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Israeli gets naked to protest the sale of leavened bread

by Brad A. Greenberg

April 8, 2009 | 2:33 pm

The news report can be read at IsraelNationalNews.com, but Howard M. Friedman of the Religion Clause blog does a better job explaining the legal context that motivated an ultra-Orthodox yeshiva student to strip naked in a grocery store:

Passover begins tonight, and in Israel the dispute continues over how to interpret its Festival of Matzot (Prohibition of Leaven) Law, 5746-1986, (also known as the “Hametz Law”). Last year, a court held that its ban on the public display any leavened product for sale or consumption during Passover did not prevent the sale in a closed place of business of leavened products. (See prior posting.)

The Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) community is still distressed over the ruling. This week, according to Arutz Sheva, to protest the interpretation, yeshiva student Aryeh Yerushalmi entered a Tel Aviv grocery store, went to the bread section, and stripped naked (except for a sock over his private parts). He says Israeli law bans performing an indecent act in a public place, but if a grocery store is not “public” for purposes of the Hametz Law, its should not be for the indecent exposure law either.

When police arrived at the scene, the student put his clothes back on. A Tel Aviv district court judge put Yerushalmi under house arrest for a week.

Chag Sameach.

(Thanks for the link, Ted.)

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