Haredim fear shtreimel industry will be banned in Israel

Haredi parties fear Supreme Court will strike down religious exemption to new laws banning fur trade, banning traditional hasidic headwear.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flash 90

The haredi community in Israel fears that Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel intends to destroy the streimel industry, Behadrei Haredim reported.

A shtreimel is a fur hat which is often worn by hasidic and haredi Jews from eastern Europe. They are usually made from the tails of Canadian or Russian sable, beech marten, and baum marten, and are among the most expensive parts of traditional hasidic dress.

The fear is that the Supreme Court will strike down the religious exemption to the the new bans on the fur industry and the grounds that such exemptions are unequal.

Minister Gamliel had sat on the new regulations for a year due to opposition from the haredi political parties. Today, she finally passed the regulations, which will take effect in December.

At the time the regulations were proposed, a legal opinion was presented to the Knesset members, written by Adv. Amir Kadri, in which he raised concerns that "an argument could be made that the term "religion and tradition" should be interpreted narrowly, and that shtreimels, which are not a halacha (although a tradition) are not a purpose for which it is permissible to deviate from the general provisions of the proposed law, and the prohibition includes them as well," the trade of which is subject to a criminal prohibition.

The passage of the regulations comes as the haredi parties are about to move into the opposition, making it more difficult for them to influence and pass legislation.