Rabbi Heller: Crown Heights Eruv Is Reform Judaism

In a follow-up Shiur on the Crown Heights Eruv delivered on Thursday, Rosh Kollel Rabbi Yosef Heller doubled down on his previous comments lambasting the Eruv and those who use it, saying it is akin to Reform Judaism. The Shiur coincided with the release of a Halachic ruling from the Crown Heights Beis Din prohibiting the use of the Eruv.

Understanding Our Position
Notes from a talk in Kollel by Harav Heller Shlita
Transcribed and edited by Rabbi M. Greenberg

In order to make statements about Hilchos Shabbos you must know hilchos shabbos. R. Moshe Feinstein and R. Zalman Shimon Dvorkin knew hilchos Shabbos and they both said it is impossible to make an eruv in big-city neighborhoods such as Crown Heights.

The halacha is that one cannot enclose a Reshus Harabim using a tzuras hapesach (a wire eruv), and it requires actual walls. I would like to explain why I hold that Crown Heights is a Reshus Harabim and therefore a tzuras hapesach eruv cannot permit it.

Many opinions consider a street that is 16 amos wide (24 feet) to be a Reshus Horabim. The Alter Rebbe says (345:11,) that in such a case כל ירא שמים יחמיר לעצמו. For us Chasidim, the Alter Rebbe’s words are enough (the Tzemach Tzedek writes the same in Chidushim on Eiruvin). There are other opinions that there must also be 600,000 people for it to be considered a reshus harabim min hatorah. That exists in Brooklyn. This is the psak of R. Moshe Feinstein and R. Zalman Shimon Dvorkin. Even if you’ll find a contemporary Rabbi who claims otherwise – it is irrelevant. You can always search on the internet and find someone who will give you a heter for anything.

Reb Shlomo Zalman Auerbach who was himself one of greatest geonim of our times said Reb Moshe is in another league completely than all other contemporary poskim. Reb Moshe could finish the entire mesechta Zevachim on a Friday night after the meal. I saw this myself; I was by him a several times.


The Gemara says that R. Yossi Haglili ate chicken with milk. If someone will say that “You don’t have to be more frum than Rabbi Yossi Haglili,” we certainly wouldn’t take him seriously. I am talking only to those who are interesting in doing the right thing.

It doesn’t matter whether it is an issur d’oraisa or an issur midraban. Chicken with milk is also only an issur drabanan and so is the second day of Yom Tov. Also, chometz on Pesach is boteil bshishim mid’oraisa, and the prohibition of intentionally canceling forbidden foods (ein mevatlin issur lechatchila) is also only midrabanan. If someone is only concerned about an issur d’oraisa he can take chometz on Pesach and dip it into his food as long as there is sixty times the amount in his bowl. However, since there are some people who are less concerned of an issur drabanan, I will explain why carrying in Crown Heights touches upon an issur d’oraisa.

If someone were to build a proper tzuras hapesach (wire eruv) around a reshus harabim it is only an issur drabanan to carry there (according to some opinions, while others say that it remains an issur d’orasia – Tzemach Tzedek Chidushim Eiruvin and Shut Divrei Nechemya 23). However, to make a proper tzuras hapesach you must know the halachos of eruvin well and you need to check the eruv properly. You cannot just check from a car, you have to walk by foot around the entire Crown Heights (not a short distance). You have to check every single inch of the way to make sure everything is in place. No one is giving testimony that this was done or by whom.

Even if great poskim would come and say that an eruv can be built, Anash are bound by the psak of Alter Rebbe and the Tzemach Tzedek. It’s not enough to say that the Rebbe said not to build, even though that it’s completely true, because they could answer that they’re not so mekushar to follow every hora’a of the Rebbe.

[One may also not be lenient and ask goy to carry, even in order to make a bris in shul, how much more so for a kiddush or to visit family. For the past 60 years no one ever brought a child to shul for a bris with a goy. (If one has a major need, a Rov may give a heter, but it is necessary to ask. The only situation when you don’t need to ask a Rov is in a case of true Pikuach Nefesh.)]


America is a free country. We aren’t here to fight a war against anyone else. I am speaking for a Lubavitcher chossid who wants to do the right thing. I hope this is not actually applicable, and no one will ever actually carry, but I must mention it.

If you see someone carrying and you don’t say something, your children may draw the following conclusion: There are fine Jews who put on the Rabeinu Tam Tefilin and there are other fine Jews who don’t. There are some Jews who daven nusach ari and there are Jews who daven a different nusach. And likewise: There are fine Jews – even Lubavitcher chassidim – who carry, and there are fine Jews who don’t. Not only will your children make this mistake, but you may also begin to think this way over time.

If you see someone pushing a stroller you can’t say anything because maybe she has a heter to take her child to doctor or something. But if you see someone carrying a chulent, you should say something.

If someone does toifer or koreia on Shabbos he is desecrating Shabbos – either knowingly or mistakenly. However, if he uses the eruv he is making a pirtza (breach) in the observance of Shabbos. He is opening a massive dam for an entire sea of Chilul Shabbos to come rushing through. This doesn’t only affect him, but it affects us as well. Therefore, if you see someone carrying you should say something out of ahavad Yisroel, and for your own sake so that your children won’t think that it is an acceptable minhag.

This is true even if that person claims he has his own “Rabbi”.  This is like saying that there is the opinion of the Chasam Sofer, but Rabbi Micky from Flatbush also has his opinion. There is a Young Israel Rabbi that argues with Rabbi Akiva Eiger. Someone from Reform Temple Imanuel disagrees with Reb Moshe Feinstein. This is not a valid argument. They are not qualified to argue with Reb Moshe and Reb Zalmen Shimon Dvorkin. Someone who learned in Yeshiva and says otherwise and carries is considered a mechalel Shabbos b’meizid. If someone only recently converted to Judaism or became frum then we can be melamed zechus and say he is a mechalel Shabbos only bshogeg.

If a gabbai allows people to carry for kiddushim or bring strollers to shul you may not daven in such a shul. You should quietly find another shul to daven in. If you are at a simcha and see that a goy brings something on Shabbos you must leave immediately. A shul which uses food that was brought on Shabbos, even by a goy, has no chezkas kashrus, and you cannot eat the food.


The Gemara says that all leitzanus is forbidden except the leitzanus of avoda zara. The reason that it is permitted to make fun of avoda zara is that since avoda zara doesn’t make logical sense you can’t fight it with logic. You can’t fight foolishness with intellect. The eruv of crown heights isn’t even on the level of leitzanus. Avoda zara is at least possible to misconstrue as real. An eruv which no reliable person has confirmed has no basis in reality. We must make it clear that carrying on Shabbos in Crown Heights is not a valid position according to Torah. Rather it is the same thing as Reform, the Tzedukim, Baitusim, and so on. If this isn’t clear who knows where it will end up.

I am talking for myself and my children. I want to be an “old-fashioned” Lubavitcher, in the ways of the Rebbeim and the Baal Shem Tov.


Translation of a Halachic Ruling Released by the Crown Heights Beis Din
Free Translation (original Hebrew below)

Notice and Warning

Sivan 5776

To all residents and guests of Crown Heights,

In this community there is no kosher eruv. It is therefore forbidden for anyone to carry outdoors, both on Shabbos and Yom Kippur as the Torah instructs.

This matter has already been ruled by the rov and mara d’asra of Crown Heights, Harav Zalman Shimon Dvorkin a”h, in a clear psak from Kislev 5739, along with other poskim of America and Canada, prominent among them Harav Moshe Feinstein a”h, that is forbidden and not possible to set up an eruv in this city according to halacha.

Recently, it has been publicized by some unscrupulous individuals that an eruv had been constructed by reliable people. We are hereby notifying the public that after investigating the matter we have found that there is no basis to their words, and all the rabbonim and eruv builders whose names had been publicized all testified that they did not participate in this act of chilul Shabbos.

We are certain that no Rov from any other city will not touch our domain (as explained in Shailos U’Teshuvos Igros Moshe 2 siman 39), and will not aid an act against the Torah, and against the psak of the rabbonim of the community.

