A new decree has been introduced in one of Jerusalem’s neighborhoods which forbids all girls over the age of five from riding bicycles.
An Ultra-Orthodox Israeli rabbi claims the activity is “provocative” and could “cause serious damage to their modesty.”
The rabbi is from Jerusalem’s Nahloat district and part of the ultra-Orthodox Haredi branch of Judaism that rejects modern secular culture.
His ruling was distributed to a number of synagogues.
“We inform parents that they are obligated to forbid their daughters from age five and up from acting in this illegitimate way,” Ynet reported, citing the ban.
The rabbi said that bike seats “cause serious damage to their modesty” and the sight of girls sitting on them can be “provocative” to men.
Israel is not new to such extreme religious rulings. In December, ultra-orthodox rabbis demanded that all women avoid higher education in the city of Bnei Brak, which is located just east of Tel Aviv and known as the center of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, Yeshida World News reported. According to the decree, higher education posed a danger.
Haredi rabbis have also tried to prohibit the use of the internet and smartphones in the past.
The Haredi stance against women reached a boiling point back in 2014, when ultra-Orthodox Jews refused to be seated next to women on airplanes on religious grounds, forcing the public to petition Israel’s national airline, El Al, to “stop the bullying, intimidation and discrimination against women” on its flights.
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