Free­wheel­ing at Shabbat

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY JONATHAN KAL­MUS

AT 11 O’CLOCK on Shabbat morn­ing, eyes in Leeds were on the Tour de France rather than the To­rah.

The race’s Grand De­part was tak­ing place in the city, and syn­a­gogues held ser­vices early to al­low con­gre­gants to daven and then watch Chris Froome and co ride by.

At the Etz Chaim syn­a­gogue, in the sub­urb of Al­wood­ley, Rabbi Shalom Kup­per­man and his con­gre­gants made kid­dush and then joined spec­ta­tors lin­ing the route out­side. Roads had been closed and only 50 mem­bers— half the usual num­ber — had made it to shul.

Syn­a­gogue pres­i­dent Neil Frieze teamed up with the min­is­ter at next door’s St John’s Church to cre­ate a wel­come ban­ner for the rid­ers. “The at­mos­phere was mag­nif­i­cent, sur­real,” he said.

Satur­day’s most dra­matic mo­ment, when Mark Cavendish crashed out of the clos­ing sprint in Har­ro­gate, brought fame to Jewish shop owner Daniel Buck.

Cavendish tum­bled from his bike just out­side Daniel’s Footwear store, with TV cam­eras beam­ing im­ages of the mo­ment — and Mr Buck’s store­front — to 122 coun­tries. As he said: “It was the cra­zi­est Shabbat.”

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