Anyone who does anything in this matter is acting against halacha, against the explicit opinion of the Rebbe, and against the psak of the local rabbonim, and he knowingly causes anyone who does carry in the public domain to be a Mechalel Shabbos B’Farhesia, R”L.


[Harav] Avraham Osdoba                [Harav] Shlomo Yehuda Halevi Segal


8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1


  • 1. Thank you for postin! wrote:

    Crownheights.info has much more guts than colive, and has a much better finger on the pulse. kol hakavod!

    • 4. Milhouse wrote:

      Why would it be a joke? In what way is he less than any of them?

    • 5. Dovid wrote:

      Rabbi Gavriel Zinner said the CH eruv is according to alter rebbe….

      Rabbi Zinner is the biggest baki on this subject today!

  • 6. Levi Rapoport wrote:

    “We are certain that no Rov from any other city will not touch our domain”: This statement should have been left out. It sadly causes people to disregard the letter as political.

    • 7. Some Jew wrote:

      Nothing new to add. This rabbi is as extreme it comes. Hope no physical harm comes from his statements. His kolel his already churned out men who roughed up women on Kingston avenue for not dressing tznius.

      Does this rabbi represent the Chabad way?

    • 8. CR wrote:

      No, that statement is quite relevant. If the Rov of Podunk says a certain fat is Shuman and not Cheilev in his city then the Rov of Yehupitz has no business telling the residents of Podunk they are Chayav Kareis if they eat it.

    • 9. Yitzchok wrote:

      In the original letter in Loshon Hakodesh, it brings a source to that statement from Igros Moshe.

    • 10. Chaim Hershkop wrote:

      Its NOT political!!! Those pro this thing are saying its political as an excuse to disregard any opposition. This tactic is used in many other issue to distract the public.

      The fact is that I and almost everyone posed to this, don’t have any political agenda.

      Our only Agenda:
      We are fathers and husbands, we get up in the morning and go to work. We are doing (I would hope) our best to raise frum and Chassdic (may we merit) families.

    • 11. Milhouse wrote:

      ” In the original letter in Loshon Hakodesh, it brings a source to that statement from Igros Moshe.”

      Did you look up the source? It says nothing of the kind. Obviously a typo of some sort, but if they can’t get even something that simple right, then it destroys their credibility on anything more important.

      In any case, a rov who holds that something is shuman publishes his opinion for anyone who chooses to follow it. He’s not paskening for this individual or that one, so it’s nonsense to say that he can’t pasken “for” people in the other community. If people in the other community choose to follow his psak instead of their own rov’s, that’s an issue between them and their rov.

    • 13. Kovod Horabonim. wrote:

      What gives you the CHUTZPA to say what should be or should not be on a letter written by an elected Rav who is highly endorsed by our Rebbe?!

      You may have good means, however a comment of such does not help build Yiddeshkait in any way. If anything the opposite-c”v.
      Whishin you a refuah Shelaima begu”r.

    • 14. CR wrote:

      “If people in the other community choose to follow his psak instead of their own rov’s, that’s an issue between them and their rov.”

      Sir, WADR, that is farkrumte am-haaratzus. The people of Podunk who follow the na’utzedike pritzus of the Yehupitzer are violating a Torah command of “do not turn away, neither right nor left”, an issur missa. And the Yehupitzer, in going against an established psak of a presiding Rov or Beis Din, is a Zokein Mameir.

    • 15. Milhouse wrote:

      CR, the Crown Heights Beis Din (either one) is not the sanhedrin, and nobody is obliged to obey it. Rabbi Schwartz is a rabbi equal to them, is not under their authority in any way, and has the right to do as he wishes. It is a chutzpah for you to claim that your rabbis can tell him what to do.

    • 16. CR wrote:

      R. Schwartz, WADR, is a johnny-come-lately attempting to overturn a long-standing established psak din in CH of no eiruvim. He does not even live in the neighborhood over which he arrogates to preside!


      “Every Saturday morning, around 8:45, Rabbi Elkanah Schwartz leaves his house in the Hasidic Brooklyn neighborhood of Boro Park for what has become a three-hour trek to shul. Almost 6 feet tall and broad-shouldered, with gray wisps of hair poking out from under his black hat, Schwartz heads north, past Hasidic homes, synagogues and yeshivas, until the Hebrew lettering gives way to the South Asian mosques and Bengali groceries of Kensington.

      “Schwartz is 73, and for more than 20 years he has been making the eight-mile round trip on foot. He walks slowly and with a slight limp, every once in a while standing still to rest his feet as New York’s multiethnic mix rushes by. His destination is Congregation Kol Israel, the only Orthodox synagogue in a predominantly black area.”

      If that is an “equal” in your book my response is “take your Thorazine.” The only chutzpah is those of R. Schwartz and his minions, like yourself, who are on a mission to be “okeir”.

    • 17. Milhouse wrote:

      Johnny-come-lately?! He’s been the rabbi of CKI for about 30 years! (Not that it would make any difference if he’d been a recent arrival, but how dare you call him that?) He is the equal of any rabbi in Crown Heights, and is entitled to equal respect. When he says that he hired an expert in hilchos eruvin to make his community’s eruv, how dare you call him a liar, or doubt his ability to choose one?

      What difference does it make where he lives? How is that relevant? All that matters is that he is the rov of Kol Israel, which is entitled to make an eruv.

  • 19. Baffled wrote:

    How then do all major big cities in the world have An Eiruv?
    And all endorsed by Erliche Chassidishe Rabbonim?

    • 20. Chaim Hershkop wrote:

      Good question!! Now go do some research, get to the bottom of it yourself. Please share your findings with us all.

    • 21. No connection wrote:

      There are lots of details to an eiruv. Other cities Eiruv Rabbis have said that they couldn’t do it in CH. Most cities don’t have an Eastern parkway included in the Eiruv or a jewish market street like Kingston, you can’t compare

    • 22. Let’s follow the Rebbe wrote:

      I personally know many cities that got (sharp) answers from the Rebbe NOT to make an Eruv, and they still went ahead and made it. Just to give you one example, Melbourne Australia. (This can be confirmed with any prominent Chabad Rav there).

      We all believe, there is no greater source in Halacha and in guidance then our very own Rebbe, never the less we unfortunately struggle . . .

  • 23. Reform wrote:

    I highly think he is better more and more bitter with where he lives. He feels deep down the same about the ERUV IN Boro Park and Pittsburgh and Montreal and California and FLatbush and NYC ETC.

    Reb Moshe passed away and so did his psak for most of Klal Yisroel especially Chasidim

  • 25. CR wrote:

    “However, since there are some people who are less concerned of an issur drabanan, I will explain why carrying in Crown Heights touches upon an issur d’oraisa.”

    Violating Shabbos MiDeorisa is Chiyuv Missa. Violating issur drabanan is also Chiyuv Missa. The only difference is the method employed. How anyone can be so flippant about the latter but not the former is a “temiah gedolah”.

  • 27. Eruv guidelines wrote:

    Rabbinical Council of America

    for Creating and Maintaining a Kosher Eruv
    as presented to the Executive Committee April 29 2009
    Rabbi Chaim Jachter

    Dayan, Beth Din of Elizabeth;
    Member, Vaad Halacha of the Rabbinical Council of America Chairman, Agunah Committee, Rabbinical Council of America

    This document has received the approval of Rav Hershel Schachter and Rav Mordechai Willig.

    In this outline we present protocols for community Eruvin to be maintained at an appropriate Halachic standard, based on experience. Proper standards can be met by strictly adhering to the outlined protocols. We shall focus our discussion on four components that are crucial to the success of a community Eruv – the Posek, the community Rav, the weekly inspectors, and the community.

    The Posek
    Creating and maintaining proper Eruvin involves complex Halachic issues. A Posek of eminent stature must be consulted to issue Halachic rulings regarding a community Eruv. The qualifications of someone to serve as a Posek for a community Eruv are as follows:

    1. He must be expert in Gemara and Rishonim as well as the many Acharonim (especially the Chazon Ish, who is widely regarded as having great authority perhaps even more than the Mishna Brura in this are of Halacha) who discuss the practical details of Eruv design and construction.
    2. He must have extensive practical experience in dealing with community Eruvin such as working in the field with utility poles.
    3. He must be widely recognized in the Orthodox community as an authority in the field of Eruv.
    4. He or his delegate must be available to visit the Eruv and field questions as they arise.

