Saddam costumes banned by rabbi

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The Independent Online
JERUSALEM (AFP) - A debate has been sparked in Israel after a senior rabbi ruled that Jews cannot dress up as Saddam Hussein, skeletons or Arabs during the Jewish festival of Purim on Monday, which commemorates the deliverance of the Jews by Esther from a massacre in Persia.

Mordechai Eliahou, the outgoing chief rabbi of the Sephardic community of Oriental Jews, issued a decree saying the costumes violated Jewish religious laws. Many ultra-orthodox Jewish children were preparing this year to dress up as skeletons in protest against the desecration of ancient tombs in Jerusalem by a public works enterprise.