“I Do Not Certify or Endorse the Eruv”

Rabbi Elkanah Schwartz, the Rov of Congregation Kol Israel, clarified his stance regarding the new Eruv dubbed “The Greater Crown Height Eruv” that was purportedly under his auspices.

Following our breaking story about the new Eruv, which encompasses most of Crown Heights, hundreds expressed their opinions regarding it. Many expressing strong opposition and others in support.

In a handwritten letter released a short while ago Rabbi Schwartz writes “I am not certifying or endorsing the Eruv in Crown Heights.” This is in stark contrast to earlier reports that the Eruv is indeed under his auspices.

When reached by phone he explained to CrownHeights.info that the Eruv project was initiated by my Shuls board of trustees who sought to expand their existing Eruv. They asked him for his certification but since he does not know enough about Eiruvim he told them to hire someone that is well versed in the Halachos.

“They has suggested a particular Rabbi and after I researched his credentials I informed [the board of trustees] that he would be an acceptable choice for building the Eruv, but I personally do not certify it, I rely on his certification based on his expertise” he said.

Rabbi Schwartz elaborated and said that he was contacted by individual members of the Beis Din, including Rabbi Avrohom Osdoba and Rabbi Shlomo Segal, then by Rabbis Yacov Schwei and Yosef Braun who were seeking clarification. “I told them the same thing, that I do not certify the Eruv only the expert that built it.”

An earlier letter circulating on WhatsApp, purportedly from Rabbi Schwartz, said that he withdrew his support from the eruv and that it would be removed. He staunchly denied writing this letter.

“Is the Eruv acceptable for use? That would be up to the individuals to seek guidance from their rabbis” he concluded.

schwartz-eruv-letter

38 Comments

  • 1. Shpitz wrote:

    There’s an Eruv. Get over it.
    The expert rabbi gave the go ahead but wouldn’t put it on paper due to reprisals.

    • 2. Achdus wrote:

      Call it whatever you want. But I challenge you to find one Halachic authority in the world that will say that one can rely on and carry on Shabbos, when ALL local Rabbonim forbid it.

    • 3. Milhouse wrote:

      1. All the local Rabbonim do not forbid it. Rabbi Schwartz absolutely does permit it, relying on the expert he selected. He affirms that this person is an expert and that his hashgacha is reliable.

      2. Why don’t you cite one halachic authority, anywhere in the world, that says an eruv’s kashrus depends on the local rabbonim’s approval? Where is this written? As far as I know you are simply making up a halacha that does not exist, and that is a serious issur. If the eruv is kosher, and an expert says that it is, then it’s kosher, and it makes no difference how many rabbonim it upsets.

    • 4. Achdus wrote:

      1. R’ Schwartz is not local Crown Heights Rov.

      2. Rather than claiming that I am transgressing a serious issur, go and ask any Halachic authority, including the expert that was involved in its construction, if one can rely on it in a case where ALL LOCAL Halachic authorities disapprove.

  • 6. Milhouse wrote:

    Nu, who thought he was the rov hamachshir? He’s not an expert in hilchos eruvin, and the long-standing CKI eruv was also not under his hechsher. The Park Slope eruv is also not under Rabbi Hecht’s hechsher, but under that of a recognised expert in hilchos eruvin. I don’t know whom CKI brought in to make this eruv, but Rabbi Schwartz says he’s an expert, so what grounds does anyone have to doubt it? I’d like to know who he is, though.

    • 7. That is partially the point! wrote:

      This “expert” is not named.

      BUT…. an Eruv in CH was EXPRESSLY against the Rebbe’s directives, because of HALACHIC problems. If any of you are mumcha in Eruvim, please come forward and state every source, include Shulchan aruch Ha’Rav, toshow how THIS Eruv is Kosher. At the same time, let the “expert” man up as well.

  • 8. Truman wrote:

    A well crafted statement that reminds me of an old Yiddish saying, namely, a half-truth is a complete lie.