    The Posek must set standards and protocols for the community. He must set optimal standards as well as emergency (Sha’at Hadechak) standards such as when a problem arises shortly before the onset of Shabbat. He must establish protocols in determining the standards for both the creation of the Eruv and maintaining the Eruv. For example, he must establish how often utility wires be inspected and if river banks or used, how often

    they must be checked to insure that they remain at a proper angle and height to serve as part of an Eruv. Rav Gavriel Bechoffer, author of the Contemporary Eruv, has suggested that the Posek should be asked to review the Eruv twice every seven years (following the Mezuzah model, Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 291:1).

    No change in the Eruv should be made without consulting the Posek.

    The Local Rav
    1. He must have extensive training and knowledge of Hilchot Eruvin both in theory and practice. We cannot rely solely upon the fact that a Rav of eminent stature designed and once inspected the Eruv. Eruvin are quite vulnerable to weather, vandalism, and utility company workers reconfiguring utility poles and wires. Eruvin become disqualified quickly and often, especially if it is a very large Eruv. The community depends on the local Rav to facilitate and supervise repair of the Eruv in a proper manner.
    2. He must insure that there is an extensive and clear written record of every detail of precisely how the Eruv is constructed. Every change in the Eruv’s construction must be duly noted in writing.
    3. He must be intimately familiar with every detail of the Eruv.
    4. He must be involved in the inspection of the Eruv on a regular basis. Ideally (although it is most often impractical), the Rav should be the one who inspects the Eruv each week as did the Chazon Ish in Bnei Brak reportedly did every Friday morning even in the most inclement weather (Pe’eir HaDor 2:136 and 285). Similarly, the Chafetz Chaim’s son (Dugma MiDarkei Avi zt”l 63:14) writes that his father “scrupulously supervised the Eruvin in his city”. Experience teaches that when community rabbis do not attend to the community Eruv, the Kashrut of the Eruv deteriorates. The community Rav should conduct a full walking inspection of the Rav at least once a year. The best (though not always practical) way to conduct a yearly inspection of an Eruv is to inspect it on foot. One notices things on foot that one does not notice while being driven.
    5. He must understand when it is appropriate to consult the Eruv’s Posek.
    6. He must insure that the Eruv adheres to the highest standards of ethics and safety. Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik insists (heard directly from the Rav speaking to community rabbis visiting him in 1985) that any portion of the Eruv should not be constructed without obtaining the necessary permission. Eruvin must be a source of Kiddush Hashem in the community. Rav Hershel Schachter believes (personal conversation, 1989) that claiming “Zeh Neheneh V’Zeh Lo Chaser” (Bava Kama 20) is an inadequate excuse to defend placing a Lechi on another individual’s property without permission. He explains that in a case of “Zeh Neheneh V’Zeh Lo Chaser” Beit Din does not compel payment, but that it does not imply that one is permitted L’chatchilah to benefit from another’s property without permission (see Pitchei Teshuvah Choshen Mishpat 363:6 and Aruch HaShulchan C.M. 363:16).

    7. Alternative routes to the Eruv must be explored in case of recurrent problems in specific portions of the Eruv.
    8. He must insure that Sha’at Hadechak standards do not evolve into becoming the conventional standards for the Eruv. For example, a “Lechi” that was attached to a utility pole shortly before Shabbat in a less than optimal fashion, should not remain a permanent component of the Eruv (see, for example, the citation of a conversation with Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in Gray Matter 1:183).
    9. He must insure that the Eruv Chatzeirot and Sechirat Reshut remain updated and cover the entire Eruv encompassed by the Eruv (whenever the Eruv is expanded one must be sure that the area is included in the Sechirat Reshut). Rav Schachter recommends that Sechirat Reshut should not be made for longer than twenty years (see Mishnah Berurah 382:48 and Netivot Shabbat 37:28 and note 20 for other opinions). The Sechirat Reshut should be conducted with every municipality that is encompassed by the Eruv. Rav Elazar Meyer Teitz of Elizabeth, New Jersey reports in a 2007 conversation that he conducted no less than seven Sechirot Reshut since the Eruv in his community is located in seven different municipalities.
    10. There is great pressure on a Rav to insure that the Eruv encompass all members of the community. He must insure that expanding the Eruv does not compromise its Halachic standards and integrity and/or become too large to properly supervise.
    11. Experience teaches that a community that does not yet employ a Rav should exercise great caution before it establishes an Eruv. Although there is great motivation to establish an Eruv in order to attract people to the community, without on-site rabbinic supervision Eruvin easily and quickly fall into disrepair. The involvement of a rabbi from a neighboring community might be a solution to this problem.
    12. When a community is “in between rabbis” the Eruv should not be relied upon unless other rabbinic supervision of the Eruv can be insured.
    13. Network and familiarize himself with the challenges and strategies of rabbis of other communities in regards to their Eruvs.
    14. Be sure that the rabbis in the community agree to the Eruv in general and all its specifics (see Teshuvot Igrot Moshe Orach 4:86).
    15. Dealing sensitively and effectively with those who wish to be strict and not rely on a community Eruv based on Biur Halacha 345:7 s.v. V’Yeish Omrim and Mishnah Berurah 362:59.
    16. Educate the community about what does an Eruv permit and what it does not permit such as carrying umbrellas and ball playing.
    17. Insures that the community is well-informed about the boundaries of the Eruv and that members know to avoid those streets where one can easily stray out of the Eruv.
    18. Makes a great effort to insure that the Eruv is designed in a manner that community members will not be confused and mistakenly carry outside the Eruv. When feasible try to follow Rav Mordechai Willig’s practice to include

    “back-ups” for the Eruv (especially for somewhat “unstable” or “fickle” portions of the Eruv) in case of failure.
    19. Note: The Chezkat Kashrut of an Eruv can be disturbed (Rei’uta) in many situations, such as a flood, car accident, construction or utility pole repair. In all such cases the areas affected must be carefully inspected as perhaps the contours of the banks of rivers, utility poles, fences and the like very possibly have changed.
    20. MOST IMPORTANT – the Rav needs to educate himself in the area of Eruvin and seek an appropriate mentor who can share practical insight to enable him to reach the level of expertise necessary to maintain a Kosher Eruv.
    21. Any suspicion or concern the Rav has regarding the Eruv should be raised with the Posek. If something seems to be wrong it very likely is wrong. One should not assume that the Posek reviewed the Eruv and thus there is no need for concern – the matter may simply have escaped the notice of the Posek.
    22. Rav Schachter has commented that as time goes along, efforts should be made to insure that if possible, Hiddurim should be introduced to the Eruv.
    23. Rabbanim should insure that over time the opposite of #22 not occur – that the Kashrut level of the Eruv deteriorate.

    Eruv Inspectors
    1. Optimally the Eruv inspectors should be Talmidei Chachamim who are well- versed in the theory and practice of Hilchot Eruvin. At minimum, they should be God fearing Jews who are highly scrupulous in their observance of Jewish Law who will inspect the Eruv meticulously (see Rav Asher Bush’s Teshuvot Sho’el BiShlomo number 12, based on Rama Y.D. 127:3).
    2. They should never make any changes or repairs to the Eruv without consulting the local Rav.
    3. They must have a through knowledge and understanding of every detail of the Eruv so that they should be able to spot a potential problem in the Eruv. Their knowledge of Hilchot Eruvin should be sufficient for them to know when to alert the local Rav to a problem.
    4. Experience teaches that when Eruv inspectors do not know exactly how the Eruv works the Eruv falls into disrepair. They cannot inspect that which they do not know what to inspect! This regrettably happens in “complex” portions of Eruvin. Rabbanim must insure that Eruv inspectors know how each portion of the Eruv works.
    5. They must record where the Eruv is most vulnerable and must inform the Rav of recurrent problems in specific locations.
    6. They must be alert to specific Halachic issues that arise for time to time, such as entangling of wires in trees during springtime, cable wires becoming pulled out of alignment when they are attached to homes and that the appearance of a brand new utility pole often signals that the Eruv has been compromised.

