The Mahwah Eruv: An Orthodox Perspective

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Everyone stop.

Please stop it.

Just stop.

As an Orthodox Jew, I would like to make some things clear. No one, not one single person, would even notice the Eruv unless someone else pointed it out to them. Most of us (orthodox/observant Jews) don’t even know where the Eruv is situated exactly.

All I ask is that you all just please say it how it is. People do not want the Eruv in their communities. Not because it is a violation of local ordinances. Not because it is an overt display of religious practice or even because it imposes on other’s property or space. Rather, because it means that the (observant) Jews are going to move in to your area/community/town with the Eruv now in place.

The Eruv makes it easier to live in an area there from a religious stand point. It enables observant Jews to perform certain activities otherwise restricted on the sabbath. It performs no other function and is one of the most unobtrusive practices we perform.

Now all I ask is that you say it as it is. You (the opposers of the Eruv) do not want the Eruv installed in your town because you do not want Jews to move in. You do not want the drastic change they will inevitably bring to the neighborhood. Just say it as it is. You don’t care about the Eruv. It is just the harbinger of the throngs of orthodox Jews, yet to invade your beloved hometown.

Now let me say this.

I understand your fears exactly!!! There are many neighborhoods and communities that have changed drastically because of the Jewish communities that have moved in.

If you want to ensure your town does not become the next Monsey, then just follow these simple instructions.

Keep enforcing your laws and zoning restrictions that are already in place. If you can keep the already established laws and regulations, your town will not become the next Monsey. People will be unable to take a single, quaint, family home and turn it into a 500 family apartment complex. As long as the town supervisor (unlike our Christopher St. Lawrence and our town builder) and other government officials remain honest and steadfast in upholding the rules and regulations already in place, there is nothing to fear.

Just one more time for good measure.

Just do me one favor.

Residents of Mahwah: Do not say that the Eruv is what truly bothers you. Say it as it is. You do not want the Jews taking over your area and town. Again, I understand you. It happened to my hometown and the place I grew up. It bothers me to no end and I now need to find a new home.

This is not an Eruv issue. This is a test. Only time will tell if Mahwah can remain true to the values and laws it has established or if money and greed will prevail as it did in Monsey. Monsey failed this test, only to become a town where the officials were all bought off, resulting in a city saturated with issues, including over-building, over-crowding, and corruption.

A concerned, honest, and Thinking Yid.

 
For more reading and for an actually informative article, see http://jewishstandard.timesofisrael.com/wired/

At the bottom of the article the real truth comes out.

41 comments

    1. They certainly can wield a lot of power. However, as I’ve seen in my hometown, most of the damage came not from the building of religious schools and synagogues, but rather from circumventing the zoning laws and overbuilding!! It must be maintained as a single family residence area and the laws must be enforced to the utmost degree.

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      1. Our public schools are being destroyed, non religious children deserve the educaction their parents want for them. The religious vote down school budgets and water down public schools. Who would want to move into your community with a public school that’s always having to go on austerity?

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      2. Most parents in our community pay anywhere from 16000 to 28000 dollars a year for tuition (per each child) to get the education they want for their children. Then on top of that they have to pay taxes for the public school system.

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  1. It’s not accurate to say that they don’t want “the Jews” to move in. It’s that they don’t want the ultra-orthodox sects who ruin communities to move in. I am a (conservative) Jew and I don’t want them moving in either. It really has nothing to do with the religion they practice or the deity they worship. I don’t want any group moving in who I know is going to destroy my community through their unfriendly practices, irrespective of religion, color, nationality, etc.

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    1. I am an orthodox and chasidish jew. I’m sorry I didnt make it more clear in the article that I meant they don’t want the Ultra-Orthodox sects who ruin communities to move in. It is readily clear to my readers as this has occurred in the past. On top of that, many jews live peacefully in mahwah as we speak and no issues have arisen in the past from their presence. We speka only of the powerful blocs who seek to change and shape communities to their will.

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  2. Yes we don’t want them moving into our neighborhood. Just look at what they did to Lakewood New Jersey , it’s a pigsty. No pun intended. Which is a shame because Lakewood was once a beautiful resort town . I have attended meetings of zoning board, it’s a joke. The board is 75 percent Hasidic and they nearly always vote give variances.

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  3. I disagree, all laws including violations of zoning laws regarding permanent installation of objects on Utility Poles, Rocks Trees etc should be enforced. Clearly the illegal installation of plastic piping was noticed if not by you by many others. Why are you asking people to publicly claim they are against one particular religion ? Are you trying to elicit an emotional response that can be used in a pending lawsuit?