  • 9. Avrohom Yakov wrote:

    Very strange. people are complaining about the divisiveness and fighting of our Rabbis. Yet they all AGREE that the eruv should NOT be used.

    Rabbi Heller has also come out publicly very strongly against it.

    So on one side we have someone who is afraid to reveal his name (if he exists at all). On the other side we have ALL four Rabbonim in the shechuna against it.

    Those who carry are simply like those who choose to dress not tzniusly and do other sorts of things better not mentioned.

    In other words they are porkiei ol. They refuse to accept the yoke of G-d.

    • 10. Simple solution wrote:

      Tznius is not even close to being mechalel shabbos b farhesia. This could affect many people, ruin their reputations and their children’s..

    • 11. CHLEAKS wrote:

      “Those who carry are simply like those who choose to dress not tzniusly and do other sorts of things better not mentioned.”

      Yep, now we get to see more of this (non) dress on Shabbat on Kingston Ave…who knew…these holy woman want to go to shul.

  • 13. Simple solution wrote:

    Since this eruv was put up on public property by people from another area, the community can make a case to the city to take it down since it is a public eyesore without any halachic effectiveness (since no rabbi will come out to endorse it)

    • 14. Milhouse wrote:

      1. Its halachic effectiveness does not depend on the approval of Crown Heights’s rabbonim. Rabbi Schwartz testifies that it is endorsed by a mumcheh in the subject, and halachically that is enough.

      2. Mesirah to the city would be a serious issur, and would disqualify anything the mosser has to say.

      3. Why should the city care whether the Crown Heights community likes it or not? The Kol Israel community likes it, and that should be enough. What makes your community’s wants and needs more important than theirs? It doesn’t bother anyone, and it helps them. Arguments that an eruv is an eyesore have been rejected by every court that has ever examined them, because they’re patently false.

      4. If the eyesore argument were accepted, this would cause problems for all the other eruvin in the city, chas vesholom. You have no right to do that. You would be metzer es horabbim, and every Jew in the city who uses an eruv would have the right to stop you.

    • 15. Simple solution wrote:

      It is not their community so they have no right to put something up there
      Poresh min hatzibur is a pretty big deal. Yes, even if it may be technically ok, you can’t go against the local rabbonim

  • 17. There is NO EIRUV!!! wrote:

    All agree that to put up an eiruv, it extremely complex!
    For the time being, no Rabbinic authority, with experties in Eiruvim indorced it or certified it.
    Therefore, there is no Halachik eiruv!
    If you decide to carry on shabbos, then you have just carried in a public domain.

    • 18. Milhouse wrote:

      Wrong. Rabbi Schwartz says that an expert in eruvin certifies it. Tell me, please, which of the rabbonim who oppose it is an expert in eruvin? As far as I know, none of the Crown Heights rabbonim have such expertise, and therefore their opposition is irrelevant.

      Beside which, even if the eruv were not kosher, it would certainly make the area a karmelis. So how can you accuse anyone of carrying in a reshus horabim?

  • 19. Dovid wrote:

    To #5
    Do realize that you sound like the the anti-Semites of yesteryear who would make the Yidden take down their eruvin. Don’t forget the next thing to go would be our public menoras. Please think before you spew such stupidity.

    • 20. Ezra wrote:

      I agree that we shouldn’t be getting non-Jews involved in our internal disputes; nothing good ever comes of that (as in the machlokes that led to the burning of the Rambam’s books and later of the Talmud). But in fairness to commenter #5, there is a difference between an eruv that has no halachic effectiveness and one that does.

    • 21. Simple solution wrote:

      It is not an eruv, just a bunch of stuff without any halachic significance according to every rav in the community

    • 22. Simple solution wrote:

      Obviously, only beis din should decide if it is ok to ask them or not. I do not want to see the alternative, which is that all kinds of people will just go out and try to take it down themselves. Better to have it taken down officially and put an end to all this drama

  • 23. Dovid wrote:

    If an eruv it is effective according to some poskim there is no such a thing as the eruv not having any halachic effectiveness.