    7. They must not (except for unusual circumstances) drive a car and inspect the Eruv simultaneously. They will either not drive properly or not inspect the Eruv properly (or both) if they inspect the Eruv while driving.
    8. Candidates for Eruv inspectors should be tested to determine competency in this task.
    9. The Rav and Posek should be consulted as to whether the Eruv can be inspected earlier than Friday in case of great need (see Teshuvot Doveiv Meisharim 2:28 who states that Eruvin must be inspected on Friday).

    The Community of Users
    1. It must realize that the maintenance of a community Eruv requires a very significant amount of time, resources and effort devoted to the Eruv on an ongoing basis. The price of a kosher Eruv is eternal vigilance. All too often communal enthusiasm regarding an Eruv wanes after it is constructed. Ongoing attention insures that the Eruv does not fall into disrepair.
    2. It should, as suggested by Rav Hershel Schachter, be aware of the route of the Eruv so that they can alert potential problems such as utility pole construction to their Rav and Eruv committee. The following illustrates the astuteness of Rav Schachter’s recommendation. I once heard on a traffic report on a Thursday night that there was a downed utility pole in a community that is located twenty five miles from where I reside. I happened to know that the Eruv in that community ran along the street mentioned on the radio report and informed the Rav of that community. It turned out that the Eruv was disturbed by this incident and my call enabled the community to repair the Eruv in time for Shabbat.
    3. Might consider adopting the practice of the Elizabeth, New Jersey Jewish community, initiated by Rav Pinchas Teitz, to declare the Eruv not to be in operation once a year to educate the community that carrying is forbidden on Shabbat. Otherwise a generation is raised not knowing the about the prohibition to carry on Shabbat (see Eruvin 59a). For example, a woman who grew up in a community surrounded by an Eruv told me that she never knew that there is a difference between Shabbat and Yom Tov with regard to Hotza’ah. In Elizabeth, each year the Eruv is declared to be down on the Shabbat following Parashat Zachor. This Shabbat would be a fine opportunity for Rabbanim in a community to discuss the basic rules of the Eruv and the precise borders of the Eruv. Not all Rabbanim, though, favor this practice.
    4. Network and familiarize themselves with other communities’ challenges and strategies with Eruvin
    5. Deal with the broader community (both Yisrael and Nochri) with intelligence and sensitivity.
    6. A good notification system needs to be put in place to inform the community of a problem, especially at the last minute.
    7. An Eruv map should be posted on the web as well as in a prominent place in the shuls of the community.
    8. Must be prepared to assist the Rav in various tasks such as charting the details

    of the Eruv route.
    9. Makes sure that the Eruv is properly funded and properly insured.
    10. Properly manages, in cooperation with the community Rav, issues concerning potential expansion of the Eruv and those who are not included in the Eruv (problem: some people purchase a house just outside the Eruv since the price will be significantly lower and then hope to successfully pressure the local Eruv committee to expand and include them in the Eruv).

    Partial List of Issues to be Discussed with the Posek
    1. Is the area encompassed defined as a Karmalit or Reshut HaRabim (Gray Matter 1:165-180)?
    2. Are Delatot required and how should they be constructed (Netivot Shabbat chapter 23)?
    3. Are Delatot suitable to be closed sufficient or are Tzurot HaPetach required to supplement them (Beit Yitzchak 25:76-77)?
    4. The acceptability of Delatot that are opened on Shabbat but are suitable to be closed (Beit Yitzchak 25:73).
    5. Are any of the highways encompassed by the Eruv classified as a Reshut HaRabim (Gray Matter 1:166)?
    6. Excluding highways and bridges from the Eruv (Beit Yitzchak 25:81-83).
    7. The issue of “ground levels” (Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society 5:21-23).
    8. Are any areas included in the Eruv defined as a Karpeif (Gray Matter 1:192- 194)?
    9. Relying on “Tachuv”, horizontal wire that passes through the vertical pole (Gray Matter 1:184-185).
    10. Precise Definitions of “Tachuv” (Teshuvot Minchat Shlomo 2:35:25).
    11. Wires that sag and/ or sway in the wind (Gray Matter 1:188-189).
    12. The maximum distance between Lechis (the different views of Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Schachter and Rav Eider-Rav Heinemann)?
    13. Maximum size of a Lechi (Netivot Shabbat 19:17).
    14. Size and strength of a Lechi (Imrei Baruch).
    15. Lechis that are “Mei’achorei HaKotel” (B’Ikvei HaTzon number 12).
    16. What types of materials are acceptable for use as a Lechi (Sha’ar HaTziyun 363:22 and the Contemporary Eruv p.70 note 141 – ask about a thick paint in case of very great need).
    17. The use of stop signs and other “non-rabbinic” structures as Lechis (Rav Heinemann’s approach based on Rav Aharon Kotler).
    18. Lechis that serve “L’Achzukei Tikrah” (Beit Yitzchak 25:94-96).
    19. What precisely is defined as a legitimate extension of both a horizontal pole and the vertical pole (Rav Heinemann based on Rav Kotler)?
    20. Relying on “Lavud” and “Gud Achit Machitzta” in regards to the vertical pole (Chazon Ish O.H. 79:11 challenging Chatam Sofer and see Netivot Shabbat 19:26).
    21. Must Lechi extend all the way to the wire (Gray Matter 1:182)?

    22. How often must utility wires and other “non-rabbinic” or “preexisting” components of the Eruv, such as buildings, fences or river banks, be inspected (judgment call of the Eruv’s Posek)? Note comment above regarding a Rei’uta to the Chezkat Kashrut of such components of an Eruv.
    23. How to determine the precise location of the Lechi – eyesight or plumb line (Gray Matter 1:182:184)?
    24. Must the surface area beneath a Tzurat HaPetach be flat (Beit Yitzchak 25:98- 99)?
    25. Be certain that “Gud Asik Mechitzta” is measured straight up and not according to the angle of the Lechi (Chazon Ish 71:6). This is a very common problem!
    26. Are obstructions between the Lechi and the Eruv wire acceptable (Gray Matter 1:185-186 and Imrei Baruch)?
    27. How much change in direction of the Eruv wire is acceptable (Gray Matter 1:189)?
    28. How slanted may the vertical or horizontal wires be (Gray Matter 1:191)?
    29. Placing a Tzurat HaPetach in a Reshut HaYachid (Gray Matter 1:187-188 and Imrei Baruch).
    30. The issue of Tzurat HaPetach that one cannot easily walk through (Teshuvot Har Zvi O.C. 2:18:10, Netivot Shabbat 19:9 and note 25 and Imrei Baruch).
    31. Using a tree as a Lechi (Rav Schachter permits placing the horizontal wire on the primary “V” of the tree).
    32. Relying on the bottom of a tapered pole in case of extraordinary need (Chazon Ish O.C. 71:12 rejects this option).
    33. The location of the Eruv Chatzeirot (in the Shul or in a private home or both, see Gray Matter 1:196).
    34. Precise placement of the Lechi at a point of a wire changing direction (and when to place two Lechis on one pole to catch the change of direction).
    35. How precisely to conduct the Sechirat Reshut and with whom to conduct it (Gray Matter 1:197-199 and Imrei Baruch).
    36. The appropriate length of time for a Sechirat Reshut (Mishnah Berurah 382:48 and Netivot Shabbat 37:28 and note 20).
    37. The issue of “Siluk Mechitzot” (B’Ikvei HaTzon 13:8).
    38. Usage of highway overpasses as “Pi Tikrah Yored V’Sotem” (Teshuvot Igrot Moshe O.C. 1:140 and Imrei Baruch).
    39. Be on guard for situations that are defined as “Nifratz B’Milu’oh” and “Nifratz L’Makom HaAssur Lo” (Netivot Shabbat 14:6 and Journal of Contemporary Society 5:21).
    40. Managing a “Pitcha B’Keren Zavit” and precise definitions of what constitutes a “Pitcha B’Keren Zavit” (Netivot Shabbat 14:4 and Imrei Baruch).
    41. The gap allowed in a place where people commonly pass and how to correct that gap, if the gap is less than ten Amot does one Lechi suffice (Mishna Berurah 363:111 and Teshuvot HaElef Lecha Shlomo number 159)?
    42. The gap allowed in an Eruv composed of Tzurot HaPetach (Bi’ur Halacha 363:6 s.v. Tzarich).

