The Spanish fashion retail giant Zara has apologised to ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel for selling men's suits that violate a religious prohibition against mixing wool and linen, a company spokesman confirmed today. It has withdrawn the offending garments from its racks.
Jewish law prohibits the wearing of wool-and-linen blends, known as "shatnez", and the ultra-orthodox carefully inspect materials of unknown fibres. Some rabbis link the taboo to garments worn by idol-worshipers and to the biblical sacrifices of Cain (flax) and Abel (sheep).
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