    • 24. Simple solution wrote:

      Yes but in this case there are no poskim who endorse it. It is not like boro park, where some are ok with the eruv

  • 26. Fresserrebbe@gmail.com wrote:

    The uniqueness of the Crown Heights Bais Din is, that it is NOT a Lubavitch Bais Din, we all remember that when the election process began in the mid mems it was made very clear that all that are Shomer Torah and Mitzvahs were eligible to vote, not exclusively CHABAD Chasidim, so at this point no other Ra Bonim have any right to come into this Community and deside matters that will pertain to this Community, CHABAD or not.

    • 27. Milhouse wrote:

      Says who? What is the basis of your claims

      1. That the local rabbonim’s permission is required for a local eruv

      2. That Kol Israel, which is not in Crown Heights and whose members have never had any connection to the CHBD, must keep its eruv out of CH? Where is it written how big a community may make its eruv? If they decided to include the whole Brooklyn, do you imagine anyone would have the right to object?! Where did you see such a thing?

    • 28. Mendel wrote:

      To: Milhouse

      Please explain your comment “The Kol Israel community likes it”

      No one is stopping them from their community… what benefit do they have from extending it to the greater crown heights? Into a community where the majority, including ALL it’s Rabbi’s don’t “like it”

    • 29. Ali, wrote:

      NO WAY!!!! This is the Rebbe’s shechuna!!!!
      Period.
      The reading ALL the rabonim ( finally ) agree on the issue is because the, Rebbe said NO IS NO.

  • 30. Levi Reiter writes: wrote:

    I am surprised and alarmed that in the 15 posts published at the time of this comment, no one has mentioned the “key” point. That is, that this is the “Rebbe’s Schuna”, and how dare we rebel against the Rebbe’s directives re: an eiruv in CH.

    The Rebbe’s Mazkir wrote sharply that the Rebbe fiercely opposed bulding an eiruv in CH. That’s good enough for me, and should be for everyone who holds by the Rebbe’s holy words.

    If you doubt the veracity of the Maszkir’s words, then you undoubtedly have doubts about all of the Rebbe’s Brochas that were transmitted to you by the Mazkir.

    Enough said.

  • 33. Larry wrote:

    In smaller towns they check it an hour or two before Shabbos and they have a way to notify everyone if there is an issue with it. If this case in Crown Heights if there is an issue with it some city worker was fixing a poll did not know what the wire is the cuts it how will they notify everybody that there’s an issue with it.

  • 34. DeClasse' Intellectual wrote:

    This issue is like a whirlpool or in contemporary tersm “like the endless windmills of the mind!”

  • 35. RABBI HELLER SPEAKS. wrote:

    Someone posted in another group

    Rabbi Heller just addressed the eiruv issue in kolel and asked to share his words.

    The following was written up by one of the people in attendance.

    1. Eiruvin is from the three most difficult sugiyos in halacha. To make an eiruv in a city (which is a different ballgame than a bungalow colony etc). Is extremely complicated, there are only יחידים in our dor that know how to do it properly. It’s like a heart surgery, you cant just be a regular dr. you have to be a regular dr plus specialize in hearts… He said its actually harder than a heart surgery. So until there is a name of the rav who is doing it there is nothing to talk about.

    2. There needs to be a name of who is going to check it each and every week.

    3. -it is not possible al pi halacha to make an eiruv in ch. Period. He said in bp. there is a machlokes between the rabonim there if it’s allowed. Over here it is not arguable. He’d like to find a מורה הוראה that will say it’s possible to make one here. Eastern parkway is א רשות הרבים דאורייתא. Without getting into the alter rebbe etc.

    …. Messing with shabbos is very dangerous. Messing with the rebbe and alter Rebbe in these daled amos is very dangerous. Explain this to ppl and a lot of ppl will accept it.