    43. Minimum area that a Tzurat HaPetach or Mechitzah must cover (Rav Schachter, personal conversation in 1989, is concerned when there is a wall within four Tefachim of a Tzurat HaPetach in the direction that is encompassed by the Eruv).
    44. Precise definitions of a “Tel HaMitlakeit” (Beit Yitzchak 25:83-84).
    45. Definitions of an Amah and a Tephach (Encyclopedia Talmudit 20:659).
    46. May the Eruv be inspected earlier than Friday (Teshuvot Doveiv Meisharim 2:28 and the Contemporary Eruv p. 89 note 181)?
    47. Inspecting the Eruv for Yom Tov (Shulchan Aruch O.H. 618:1).
    48. Asking a Nochri to fix the Eruv on Shabbat (Mishna Berurah 276:25).
    49. Informing the community if on Shabbat it is discovered that the Eruv is down (Rav Ezra Schwartz’s essay in the Spring 2004 issue of the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society).
    50. Relying on leniencies accepted by the previous Rav of the community (B’Ikvei HaTzon number 12).
    51. Maximum amount of area that may be encompassed by the Eruv (Teshuvot Igrot Moshe O.C. 1:139:6).
    52. One side of the Eruv ending with beach (Ba’eir Heiteiv 363:9 and Imrei Baruch).
    53. Managing a sea wall and beaches (Shulchan Aruch O.C. 363:29).
    54. Relying on utility workers to report a wire being fixed (Ne’emanut of an Uman and/or Milta D’avidi L’galuyei).

    Highly Recommended Reading
    1. Netivot Shabbat by Rav Yaakov Blau.
    2. Hilchot Eruvin by Rav Elimelech Lange.
    3. Halachos of the Eruv by Rav Shimon Eider.
    4. The Contemporary Eruv by Rav Gavriel Bechhoffer.
    5. Rav Hershel Schachter’s essay in the Spring 1983 edition of the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society, and Teshuvot number 12 and 13 in his B’Ikvei HaTzon.
    6. Rav Mordechai Willig’s essay in volume 25 of Beit Yitzchak.
    7. Dr. Bert Miller’s (of Baltimore) Eruv Manual.
    8. Gray Matter Volume One (pages 165-199).
    9. The Mekorot cited in each of these works especially from the Mishna Berurah and Chazon Ish.
    10. Rav Baruch Simon’s Imrei Baruch on Eruvin.

    A Parting Thought
    In contemporary Orthodox communities in North America an Eruv is an expected amenity and the responsibility falls on the community Rav to properly maintain the Eruv. Indeed, the Halacha expects that an Eruv should be established whenever it is possible to do so (see Eruvin 67b-68a, Mordechai Eruvin number 515, Teshuvot HaRosh 21:8, Teshuvot Chatam Sofer Orach Chaim 89 and Teshuvot Har Zvi O.C. 2:24). However,

    not all community members are sufficiently sensitized to the time and effort that is necessary to achieve the goal of maintaining a kosher community Eruv. Many if not most Rabbanim are severely overburdened and cannot in most cases be expected to maintain the Eruv without abundant and generous communal support. The support must be both financial and willingness to devote time to insure its success. On the other hand, community members cannot be expected to successfully maintain an Eruv at an appropriate Halachic level unless the local Rav is involved with the Eruv on an ongoing basis. The synergy of Rav and community will insure that our Eruvin remain at the same high standards it was at the time of its creation.

    Rabbi Jachter is frequently consulted regarding the construction and maintenance of community Eruvin. He has built Eruvin from scratch, redesigned Eruvin and improved existing Eruvin. Among the communities he has assisted are Allentown, Pennsylvania; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Bayside, Queens; Bradley Beach, New Jersey; Camp Dinah; Englewood, New Jersey; Linden, New Jersey; Longmeadow, Massachusetts; Mount Freedom, New Jersey; Overland Park, Kansas; Oakland, California; Pelham Parkway, Bronx, New York; Roslyn Heights, New York; Sacramento, California; San Francisco, California; Scarsdale, New York; Stamford, Connecticut; Teaneck, New Jersey; Tenafly, New Jersey; Vancouver, Canada and West Orange, New Jersey.

  • 28. CHer wrote:

    thank you rabbi heller, i wish more poeple in CH would come out against this HUUUGE error.

  • 29. thank you for posting wrote:

    thank you for posting this important article, we all need to be more educated on the torah’s view on this issue.
    However, I take issue with the headline, it cheapens the article and make s it look like sensationalist journalism, why ruin a good piece with a bad headline?
    Just saying

  • 30. Rectifying Rebellions wrote:

    וַיְהִי הָעָם כְּמִתְאֹנֲנִים וגו’
    (במדבר יא:א)

    The people sought a pretext [to rebel against G‑d]. Numbers 11:1

    To be sure, we should not allow ourselves to rebel (or even consider rebelling) against G‑d. If this requires us to “force” ourselves to acquire a second, Divine nature, so be it.

    But the more profound way of quelling a rebellion against G‑d is by exposing its true nature: our refusal to be satisfied with our present understanding of G‑d and our revulsion at the shallowness of our present relationship with Him. Our rebellion articulates our despair: “If this is all there is to the Divine life, I want nothing of it!”

    Seen in this positive light, our rebellions – and the rebellions of the Jewish people so soon after having set out on their journeys – are a desperate cry for sincere return to G‑d, for reestablishing our relationship with Him on a much deeper level than it ever was before.
    Hayom Yom 18 Sivan

    This is the actual time of the “footsteps of Mashiach.” It is therefore imperative for every Jew to seek his fellow’s welfare – whether old or young – to inspire the other to teshuva (return), so that he will not fall out – G‑d forbid – of the community of Israel who will shortly be privileged, with G‑d’s help, to experience complete redemption.

  • 31. Chaim Hershkop wrote:

    I know a group of great people who pray for a Shabbos (or Shabbosim) they won’t have to carry. Thanking all our great volunteers, people of great Mesirat Nefesh, Hatzolah and Shomrim members.

  • 32. Rabbi Hellers opinion wrote:

    Here is a mashul.

    Someone believes that marijuana should be legalized and is not dangerous based on certain research therefore he is offering it to all the youth that don’t know any better.

    Another person believes that it is fateful and based on research it is very harmful and will do anything he can to stop that guy from distributing it to the youth.

    That is how Rabbi Heller feels about the eruv and the damage it will cause here. No political motives because he doesn’t get involved in politics.

  • 33. Number 7 wrote:

    Do you know that till today no one dared to build an eriruv in the east side where r moshe was rov, our of respect for him? we, as chassdiim, could learn a lesson from them. v’dal.

  • 34. Avremel wrote:

    Why are all the Rabbinim, all gettinger so extremely upset, screaming from the rooftops, relentlessly, non-stop, over this invalid Eiruv issue?

    Do the Rabbinim have nothing else more important to worry about?

    It’s true that this so called Eiruv is nothing. But this is precisely the question which needs to be asked of these Rabbonim.

    If this Eiruv indeed is really nothing?

    Then why are you all making such a bid deal over nothing?

    Is there nothing else which is more real and more of a problem in c.h., that all the Rabbonim, in all of c.h., have nothing else, to be up in arms about and outraged about, except this nothing-Eiruv issue?

    It’s not an Eiruv period.

    Case closed.

    BUT if they are so concerned with Chillul Shabbos, then why aren’t they equally outraged with all the regular Chilul Shabbos by Graduates of Oholey Torah and Lubavitcher Yeshiva.

    It’s commonplace in c.h. that children and later, the grown up adults from these mosdos smoke on shabbos, carry outside even before the fake Eiruv was put up and hang out with girls and do kol davar assur, in spite of their prior “best” Lubavitcher Chinuch, which they got here.

    I think it’s safe to say, that today there does not exist even one Lubavitcher Mishpacha in c.h. which does not have a family member or close relative which has completely fried out and is off the Derech.

    The Rabbonim have not written any letters nor have they ever been screaming from the rooftops about our own Lubavitcher Children from O.T., U.L.Y. and B.R., children of our Mosdos where our mosdos consistently and regularly fail to prevent their children from going off the Derech.

