The storm's religious ramifications

The Boston Eruv, which maintains a series of markers and boundaries that give observant Jews a way to move things about in public on the Sabbath, should be considered inoperable because of the storm.



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I never knew this even existed!

I wonder...

What the Dedham plaza shaws had tonight.

That place is always empty, but seems to have the biggest selection of fresh produce/meat/ food around.

Ha, this is great

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Figured out a way to catch God in a religious loophole. Now I'm going to scour the bible to see if there is a way to covet my neighbor's wife without technically breaking the commandment

Honestly, if they're gonna

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Honestly, if they're gonna put this much effort into getting around the rules, why even have them? Seems so bizarre.

I once was asked a help a

I once was asked a help a father leaving synagogue push a stroller to end of the block where the eruv started (apparently, the eruv should have extended to the synagogue, but the wire had broken and was waiting repair.)

Serious question, what does this mean, you can't carry things or push a stroller?

As I understand it, yes...

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As I understand it, yes... the eruv extends the boundaries of one's household, where carrying a baby would be allowed on the sabbath. If the eruv is broken, then you can't carry your kid.


Halacha (Jewish law) says that one cannot move an object outside a private domain on the sabbath and holidays, with some exceptions like clothing and things which are regularly affixed to one's body (wrist watches are arguably not clothing per se, but most rabbis allow them) or which are necessary for health (e.g. I used to carry a little vial with some meds I take regularly, and this is explicitly allowed under the heading of "saving a life").

The eruv is, as someone else noted above, a legal fiction in halacha that turns a public domain (broadly speaking, an unenclosed area to which many unrelated people have access) into a private domain by enclosing it in a fence. The Talmud has a lengthy discussion (all of tractate Eruvin -- lit. the laws of fences) of what constitutes such a fence, and describes various minimal ways to satisfy those requirements: one must have an upright post of some sort at set distances, connected by a lintel of some sort. The modern interpretation is that designated existing posts like utility poles (that have to be recognizable to people as part of the eruv), connected by a wire "lintel" are sufficient to meet the minimum terms, and enable carrying things outside private domains like homes and synagogues.

Not everyone holds by these interpretations. A lot of frum Jews object to them because they're clearly based on a minimalist reading of the physical properties of an eruv, and others object that most eruvin pass over public roads that see a lot of traffic. Clearly, the argument goes, you can't have a private domain if a few thousand random people wander through it every hour. There are also issues about how one establishes a community, even in the small scale, such that some people hold that the hallway in an apartment building is already public, kal v'chomer a street like Comm Ave.

I, for one, am all about the leniencies. But then, I'm no longer Orthodox (although the shul I don't attend is strictly 'black hat').