  • 36. Sholom Dovber Cohen wrote:

    The mystery rabbi may come forward, he probably will.
    If you ask Rabbi Hecht in Park Slope he will tell you the Rav who erected and supervises the eruv in his community.
    there will be no secrecy.
    The eruv purporting to cover Crown Heights definitely is not erected in accordance with the Shita of the Alter Rebbe and was constructed without the permission and against the Psak of all the members of the CHBD.

  • 37. Rabbi hellers speach wrote:

     

    BH

    This is mostly the entire derosho of rabbi heler

    I am only putting this up, because I saw many put up things, which were not really full and complete.

     

     Part 1: Using an Eruv anywhere

     

    1.

    To explain a concept which needs an explanation for yidin, for chassidishe yidin,יראים ושלמים which want to understand the proper thing. Not only to do the right thing, but to understand this right thing.

    If we would understand it, then we may also be able to explain it to other yidin also.

    2.

    Many yungerlait ask: they are going away to this or that place for Shabbos, over there exists an eruv, may he carry there? Or may he not carry? Does lubavitch hold of an eruv or does not use an eruv? And if I may not, may my wife or kids carry within it? May I ask a goy to use it for me?

    3.

    An eruv was made by the chazal. Someone who does not hold of an eruv is an apikores. There is no such a thing, that one does not hold of an eruv. Rather one says: that he does not hold of this or that specific eruv.

    4.

    Only very few people know how to make an eruv properly in a city. One has to be a very very big expert. It is harder than making a heart surgery. To make a heart surgery, one needs to be a special expert, a regular doctor cannot make it.

    There singular individuals in this generation that know how to make an eruv in a city. Singular people. Yechidim. (eruvin is one of the hardest mesechtes). One has to be a very very big expert to make an eruv.

    5.

    One has to know who made the eruv

    “men hot gemacht” “IT WAS MADE”

    The first thing I answer to a yungerman who is traveling to a place:

    First you have to know if there is even an Eruv. Before you ask if you may carry, you have to know who made it: a name and an address.

    This is not enough (If one made an Eruv ten years ago): who is MAshgiach today, every shabbos on the eruv?

    An eruv breaks: one builds a road, a goy can break it, or the eruv rips on its own. There has to be the same type of expert who is responsible and achro’I on the eruv every week.

    So we need to know two things: who built the eruv, and who is the responsible for the eruv.

    6.

    The same thing is in regards to a mikvo.

    In order to build a mikvo, one has to be able to be a בעל הוראה.  

    And it is not enough, that this or that person built the mikvo ten years ago, one has to know who is responsible for the mikvo today.

    7.

    Someone told me a story:

    He went to a mikvo in a  city in Italy, and saw that there was no rainwater. So he asks the rabbis of the city: what is going on here?

    So the rabbi answers: what do you mean the great rabbi, reb avrohom sofer (the one who printed the Mei’iri) built this mikvo. 

    Very nice, then there was rainwater, today there is no rainwater, the rainwater was let out.

     

    One has to know who is mashgiach on the mikvo as of today.

    8.

    Afterwards one has to ask the person who is a בר סמכא  who made the eruv, and is responsible for the eruv: tell me, what type of eruv did you make? Did you make an eruv which is kosher lemehadrin min hamehadrin, without any questions?

    Did you make an eruv which is only good in extraneous cases (sha’as hadechak)? Is this eruv, kosher be’sha;as hadechak,bhefsad meruba l’tzorech orchim For erev Shabbos ?

    One type of eruv was made here?

    9

    In Toronto there is an eruv. It was made by a godol betorah a yid by the name of shlomo miller.

    I (,yself asked R. Sholomo Miller about an eruv he made and he told me it is one of the most best (sheinste) Eruvin in America, but Bnei Tora hshouldn’t use it. Bnei Torah means those who are Mehadare B’mitzvos.

    He made the eruv, and by him it is poshut, that a mehader should not use the eruv.

    10.

    After one knows who made it, and who is responsible, and that it is an eruv that is kosher for mehadrin according to all shitois and specifically according to the alter rebbe, then in such a case one may carry.

