuff.

    "It was just too much and they couldn't guarantee us delivery in time."

    Hampstead Garden Suburb businessman Melvyn Kay used contacts in the freight industry to assist the rabbi in getting the products on to a Gulf Air plane which left London on Wednesday morning bound for the Bahrain capital, Manama.

    Mr Kay said: "I was held captive in Iran and if it wasn't for Lubavitch helping me and my family during that time I don't know what would have happened.

    "When I heard about what they were trying to do for the community in Bahrain I just felt I had to help and return a favour."

    Rabbi Sudak also enlisted the help of Bahrain's Jewish MP, Nancy Khedouri, to get the matzah through to the community.

    He explained: "We talk to her quite regularly and she made sure that when the products arrived they were fast-tracked through customs.

    "Without this help, Bahrain's Jews would not have got what they needed."

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