A young religious girl recently posted a question on the Moriah bible study Internet site: "Does Jewish law permit belly dancing in full dress in front of a female audience to the sound of Arab music?"
Rabbi Moshe Amie, a religious Zionist rabbi, was forced to disappoint the young woman.
What is common today and what used to be prevalent in Jewish communities overseas is very different, said the rabbi.
"Although it was common to listen to Arab music in eastern communities, it was the typical music of the time," he said.
He went on to tell the young woman that the belly dancing style comes from cheap and defective cultures, and that the body movements make it look cheap and expose modest body parts.
The rabbi added that even if belly dancing is performed in full dress in front of a female audience, halachic law still does not permit it. The Arab music which accompanies this type of body movement does not comprise the appropriate spirit, he concluded.