Haifa's haredi officials have been protesting against the plans to place a giant statue of a woman in front of a Haifa stadium currently under construction, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Thursday.
Rabbi Gedaliah Axelrod, one of the city's rabbis, has delivered a letter of protest to Mayor Yona Yahav, writing, "I was informed that within a year, the city of Haifa is planning to erect a huge statue of a naked woman right next to the stadium.
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"The statue will stand out at the city's gate and watch over the integrated neighborhood of Halissa, most of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian residents of which are religious people," Axelrod added.
In conclusion, the rabbi warned that "placing such a statue next to a crowded soccer stadium… could encourage unrestrained bestializing."
Yahav's office issued a response to Axelrod, noting, "I assume that the respected rabbi did not see the illustration of the statue and has been feeding of rumors. We suggest that you return to whoever has been whispering in your ear and tell him that he must immediately cease from seeing pornography and abomination in everything around him, for soon he might see immorality and nudity in utility posts, trees and mail boxes."
Rabbi Axelrod's letter is one in a long line of angry letters sent by seven rabbis in the city at the end of last year, when they protested against the "statue that is harshly offending us."
Rabbi Axelrod told Yedioth Ahronoth Wednesday: "I was approached by appalled rabbis. I have not seen a skirt or pants on the statue, and the image of a woman a few feet tall is not something that should serve as a symbol. We have enough problems with Haifa youth. We don’t need to add public immorality."
Lior El-Chai contributed to this report
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