Oy vay, my shtreimel!

June 16, 2009 at 7:18 AM
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JERUSALEM, June 16 (UPI) -- A member of parliament decried a proposed ban on the import of fur, which would eliminate the traditional fur hats worn by ultra-orthodox Jews.

If approved, the traditional fur hats, or shtreimels, worn by male members of the communities will be outlawed, the newspaper Maariv reported Tuesday.

The proposed amendment to the animal welfare bill, which has gained support in the Cabinet, would ban importing products made of cat, dog and rabbit fur, as well as furs imported from southeast Asia, the newspaper said.

Those violating the law could face up to a year in prison, Maariv said.

Parliamentarian Menachem Eliezer Moses, a member of the ultra-orthodox United Torah Judaism party, said it was inconceivable to support a bill outlawing such an important religious necessity.

"Oy vay, you will send thousands of haredim to prison. The proposed bill will bring a halt to the importing of shtreimels to Israel; it is inconceivable that anyone could support it," he told the newspaper. Moses said while he does not object entirely to the proposed bill, he would like it to exclude the shtreimel.

The shtreimel is worn by married men, particularly those affiliated with Hassidic communities, on holidays and the Sabbath. It is made of a circular velvet center surrounded by fur.

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