    There is also a personal chumra that some individual chasidim have not to use an eruv if it was made with strings (it depends how it is made: there are those that are made with metal. However if it was made with strings), they were חושש that maybe the ruv might rip on Shabbos.

     

     even if it was mehadrim min hamehadrim, because if it is made with strings it may have broken etc.

     But this is just a chumra of individuals.

     (This wouldn’t apply in a bungalow where you can always see the whole time if it broke or not, however in a  big city.).

    This was a personal chumro for those that were choishesh.

     

    Part 2: The Eruv in Crown Heights

     

     

     

    1.

    They say that an eruv was made here (in crown heights).

    To explain the idea, I want to be makpid:

     

    One time someone had a kid and didn’t make a pidyon haben. When he was asked why he didn’t make a pidyon haben he answered that there are 3 reasons why he didn’t. 1) My wife is a bas levi. 2) There was a miscarriage before and 3) the baby is a girl.

     

     It’s understood that the first two factors are moot when the third factor is present.

    2.

     

    So too about the Eruv here in Crown Heights. There are 3 problems with it.

     

    1)     No one knows who made it.

    People speak, yungelait made it, people made it….

     

     If someone (mister …) came from  new jersey, and opened up a butcher shop and we had no idea who the schochtim, mashgiach, rav hamachshir, menakrim, bodkim etc. are no one would think of eating from the meat.

     

    So too the Eruv in crown heights, not one person knows who actually made the Eruv and who is responsible for its building

    .

     

    2)      Even if we would know who built the eruv, however There is no one taking responsibility for the continued kashrus of the Eruv after it was built. It could be that by the next shabbos it was broken, by bochurim, by…, by weather etc. maybe they built something there, maybe a big truck had to go through, and they took down the eruv?

     

    This is the second reason:

    The third reason is:

     

    3)     You can’t make an Eruv in crown Heights. You can’t period.

    It is a Reshus harabim de’oiraiso.

     

     Eastern Parkway and Empire Blvd is mufulash and open.

    Over here, one cannot make an eruv.

     

    3.

     

    It is not like Borugh Park. Over there big Rabbonim made the eruv, and there is a makhlokes if you can make an Eruv or not. Big Rabonim say you could make an Eruv there and other . there was always a machlokes.

    One knows who are the rabbonim for every side. We knows names of big rabbonim who made, and we know of those who argue with it.

     

    . However, there is not one reliable Rov who says that is possible to make an Eruv in Crown Heights. There is not one rov, who has   עפעס וואס א שייכות toהוראה who says that it is even possible in metzius to make an eruv here.

    4.

    Therefore there is bichlal no eruv here.

     

    One should explain to the people, that there is no eruv.

     

     

    The Eruv is not posul, there is no eruv. The same way A Mikve without rain water is not a posule Mikve, it is not a Mikve in the first place. It may be a beautiful mikvo, a boir with a shower, and all good things, but it is missing rain water. It is not posul, rather it is not even a mikvo. The eruv is not posul, rather it is “gornishit mit gornisht”. this has to be explained to people.

     

    5.

    And even if one will teach himself how to make an eruv: he will take lessons,  learn how to make an eruv and his parnosso is: that he is travelling all over America making eruvin: it does not work.

     

    A heart surgeon can’t just start and learn about making a surgery on the heart. he has to first be a general doctor, and he first has to learn about all the limbs and how the body works, and only then when he knows it well,  can he become a specialist in this field.

    An am ho’oretz gomur who taught hiself how to make an eruv or mikvo? It can’t be, it can’t be such a thing.

    A mikvo has to be made by a בעל הוראה, not  by a choshuve askan who taught himself how to make a mikvo. We have to give him kovoid, because he is a choshuve askan, and all such things.

     

    However if he is not a בעל הוראה and he does not learn גמ’ מיט תוס’ מיט מלחמות און בעל המאור , and this is  not his inyan, which he learns his whole life, then he has no שייכות  to making a mikvo. And one cant ask him sha’alois, or rely on his to be responsible for a mikvo.

     

     

    6.