    We go to Times Square to bring outsiders in, to become frum and bring them back here while the Children of our own current Mosdos, are doing the opposit, unwittingly producing a product of children on the inside, headed to go out, off the Derech, to Times Square.

    Every reader of these words knows it is true. Everyone who reads this knows that there is not even one family in all of c.h., even the most prominent families, who doesn’t have immediate family or close relative who went off the Derech.

    The only one oblivious to it is the deafening silence of no letters and no screaming from the rooftops, by anyone of all those who are screaming daily, and can’t about the Eiruv.

    The answer is because it’s really all about Ego.

    If every single family in c.h. has at least someone off the Derech, that does not crush the Ego of the Rabbonim.

    But if someone makes a fake invalid Eiruv, it infringes on the ego of the Rabbonim’s authority.

    I’m not defending the Eiruv. There is no doubt that the Eiruv is invalid but what’s happening in our Mosdos is far worse and the Rabbonim’s silence is even worse than the kids which fried out and the Rabbonim are not up in arms to get involved to fix and change our mosdos.

    When it comes to the failures of our Mosdos, our Rabbonim say “we can’t get involved” to make the needed changes.

    What’s worse, a non function Eiruv or a non functioning educational system which makes kids fry out?

    When is the last time you remember all the Rabbonim agreeing on anything, except that this Eiruv is invalid, because it infringes on the ego and authority, of every one of them?

    The last time when all Rabbonim were on the same page and all were screaming together, from the rooftops, was when there was a risk of an outside influence of authority which would override the c.h. Rabbonim Authority, it was also a Rabbonim’s Ego Issue.

    It was called The Call Of The Shofar.

    The Call Of The Shofar was the first time in history which united all Rabbonim to scream from the rooftops against it and this Eiruv issue is the second time in history.

    The reason why only these 2 things, ever concern them so much to send endless letters about it and relentlessly fighting against individuals who disagree, is for the same reason because both undermine the authority of the Rabbonim and threatens the suthority of anyone else in a position of authority in c.h., which is primarily all, an an Ego issue.

    But if children of the finest mosdos like in c.h., O.T., regularly grow up to be mechalel shabbos and fry out, non of the Rabbonim have ever found that to be more important than to scream from the rooftops, non stop about the invalidity of this Non-Eiruv, and to hang up signs on every tree and on every light pole of c.h. to warn about how extremely grave, this scary, danger is.

    Where are our priority of concern?

    • 35. Yisroel S wrote:

      Do you even believe your own words??!! When someone smokes openly on shabbos he isnt interested and will not listen to the rov. Over here all the rabbonim are worried that the people who do not want to sin, will sin unwittingly by trusting the eruv simple.

    • 36. What? wrote:

      How can you make such statements about ego?
      If you truly care about something, then you would do your best to get it done.
      These Rabonim see the the effects this Eiruv can have in the future, which, unfortunately, is terrible. They care about what Crown Heights will be like later on. there is no connection to being passionate about this and not about other things, so why compare?

      for example, imagine there was poison in the water. it would be all over the news. you can ask: How come the president cares so much about this poison issue when he could not care less about other more important issues?
      That is a foolish statement.

      and, lehavdil, our Rabbonim are taking this issue very seriously because this is what is happening now in Crown Heights and must be dealt with.

      Thank you for your understanding.

    • 37. Chaim Hershkop wrote:

      The question I have for you is…

      What part are you taking to make things better, better for yourselves and better for others?

      Where others fail, you prevail? Learn from past mistakes or mistakes that others have made and do better!!!!

      How many people are you inspiring (reaching out to)?

    • 38. Story wrote:

      It happened once in a Jewish town in Russia, there was a shortage of heating wood. The town people approached their town rov Rabbi SZ Gorelik, asking him “is it better to warm the Shul or the city Mikvah”? To which he replied “you should warm the Mikvah”.

      The Shamosh of the Shul came running to the rabbi, and complained “Rabbi, the Shul is freezing, we cannot Daven there, why did you rule to warm the Mikvah”? To this the Rabbi replied: “You see my dear Shamosh, you and I both receive a salary from the Community, however there is a difference between us two, YOU GET PAID TO FOLLOW THE ORDERS, and I GET PAID TO GIVE THE ORDERS . . .”

      Read many of the Rebbe’s Sichos on this matter (Not mixing into the Rabbonim’s business or telling them what to do).

    • 40. get real wrote:

      there are some problems a rav can pasken about, and some that are sadly part of golus. youth going off the derech is not something a rav can solve. these are halachic issues that are at community-wide scale that they need to adress.

      your whole ego theory is laughable.

      rabanim are not expected to make the world as perfect as moshiach. their job is to pasken halacha and strengthen observance,

      YOUR job is to respect them, follow their psak, and b a positive influence on those around you esp. those falling.
      the blaming rabanim game is ridiculous

  • 41. Confused wrote:

    “no Rov from any other city will not touch our domain” – But Rabi CHezzie Dennenbaum is a rov of CAY – a shul which is IN Crown Heights, and he says he will personally use the eruv! That makes me so confused!!

    • 42. Yiras Shomayim wrote:

      Imagine you hear of a certain medication that might be good for you, so you consult with 2 doctors. the first doctor is an amateur, new doctor. He tells the medication is 100% safe and it will definitely be good for you.
      The second doctor is a much more experienced, wise doctor. He tells you that this medication may seem safe at first, but is really very harmful for you.

      Now, which doctor will you listen to?

      There are many Rabbanim, but doesn’t it just make sense to listen the Rav who is more Torah learned, knowledgeable, experienced, and has more Yiras Shamayim?

    • 44. Chaim H. wrote:

      Stop pretending to be confused.

      Did a memo go out for proEruv people to us the words “I’m confused”?

      So your confused, so what?

    • 45. joking? wrote:

      i hope so! are you comparing a king in Torah to a ——–? R Heller is a very knowlegable rav that brings many ppl closer to Torah and Yiddishkeit. the other one you mentioned does the opposite and takes pride in doing things against and dragging others down with him. no confusion there please

  • 46. Larry wrote:

    What do you want to listen to Rabbi heller or rabbi chezki or whatever his name is from the love boat shul

  • 47. B"H wrote:

    can someone please help me find what is the psak referring to Shailos U’Teshuvos Igros Moshe 2 siman 39

    2 of what book of the shulchan aruch

    • 49. Milhouse wrote:

      Yes, but that’s clearly not the teshuvah they meant. Igros Moshe vol 2 ch 39 has nothing to do with the subject. Whoever drafted this letter was so sloppy they didn’t bother to check the references, and that doesn’t instil confidence in the rest of it.

    • 52. Milhouse wrote:

      Thank you, the first Anonymous doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and the second Anonymous is correct. That is indeed the teshuvah that is clearly intended. However the fact that the signatories let this letter go out with an incorrect reference reflects their sloppy and arrogant approach to the whole topic.

      As for the tesuvah itself, first of all, it’s hardly persuasive, and another person is entitled to disagree with it.

      Second, it’s irrelevant, because Crown Heights is not a discrete city like greater Pittsburgh; it’s part of the greater New York market in rabbonus, so there’s no concept of an “outsider” who is “interfering”. Do the signatories imagine that no rabbi from Flatbush or Boro Park can give a hechsher to a Crown Heights business, or hear a din torah, etc?!

      Third, it’s irrelevant because the eruv does not just cover Crown Heights, and the consultant who built and certifies it to be kosher was hired by a local congregation, with the approval of its rov. Kol Israel has the right to build an eruv as big as it likes, and no other congregation or rabbi has a right of veto just because they happen to be in its perimeter.

  • 53. agree wrote:

    thank you for sticking up for whats right. those that will carry are unfortunately not realizing the gravity of their actions.

  • 54. Milhouse wrote:

    As Rabbi Heller says, hilchos eruvin is a complicated subject, and needs an expert. Is he such an expert??? How many eruvin has he put up? Or is he only an expert at not putting up eruvin? As the gemoro says, of a rov who had an eruv vandalized because he thought it was possul, and then realized too late that it had been kosher, חכמים המה להרע ולהטיב לא ידעו.

