January 5, 2006
Love ‘n’ Bloomers
The tomb of a venerated rabbi has become the apparent final resting place for the underwear of hundreds of Israeli women looking for husbands.
Israel's Maariv newspaper reports that authorities have collected around 400 pairs of knickers and bras from the grilles of the tomb's window and on nearby trees.
According to believers, an unmarried person will meet his or her soulmate and marry within a year after visiting the grave of Rabbi Yenothan Ben Uziel in northern Israel.
But as for leaving undies behind at the tomb, that's going way too far, say local clerics, who want to nix that ritual.
In fact, Rabbi Israel Deri, who has jurisdiction over protecting holy sites in the north, suggested to Maariv that would-be romantics risk a sort of love curse if they insist on dropping off their unmentionables.
"Having consulted with the chief rabbis, I can say with certainty that not only are these women guilty of a profanity, but they will also never gain benediction," Deri said.