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      1. You show your ignorance mentioning 9/11 I was there before and after and I know exactly what happened and many Jewish Americans died that day, how dare you minimize and insult their death at the hand of terrorists by even alluding to Jewish involvement.
        Focus on fixing any issues you have in Ramapo, you know absolutely nothing about Mahwah and probably not anything else.

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      2. I was referring to the semi-popular (and obviously wrong) conspiracy theory that the jews were the one to perpetrate 9-11. My aunt was in one of the towers as it was collapsing. Thank you. I live in mahwah now. So i guess (according to your logic) it now enables me to focus on issues in mahwah as well? Thanks.

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      1. I think your taking for granted how offensive the eruv is to non religious people like myself that are now surrounded by religious demarkations. I would be equally offended if the pope came to mahwah and jammed Catholic symbolism down my throat.

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      2. Sir, with all do respect, I do not claim to ever be offended by all the religious symbols (and other) that i encounter every single day from the multitude of religions in our american melting pot. There are numerous religions that have symbols or acts they display publicly that are far more ostentatious than an eruv. Again, all I ask is that everyon discard the pettiness and not pretend that people are offended by a piece of string and some pvc pipe. Verizon has been putting up a lot worse over everyones neighborhoods over the last few months. Oh, and i’m a sprint subscriber 🙂

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      3. I dont complain when my neighbor enters the “Best Christmas Lawn” contest every december. Even though the lights remain lit the entire night and are practically seizure inducing…

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      4. Driving past a mosque, temple, church, Xmas display etc is much different than living inside of an eruv which has the sole purpose of absorbing your property into a wider ultra orthodox backyard. Also unlike places of worship or periodic religious displays an eruv is designed to help break the laws of the religion. The whole concept of an eruv is offensive, don’t tell me that I am not being honest!

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      5. It is doing no such thing. It has nothing to do with considering your property as jewish property. You clearly lack complete knowledge of the topic. Please review the thousands of pages of Jewish literature (in hebrew, aramaic, and english) before deciding what the eruv does and does not do.

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      6. It does not help orthodox jews break laws of the religion. It is a part of the religion. You make yourself sound less intelligent (than I know you are) by making statements about the concept of eruv that are patently false.

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      7. …and I’m not complaining about the giant menorah on my neighbors lawn, even when it plays stupid music all night long.

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      8. I’m sorry you live next to a (presumed) chabad family that is inconsiderate towards their neighbors. We dont do that and neither do my thousands of cousins, neighbors, friends and acquaintances. We light our menorahs in our homes or near our doorposs with candles or oil and wicks. We sing for around 10 minutes near it and allow it to burn for about 30 min. Thats all that is required by the law. Anything more is beyond the letter of the law. Lighting electronic menorahs is not acceptable according to the jewish halacha as far as the orthodox are concerned.

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      9. Yid, you are proving my point that the eruv is an issue, I don’t have to read thousands of pages of literature when I can google the thousands of posts from the legal and Jewish community that clearly say things like “Jewish backyard” and “allows them to carry keys and push strollers”. You may have much more insight, but the vast majority of the population including most jews are using the phrases I quoted.
        And thanks for giving my intellect the benifit of the doubt, you seem like a smart fella too.

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      10. Thank, Paul. I just discussed our conversation with some colleagues at Mincha (the afternoon prayers) today. They were shocked to hear that people are being misled by online articles and comments into thinking that the eruv has any halachic effect on anyone’s property. It in no way indicates that your land is part of ours or that we have any claim to it in any way. Like i said earlier, if you are interested in really understanding its laws, you must speak (in person) to a competent orthodox rabbi who has a background in the complex laws of eruv. And by rabbi i dont mean some jewish guy with a beard and a hat (like many news sources interview and dub “rabbi”. I know more halacha than they do and i dont consider myself a rabbi) I mean someone with actual smicha from an established rabbinic authority.
        Thanks!

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  4. All you need is one smiling, charming hometown guy like St. Lawrence and the same thing can happen anywhere. He had 💯backing of the bloc and once they had grown in sufficient numbers, his reign of corruption was unshakable and complete. The closest any other candidate came was 2,500 votes in 2007….if my memory serves correctly.

    The unbridled growth via ASH zoning, spot zoning, RULIPA sealed the fate of Ramapo. It can happen anywhere. Check out what happened in Bloomingburgh NY. Same thing….one corrupt hometown guy sold out an entire community.

    Reason to be a fraud…..yes! It takes one person to destroy a Town….just one.