    Rabbi Schwartz says that since he is not himself an expert in these halochos, he found an expert to do it. He certifies that this person is indeed an expert. So why should we not take that expert’s word over Rabbi Heller’s? Is he calling Rabbi Schwartz a liar, or claiming that he doesn’t know how to find an expert?

    If my rov is not an expert in hilchos mikveh, he hires an expert to build it, and to give instructions for its maintenance; is that not enough for me? Do I need to know the expert’s name?! I say it’s enough that my rov tells me it’s certified by someone who knows what he’s doing.

    The main thing is that this is not just a Crown Heights eruv. It’s Kol Israel’s eruv, which they have made bigger. You will not find anywhere a halachic limit to how big a kehilla may make its eruv. If they wanted to make it cover the whole of Brooklyn, they would be entitled to do that, and no other rov in Brooklyn would have the right to veto it. So who are the rabbonim of Crown Heights to tell them that they must not include Crown Heights in their eruv?

    The fact is that both they and the Prospect Heights Shul have people coming to them from far away, and that’s really where the push came from to expand their eruv. First they expanded it into the immediate area right next to them, and now they’ve pushed it further.

    • 55. no need for expert wrote:

      you just need to begin learning about eruvin for a few minutes to know there is zero possibility of making a kosher eruv in ch. in places where it is possible you need a real expert…and not the kind that goes in hiding…a real expert isnt afraid to show his work.
      your comment reeks of just wanting to do what you want and will shop around till you get an ok from mr anonymous.

    • 56. Milhouse wrote:

      On the contrary, you need to start learning hilchos eruvin, so you will realise that the overwhelming majority of poskim hold that there is no problem making an eruv in Crown Heights.

  • 57. Milhouse wrote:

    There are other opinions that there must also be 600,000 people for it to be considered a reshus harabim min hatorah.

    Rabbi Heller makes it sound as if this is some minority opinion. You would never guess from his words that it is the opinion of about 80% of rishonim, including every single Ashkenazi rishon.

    That exists in Brooklyn.

    No, it does not. Reb Moshe was misinformed about Brooklyn’s population, and in the end he was reduced to saying merely that one could mistake Brooklyn for a reshus horabbim.

    Even if you’ll find a contemporary Rabbi who claims otherwise – it is irrelevant. You can always search on the internet and find someone who will give you a heter for anything.

    Except in this case it’s the exact opposite; you are searching for someone who will give you an issur, where the majority of poskim permit.

    The Gemara says that R. Yossi Haglili ate chicken with milk. If someone will say that “You don’t have to be more frum than Rabbi Yossi Haglili,” we certainly wouldn’t take him seriously.

    That’s an interesting example. The halocho is only not like R Yosi Hagelili because the majority of Tano’im disagreed with him. In this case the overwhelming majority of poskim say that to be a reshus horabim 600K people must pass through a single street, every day. Only a small minority say that one adds together all the people who are on the streets of the whole city at one time. And nobody says one counts also the people who are not on the street. It is Rabbi Heller who is pushing a minority opinion. He is free to do so, just as R Yossi Hagelili upheld his opinion in the Galil, but let him not pretend that is not what he’s doing.

    • 58. Anonymous wrote:

      I always knew milhouse was at heart an apikorus..now its jist became even clearer

    • 59. Toshov Haschuna wrote:

      There are other opinions that there must also be 600,000 people for it to be considered a reshus harabim min hatorah.

      Rabbi Heller makes it sound as if this is some minority opinion. You would never guess from his words that it is the opinion of about 80% of rishonim, including every single Ashkenazi rishon.

      Sorry but Rabbi heller used the Alte Rebbe’s words in Shulchan Aruch… look it up….

    • 60. Milhouse wrote:

      In the Alter Rebbe’s day it was not clear which opinion had the support of more rishonim. New rishonim were beginning to be published, who disagreed with what had until then been considered the clear majority opinion, and some thought that the dissenters might end up being the real majority. Today we have access to many more rishonim, and we know that it’s not even a close call; at least 80% of known rishonim say a reshus horabim requires 600,000 people.

  • 62. Anonymous wrote:

    In Every generation there can be a korach doson and aviram ….

  • 63. Milhouse wrote:

    If someone were to build a proper tzuras hapesach (wire eruv) around a reshus harabim it is only an issur drabanan to carry there (according to some opinions, while others say that it remains an issur d’orasia – Tzemach Tzedek Chidushim Eiruvin and Shut Divrei Nechemya 23). However, to make a proper tzuras hapesach you must know the halachos of eruvin well and you need to check the eruv properly. You cannot just check from a car, you have to walk by foot around the entire Crown Heights (not a short distance). You have to check every single inch of the way to make sure everything is in place. No one is giving testimony that this was done or by whom.

    Now he’s just making things up.

    1. Since when must an eruv be checked on foot? Most eruvin in the world are checked by car, and I challenge anyone to find a psak that there’s a problem with this.

    2. What does he mean that nobody is giving testimony that the eruv is being checked? The CKI eruv committee is checking it every week, and announcing every week whether it’s up or down — and warning people every week that one must not rely on last week’s chazokoh, but must hear every week that it’s up before carrying. They’ve been doing this with their old eruv for years. And this is how every eruv in the world operates. Is this really a chiddush to Rabbi Heller?!

    By the way, the eruv this week has been checked and was found to be UP. Al pi din it is permitted to carry throughout Crown Heights this Shabbos. Of course anyone who considers himself a Lubavitcher chossid should not carry, because the Alter Rebbe, although he paskens like the majority of rishonim, recommends that one should be machmir like the Rambam, and this eruv doesn’t follow that opinion. But if you see someone else carrying, you have no right to treat him as a mechalel shabbos. At most he’s not a Lubavitcher chossid.

    • 64. anon wrote:

      Experience teaches that when community rabbis do not attend to the community Eruv, the Kashrut of the Eruv deteriorates. The community Rav should conduct a full walking inspection of the Rav at least once a year. The best (though not always practical) way to conduct a yearly inspection of an Eruv is to inspect it on foot. One notices things on foot that one does not notice while being driven.

      7. They must not (except for unusual circumstances) drive a car and inspect the Eruv simultaneously. They will either not drive properly or not inspect the Eruv properly (or both) if they inspect the Eruv while driving.


      see the rca rules for someone, inspecting: and let us know if the ones inspecting this eruv comes close?

      the point is: in order to testify, one himself has to know about eruvin

    • 65. Milhouse wrote:

      Read what you just quoted. The RCA recommends that the rav hamachshir do an inspection once a year. Not every week. It recommends that the weekly inspection, when done by car, should have one person driving and another one inspecting, since it’s difficult to do both. These are both, of course, general recommendations, not halachic requirements. It’s up to the rav hamachshir of each eruv to decide what sort of inspections are needed, and how often.

      Are you alleging that the CKI eruv committee are not equal to the task?! Are you alleging they are not equal to those who inspect every eruv in the country? What are your grounds for such an allegation, and what gives you the right to cast such aspersions on fellow Orthodox Jews?

  • 66. Milhouse wrote:

    And that brings me to the main point: Even if you believe that the eruv is possul, so long as there is a respectable opinion in halocho that it’s kosher you have no right to treat another Jew who uses it as a mechalel shabbos.

    It is a clear halocho that one who follows a genuine psak din retains the status of a frum Jew, and is kosher le’eidus, and one may eat at his home, even if one believes that psak is incorrect.

    This goes so far that even if he follows a minority opinion that permits something that the majority holds to be cheilev, you may eat fleishigs at his home, cooked in his fleishige keilim in which he has cooked what we hold to be cheilev, and rely on סתם כלים אינן בני יומן. Normally we do not rely on that rule lechatchila — for instance one may not eat food cooked in a goy’s keilim, or those of a Jew who doesn’t keep kosher. But since this is a Jew who does keep kosher, and eats cheilev only because he follows a posek who holds it’s shuman, one may eat food cooked in his keilim.

  • 67. Milhouse wrote:

    It needs to be emphasized again that this eruv does not follow the opinion of the Rambam, which the Alter Rebbe recommends as a chumra, and therefore it is not suitable for use by Lubavitcher chassidim even if, like me, you believe it to be kosher.

  • 68. Change is needed now! wrote:

    I’m gonna carry this Shabbos and put as many things as I can in my pocket!


