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Crown Heights Eruv Feud Gets Its Dr. Seuss Moment

A tense religious dispute between Orthodox Jews in Crown Heights over a new eruv is now getting it’s first literary treatment — as a Dr. Seuss-style poem.

From The Forward:

“Red eruv, blue eruv, tall, eruv, no eruv,” the poem is called, penned by “Rabbi Dr. Who,” and is largely a call for peace.

“What good is it — this tit for tat, to ridicule a Yid like that?” the poem reads. “Just give a kush, I’ll hug you back.”

The 14-stanza illustrated poem is a creation of two Crown Heights Lubavitchers, Moshe Kravitsky, the writer, and Shmuli Evers, the illustrator. It amounts to a literary commentary on the still-brewing controversy around a disputed ritual boundary in the neighborhood.

Eruvs are wires that allow Orthodox Jews to carry goods on the Sabbath. The one in Crown Heights is controversial because Modern Orthodox Jews created it but many Lubavitcher rabbis oppose it.

Click here to continue reading at The Forward.

The full poem, composed by Moshe Kravitsky, reads as follows:

I would not carry in the street
I would not carry a treat to eat
I would not lift my son up High
I would not yell out “Look, He’s Fry”

I do not wish to start a fight
I do not wish to say I’m right
I do not wish to act in spite
I wish to lift our Yiddishkeit

What good is it to point and blame
To watch the Heights rise up in flames
No matter who you wish to shame
I will not play this little game

Of course there is a right and wrong
And yes I know you’ve heard the song
The one Rabbonim all along
Have sung to keep us “Chossid-Strong”

But I want this and you want that
What good is it — this tit for tat
To ridicule a Yid like that
Just give a kush
I’ll hug you back

It is the kids I fear today
Will get confused from all we say
For even once we walk away
The hatred in their mind will stay

It tears us up, these hatred seeds
And suddenly, the garden’s weeds
The flowers welt in moments like these
Remember my friends
We are G-D’s Needs

The Monsey Rov that boasts “YOU SHOULD!”
Has sadly added firewood
To live so far and preach “it’s good”
to paskan on OUR neighborhood?

Oh me oh my – the Monsey Rov
Though I believe he meant with love
This test that came from up above
Will try to turn our push to shove

Dear Rebbe how we long for You
To smile and show us what to do
With just one wave of just one arm
To lift us up away from harm

My brother hear me – here and now
Stay Chossid-strong and chossid-proud
And let the world look up not down
The highest Heights – the brightest Crown

U’vacharta B’chaim Please choose the sweet
I would not carry in the street
But not because YOU’RE not elite
It’s cause the Rebbe made concrete

A Crown Heights Eruv no matter how neat
Will only confuse – and breed deceit

But gollus is hard, it tires my feet
The streets are dark — so dark the streets
Please take my hand, two hearts one beat
Geulah THIS way, and gollus COMPLETE

Artwork design by the masterful Shmuli Evers.

22 Comments

  • 1. Cute! wrote:

    Why keep this fight up anyway
    When Moshiach will come today?
    Learn the laws of the Bais Habechirah
    Because Moshiach is nearer and nearer.

    Reply
  • 2. The Rebbe wrote:

    You bound my tongue
    Paralyzed my right
    But of what’s Left
    I will Protest
    To Live
    To breath
    For I Believe

    -1993

    Reply
  • 4. Kfira alert wrote:

    Remember my friends
    We are G-D’s Needs

    This is manis friedman kfira.
    it is no secret that the author works for the friedman’s

    Gd has no needs. That’s basic Judaism

    Reply
    • 5. Anonymous wrote:

      I think it’s pathetic that you make R Manis Friedman your enemy.
      Like Really?!

    • 6. Milhouse wrote:

      Really? What about the Baal Shem Tov’s interpretation of ואתה קדוש יושב תהלות ישראל?

    • 7. Oshinka K wrote:

      אמר רבי יוחנן: הרשעים מתקיימין על אלהיהם. ופרעה חולם והוא עומד על היאור, אבל הצדיקים אלהיהם מתקיים עליהם. (בראשית כח) והנה ה’ נצב עליו
      Bereishis Raba 9-4

    • 8. Ve'ata kadosh - according to chassidus wrote:

      Hashem sits on the praise of Israel: The verse states “Veata Kadosh Yoshev Tehilos Yisrael” “And You are Holy, Who sits on the praise of Israel”. What is the meaning of this verse? The explanation is as follows: Hashem, Or Ein Sof, is infinitely distanced from having any relation with the physical and spiritual worlds. The worlds are limited while Hashem is infinite. [It is similar to the ratio of any number to an infinite number.] Thus from the level of Or Ein Sof Hashem does not interact with the world at all, as the world is like non-existent. The way Hashem operates the world is through His Shemos, His Divine names, which are also His attributes or Sefiros. It is the attributes of Hashem that create the worlds and bring it all of its blessings. Now, the revelation of these attributes that manage the world is not automatic, and is rather dependent on the praise of the Jewish people to Hashem. Praise reveals ones good character: When a person is praised by another, they not only feel good about themselves, but also become naturally motivated to become even better, and perform even more, within the matter that they were praised in. Praise reveals one’s good character and motivates its expression. … Praising Hashem reveals His blessing in the Sefiros: Just as praising a person has the ability to cause the attributes of a person to be revealed, similarly praising Hashem helps draw down Hashem’s attributes to reveal blessing to us in this world. As stated above, Hashem himself is infinitely above and beyond any relation or interaction with this world, or the Sefiros, and hence does not naturally give the world or the Sefiros blessing from this level. How then do we reveal Hashem’s attributes and cause Him to relate to us and give us the blessings that we need? This is through praising Him. When we praise Hashem with a certain attribute we are in essence revealing that attribute within Hashem, and causing Him to give us the Divine blessings that result from that Midah. For example, the praise that arouses Hashem to give us life and existence is the first words of a blessing “Baruch Ata Havayah.” The name Havayah means to give life. We are thus saying “Blessed are you Hashem for giving us life” and this then motivates Hashem to in truth give us life. This then is meaning of the above mentioned verse that “Hashem sits on the praise of Israel”, as naturally Hashem is Kadosh, which means aloof and separate, and in order for Him to sit and relate to us we must praise Him. Thus the sitting of Hashem which represents the Divine blessing that He gives us is a result of the Tehilos Yisrael, the praise of the Jewish people (likutei Torah – Kedoshim)

  • 10. Really nice wrote:

    I definately like this.
    Teach it to all our campers

    The boys should sing it in the street.
    The little girls voices sweet
    Will say “Tatte I don’t need the treat,
    Please don’t make me
    carry in the street”
    Moshiach is coming
    He’s very near
    Even Bilam said it clear.
    So why my Tatty, and Mammy dear
    Do you need to carry here?
    If Moshiach comes today
    I will jump and shout out Yay
    So please don’t carry on Shabbos day
    For that will cause a big delay.
    No. Please don’t carry. No way no how.
    I really want Moshiach now.
    M.Z.

    Reply
  • 11. Poet in pain wrote:

    It is not what we want to see
    A wire hanging ‘cross a tree
    So please listen to this plea
    Tear down this eruv immediately!

    The eruv causes many fights
    Jew versus Jew is not right
    Our enemies are enjoying all this spite
    Why should they have to show their might????

    It’s not about a Shabbos out
    Or taking baby on that route
    The Rebbe’s directives we don’t flout
    That’s not what Chabad is all about

    22 years we are bereft
    Sometimes it seems there’s nothing left
    We can’t implode, we can’t let go
    Our standards we still must show

    What will be left for our kids?
    Old tales of days that are now hid?
    Of Chassidim who gave it all
    To stand so proud, to stand so tall

    Dear neighbours, remember our illustrious past
    Don’t let Chassidus go at last
    The Rebbe still should guide our ways
    He says no eruv, it goes what he says

    I end this poem with a plea
    Don’t let your Chassidus run and flee
    Remember why we are we
    And follow the derech of the Rebbe

    Reply
  • 12. Lior wrote:

    I haven’t been to crown heights in many a year.
    However, I feel, that I too, must make a stir.
    I’ll come next week, with my wife and two keeds and show em all, how wrong they is. (Eees)

    Reply
  • 13. New rule!!! wrote:

    For a new rule, now is the time
    All comments on eruv must be in rhyme!
    After all the animosity for the last while
    Only give your opinion if it’s said with a smile

    Reply
  • 14. Eruv Builder wrote:

    Very cute! Nice to see some the energy generated by this put into a creative and positive direction!

    Reply
  • 15. cholent mit kugel wrote:

    We want moshiach now
    We need an eruv now
    We want moshiach now
    We don’t want to wait!

    Reply
  • 16. luvvvvv wrote:

    ehem u guys all close your mouths!

    The chabad light wants the eiruv but guess what?! You aint gonna get it!
    Moshe Kravitzky we the “normal” chabad groups luv it! Keep on going!

    Reply
  • 19. Lior II wrote:

    To Numbers 4 & 9 –
    Why don’t you all spare us the time?
    Quit being babies and wasting our time.

    Moshiach will only come when we get along.
    Love your fellow lubavitchers from your local, as much as you love, the karkaftas abroad.

    My work here is done.
    Because from here on in, I won’t give a darn.

    Reply
  • 20. Me too wrote:

    I too agree the Eiruv sucks
    I won’t let Moishe bring my socks
    Across the street to Bubby’s house
    because I stepped on a big fat mouse.

    I’ll walk to shul like every week
    with two left shoes on my right feet
    and will not heed the Monsey yid
    who got paid for what he did.

    Reply

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