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    1. Exactly and thats the saddest thing about this all. I remember meeting the schmuck at a fundraiser. He had the most conniving grin. Money Money Money. That’s all he and his cohorts care about. That and power… He also needed his name on something as a legacy, G-d forbid he shouldnt live up to his dad’s name…

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  5. I am a reformed Jew and I appreciate the honesty expressed by The Thinking Yid. He is exactly on target. But I would actually go a step further…because I believe this is what makes installation of the Eruv such an insidious objective. The Eruv is effectively a “loophole” allowing Hasidim to do “work” in the community on the Sabbath…as they would in their own home..such as pushing a baby stroller. This is the most common thing that is pointed to as I suspect that Hasidim hope to portray themselves as people are who essentially barricaded in their homes every Sabbath, unless some type of remediation is provided. Here’s the problem with the Eruv: If someone knocks on the door of a Hasidic house on the Sabbath…or perhaps the door was open and that person was able to gain the attention of the people inside…and that person outside is eating a cheeseburger or ham sandwich…he will quickly and demonstrably be ushered away. But somehow…miracle of miracles…string an Eruv around the utility poles and every Goy and every last bit of treif within the Eruv boundary is rendered useless and meaningless. Everything is great. If I were a lawyer — I would argue that the Eruv conveys absolutely no religious benefit or exemption from any Talmudic Law. It is placed on utility poles (rather than being buried underground where it would be safe from being broken and thus render it useless until it can be repaired) for one reason and one reason ONLY — they want a visible entity. That guarantees that white flight will occur…if it doesn’t they will shame every remaining citizen by branding them racists and anti-Semites and it all results in lower home prices. This has played out time and time again in every community where the Ultra-Orthodox effectively invade. That’s right, I said it…”invade.” I would file a lawsuit under the RICO statutes as this is nothing more than a criminal enterprise that seeks only to accumulate land and homes at far-below market rates for their own financial benefit. Man — what a racist and anti-Semite I must be. And I was born a Jew. Hasidim need to take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror and recognize what you are doing is evil…no matter how well-intentioned; no matter how much Jews have suffered at the hands of others, no matter WHAT. The Thinking Yid is correct — this must stop.

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    1. Thank you for the compliments. However, I dont think your understanding of Eruvin is complete. There are thousands of years old records and literature regarding the halachos of eruv and its laws. Most orthodox jews rely on eruv and it is not solely for the ultra orthodox or chasidish communities. It is in no way a loophole. One of my main points is that the orthodox are making this about the eruv so as to claim religious discrimination and the otherside is making it about the eruv to do the same. Neither wants to admit that the eruv is not the real issue here. That would be too open and “real”.

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      1. Embrace the fact that the issue is about both the eruv and the extremist cult(not the good Jewish people) that leaves devastation in their wake. Maybe the latter is more concerning, but both are issues.

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      2. Again your proving my point that the eruv is an issue. Enough said, let’s just live in peace brother.

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  6. Are you kidding, the first paragraph:
    “An eruv ([ʔeˈʁuv]; Hebrew: עירוב, “mixture”), also transliterated as eiruv or erub, plural: eruvin [ʔeʁuˈvin]) is a ritual enclosure that permits Jewish residents or visitors to carry certain objects outside their own homes on Sabbath and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). An eruv accomplishes this by integrating a number of private and public properties into one larger private domain, thereby countermanding restrictions on carrying objects from the private to the public domain on Sabbath and holidays”
    I can only read this as, my property is now part of a larger private domain whose purpose is to countermand religious restrictions.

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    1. As some may say, OY!
      I just said that you cant decide you understand what an eruv is by reading the wiki on it. You actually have to learn the Tractate Eruvin from the talmud. Learn the biblical sources the talmud discusses. Then learn the contemporary poskim’s view on the eruv. Not just a wiki that says my land is part of the a domain etc.
      Do you think some jewish people will knock on your door and say “Hey this is now our land, please get out”?

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  7. As a secular Jew, and yes, there are MILLIONS of us, what Mahwahians are concerned about has NOTHING to do with Judaism.
    Welfare fraud is not Jewish.
    Bribing town officials is not Jewish.
    Defunding public schools is not Jewish.
    Violating zoning laws is not Jewish.
    Rejecting education is not Jewish.
    Avoiding contributing to society is not Jewish.
    In fact, all those above mentioned things are a SHANDE!
    So stop.
    Please stop
    The “race-baiting.”
    It’s baloney.
    For such a thinking yid, you’re not doing so well.
    Don’t think so much.

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    1. Please don’t insult anyone, with personal insults, on this site. The Thinking Yid does not endorse welfare fraud, or anything of the sort. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I moved to Lakewood 35 years ago
    The place is completely unrecognizable today.
    What I would recommend any orthodox to a new town is. Just show you are good decent people for 5 years. Show that you won’t hurt property values. Show that you won’t hurt the public schools .And only then ask nicely if you can build an eruv
    Don’t come in and right away shove your demands down everyone’s throats
    I grew up on a small town on long island without an eruv. I survived. The shul survived. The yeshiva survivec.
    Don’t needlessly antagonize the indigenous population

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