    Even if he was in Yeshiva the best bochur,  but hasn’t learned anything in 30 years, he cannot be relied upon. Having learned once upon a time is not enough.

     

    With regards to the defense policy in Eretz Yisroel the Rebbe said that you have to ask those in the army. The Rebbe was answered that the politicians were once in the Army. The Rebbe said that those politicians are not currently in the army, but are in politics and therefore mix politics into to everything so you can’t rely on their opinion about defense.

    If he is someone who learnt once upon a time, but today he sits and involves himself only in building eruvin, is gornisht and is not שייך to this.

     

    7.

    Even if one would say he learns. But here we are talking about a case: where a guy without a name made it, and a guy without a name is responsible for it, and everybody admits that one can’t make an eruv here.

     

    Not one reliable person (Bar Samcha) has said that you are able to make an eruv in Crown Heights.

     

    Even if there would be a machlookes, and one reliable person who said it is possible and another reliable person who said you may not, it would still be a sofek dorisa of chilul Shabbos.

     

     In actuality there isn’t even one reliable person who said it is doable. (ed. Note :And this was repeated).

     But even if there was, and another disagreed (it was half and half and not aרוב and מיעוט), even in such a case it is a sofeik de;oiraiso.

     So how can one carry? How can one carry?

     This is  aside from the fact, that this is going against the alter rebbe, and this is going against the rebbe. All this together.

    This is a very very dangerous thing.

    8.

    I think, that if one explains this to people who … I think that good amount will accept this.

    It depends how this is explained.

     

     

    Part 3: Our obligation in the current situation:

     

    1.

    If one goes in the street and sees someone carrying one Shabbos, and one does not say anything, is he  giving them his hoskoma. one must say something. One must not let it go, that is called giving it a haskomo.

     It should be bdarchei noam uvdarchei sholom, but you must say something. One has to make it clear to the עולם.

    2.

     

    Someone who was educated here, someone grew up here and was educated here …

     

    If someone who grew up somewhere else and yesterday he came here from the ,ערי חושך, and doesn’t know anything about rabonim etc. he is a poshite person and hears there is an eruv here and carries, he is considered a Mechale Shabbos Bshogeg.

     

    However, If someone who grew up in our Mosdos, he knows everything, he knows what all the Rabonim say and still uses the Eruv, he is considered a Mechale Shabbos Bmeizid.

     

    ( He probably carried before there was an Eruv also when no one was looking).

    He is a mechalel Shabbos be’meizid.

    I do not want to say, but it is a רחמנות גדול

     

    Of course there is a mitzvo of ahavas yisroel, and one has to be bring him closer and be mekarev him, but it is aרחמנות גדול א גרויסע רחמות מיט אלע גדרים.

    We have to to explain to the oilam what this all is:

     

    The Eruv is non-existent (gor nit mit gor nit).

     

    3.

    When bochur gets married, he has to make sure there are no questions on the ed kidushin, if he is called a mechalel Shabbos or he is not called a mechalel shabbos.

     

    When someone goes to eat in a restaurant or from another’s house he has to make sure the bread is considered pas yisroel, and the wine isn’t considered yayin nesach.

     

    He has to make sure to be mevarer this, so there is no shaalo, it should not be that the guy is cholilo a meizid.

     

    4.

     

    I hope there aren’t such people, one has to be very much carefull in such things. This is a very serious matter. Cholilo if one plays with the Shabbos!

     

    There are enough other things that have been played with, but now are we going to play with the Shabbos?

     

    This is a great danger if one plays with the Shabbos.

     

    To play with the Alter Rebbe and the Rebbe in his daled amos is a gread pachad, a great pachad.

    We have to see that one person makes it clear to the other, and explain this to the people bdarchei noam vdarchei sholom.

     

    Hashem should help that there should be Sholom Al Yisroel.

  • 38. gedaliah wrote:

    Averous! This cannot stand! We must #RepealAndReplaceCrownHeightsEruv with a common sense solution accepted by all Yidden.

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