An Ultra-orthodox Jewish leader has allegedly banned girls aged five and above from riding bicycles in some areas of Israel, claiming it is “immodest”.
The rabbi of the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Nahloat circulated the ruling among his followers in synagogues across the region.
According to the rabbi, young girls riding bicycles could “cause serious damage to their modesty” and that bicycle seats caused young girls to sit in a way men find “provocative”, reports Arutz Sheva 7.
The ruling said: “We inform parents that they are obligated to forbid their daughters from age five and up from acting in this illegitimate way.”
The ruling is directed at members of the ultra-orthodox Haredi branch of Judaism.
In December ultra-orthodox rabbis requested women in Israeli city Bnei Brak refrain from higher education, according to Yeshida.
They claimed institutions teach secular subjects which present a real danger, and that girls and women should not study.
Last year the decades-old debate over whether ultra-Orthodox young men studying at seminaries should perform mandatory military service like the rest of Israel’s Jewish population was renewed again.
However, lawmakers passed legislation extending their exemption from duty, reversing a law passed in 2014 that would have seen it expire.
The ultra-Orthodox currently make up between seven and 10 percent of Israel’s more than eight million population, but are among its fastest-growing communities.
This article originally appeared on Independent