As comfortable at the synagogue lectern as he is at the university podium, Sacks has continued to straddle both the academic and rabbinic realms, explaining each to the other.

He has brought Jewish tradition to bear on contemporary concerns, from the market economy to globalization, and applied the insights of secular disciplines like political philosophy and neuroscience to religion.

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What exactly did he hope to accomplish now that he couldn’t or didn’t achieve as chief rabbi?

I put this question to Sacks recently, at the Union League Club in New York.

“These are not books I write because I want to write books; they’re books I write because I want to read them,” he added.

But there was no way for Sacks to minister to the world while also guiding Anglo Jewry at home, which is why the 65-year-old father of three resigned his position after 22 years as chief rabbi.

Ms Stowe, from Stowe Family Law, said : "After looking at the ONS figures, it seems more parents are now staying together for the sake of their children and waiting until they are older before bringing their marriage to an end."Couples seem to have weathered the storm together particularly for the sake of the children.

When the children have left home, given longer life spans, a general increase in wealth, easier pension and wealth sharing, all can lead to this rise we are also seeing in divorce rates for couples in later middle age."Alison Hawes, partner at Irwin Mitchell solicitors, said: "The issue of so-called silver separation is now more common and acknowledged than ever before.

Sacks’s response walked a characteristically fine line.

“I think the greatness of Judaism is that it always included many voices.

The promise of Sacks’ ambitious agenda, coupled with his prodigious communication skills, is obvious.