A rabbi in the Israeli city of Tiberias has called for a boycott of stores that display mannequins in bathing suits, saying they "elicit sorrow" and damage the souls of passers-by.
Rabbi Rafael Cohen, chief of the northern city's kosher division, said the stores would face the wrath of the religious community and lose their kosher certification if they failed to comply, according to the Maariv daily on Wednesday.
Cohen said the mannequins and "obscene photographs" showing models in swimsuits or underwear "elicit sorrow among the passers-by on the road."
He has threatened to publish a list of stores that continue such displays, saying "residents of Tiberias should not set foot in stores of that kind, and that will cause them irreversible damage."
"Modest" mannequins, he said, are all right. "But there are mannequins that are really revolting, mannequins in bathing suits that damage our souls."
One lingerie merchant in Tiberias quoted by Maariv said "a store like this has to have a mannequin, but the religious women are excellent clients and buy lots of underwear, so I don't know what to do."