    I’m carrying

    • 69. Milhouse wrote:

      I hope you’re not carrying things for which you have no use on Shabbos.

  • 70. chayim wrote:

    to #23 are you for real/ you are compering chezki denebum to the rabonum of crown heights?

    • 71. Confused wrote:

      When there is a dispute among rabbis about the halacha, do we decide according to the wisest and most learned rabbi or do we follow the majority?

      When Bais Hillel had a dispute with Bais Shamai, BS were wiser and more knowledgeable, yet the halacha was like BH because they had the numbers.

      You are saying that I should ignore the opinion of several rabbis because Rabbi Heller knows much more than them in halacha. Is that how halacha is decided??

      I know several rabbis who approve of the eruv such as Rabbi Dennenbaum – rabbi of CAY, the rabbi from the neighboring community and the rabbi who built the eruv. That is at least three rabbis (plus I assume others too – such as Milhouse).

      Yet you tell me that I should ignore ll of them them – the majority, since Rabbi Heller – the individual minority, knows much more than all of them?!

      Following this logic, the halacha ought to be always like Bais Shamai!

      That leaves me very confused!!

  • 72. Dovid wrote:

    Anyone who says that an eruv is Reform Judaism has lost site of what we are talking about, eruv.

    • 73. we are talking about shomer shabbos wrote:

      so yes he is correct. absolutely. and those carrying have lost site of what they are playing with.

    • 74. Milhouse wrote:

      Rejecting eruvin is a hallmark of reform Judaism. Mi she’eino modeh betoras eruv is like a goy.

  • 75. attn Yitzchok wrote:

    i read hebrew too. My point is not that it is incorrect. it IS correct. but it dosnt help the point here: that the Eruv is too questionable to rely on. This added line makes people dismiss the whole letter as a power play rather than a halachic issue.

  • 76. Mareh mokom wrote:

    The teshuvah cited is Igros Moshe, Choshen Mishpot Volume 2, #39.

    • 77. Milhouse wrote:

      And yet they put this letter out with the wrong reference. That speaks volumes about the care they took on this.

  • 78. yehuda wrote:

    The problem is that we don’t know who the Rav hamachshir is. Until we know his name one should not rely on the eruv. And why are they afraid to say the name of the Rav.

    • 79. Milhouse wrote:

      Yes, that is a problem, but don’t pretend you don’t know why he prefers to keep his name secret. You know exactly what will happen to him the minute his name is known. He and his family would immediately become subject to constant harassment and threats; would you willingly subject yourself and your family to that?

      Basically if you are not a congregant of Kol Israel or the Prospect Heights Shul, this eruv was not made for you, and you shouldn’t use it. If you’re a Lubavitcher you should definitely not use it, because it doesn’t follow the Rambam’s opinion. If you are not a Lubavitcher, and are a congregant of those two shuls, then your rabbi has personally verified that the eruv’s machshir is competent, and you should rely on that endorsement.

  • 80. Chani wrote:

    How could someone say the Eruv is Reform I could see the Rov saying the eruv is not Kosher, it is far from Reform, and the person that put up the eruv did not put it up for the Labavitchers ,

  • 81. Geico wrote:

    Besides for being an Am Haoretz and a tipesh,
    You are a terrible mechutzaf. You should be in nidui for the way you write about Hagoen Horav Heller. For Years you have been posting stupidity, but to write like that is a whole new level. You dont come to the dust of Hotav Hellers feet, bh cRown heights has seen through you and you are moving on. Good riddance

    • 82. Milhouse wrote:

      Rabbi Heller admits that he is not an expert in eruvin. Rabbi Schwartz says that the person who made the eruv is. So who comes to whose dust? On this subject Rabbi Heller ought to defer to someone who knows more than him, or at least acknowledge the possibility that this person knows more than him.

  • 83. Sholom wrote:

    ירא שמים יחמיר לעצמו is what the Alter Rebbe says he does not say that if you are not Machin then you are practicing Reform Judaism Most of Klal Yisrael does not follow this CHUMRA and it would be very disrespectful to stop someone on the street who is following the opinion of Most rishonim and Posskim I haven’t seen our Rabannim repremending the thousands of Lubavitchers who don’t follow the halacha of Zaman tfilah (many minyanim for shachres in the later afternoon), there is No halachic opinion which permits this sort of violation of the zmanim yet we let our children witness this in 770. If Hamachi is important then don’t choose just one halachic issue

  • 84. PLEASE CLARIFY? wrote:

    If you hold that who ever uses the eruv isn’t shomer shabbos, then what about all the chabadniks in Melbourne, Flatbush, Miami, Los Angeles, and many city’s in Israel, and many many other city’s, are they also not shomer shabbos? 

    Maybe the answer is yes? 

    Or is this halacha specifically only crown heights. 1. Because the rebbe was clearly against it. 2. Because eastern parkway makes it impossible to make a kosher eruv.

  • 85. anon wrote:

    14. Be sure that the rabbis in the community agree to the Eruv in general and all its specifics (see Teshuvot Igrot Moshe Orach 4:86).

    • 86. Milhouse wrote:

      Again, an RCA recommendation, not a halacha. You will not find such a halacha anywhere.

  • 87. anon wrote:

    14. Be sure that the rabbis in the community agree to the Eruv in general and all its specifics (see Teshuvot Igrot Moshe Orach 4:86).14. Be sure that the rabbis in the community agree to the Eruv in general and all its specifics (see Teshuvot Igrot Moshe Orach 4:86).

    • 88. Milhouse wrote:

      Again, an RCA recommendation, not a halachic requirement. Again, an RCA recommendation, not a halachic argument. Repetition doesn’t make your non-point any more cogent.

    • 89. Dovid wrote:

      Actually Rav Moshe does not write the words “Be sure.” Read it in the original.

    • 90. Milhouse wrote:

      R Moshe didn’t write any of it. These are the RCA’s guidelines, not Igros Moshe. The clause in question is not a quote from anywhere, and doesn’t claim to be.

  • 92. Grateful We Left wrote:

    The eruv is not allowed. Period.
    The eruv in Boston was disaster. Barely checked
    Snow and storms very problematic.
    You would call erev Shabbos to see if all ok..
    If not you would see dozens on people carrying cause they didn’t call..
    Lived years with children and managed without an eruv. Listen to the Rabbonim.

  • 93. To milhouse wrote:

    All of your comments point to one thing: you have no idea what you are talking about. You will try to use Everytjing you ever learned to make up excuses to do what u want and attempt to sound educated but you are completely wrong in every single comment. Wow. Sit down with a REAL rav and hopefully he’ll manage to show you your mistakes….if your willing to hear them

    • 94. Ezra wrote:

      Even if we suppose that every one of his points is valid, then the appropriate thing to do is to sit down with one or more of the rabbonim and, in a respectful way, present these sources and arguments. Not to be a modern-day Korach and attempt to undercut their authority in a public forum.

    • 95. Milhouse wrote:

      Why don’t you or your rabbonim do that with Rabbi Schwartz, or with his expert, whose name I’m sure he’d have been willing to disclose to your rabbonim in confidence, if they had not given him very good reason to believe that they would abuse it.

  • 96. Wingless Mosquito wrote:

    Yes it would be a great conversion:

    Milhouse: You know about that eruv…

    Rabbi Heller: Yes?

    Milhouse: I believe you aren’t properly taking into account the possibility that is indeed a kosher eruv according many reliable authorities.

    Rabbi Heller: Who build the eruv?

    Milhouse: don’t know.

    Rabbi Heller: Who is responsible to oversee its kashrus maintenance?

    Milhouse: don’t know.

    Rabbi Heller: …

    Milhouse: ….

    Rabbi Heller: …

    Milhouse: Well the builder needs privacy because if he would go public people would scrutinize him and rabbis would scrutinize him, so he built it and certifies it anonymously, because that’s what a yire shamoim would do, if he couldn’t publicize his involvement. He would build it around a large frum Jewish community and certify it anonymously.

    Rabbi Heller: …

    Milhouse: Well Rabbi Shwartz knows who built it, and says he is credentialed and reliable.

    Rabbi Heller: Who is Rabbi Shwartz?

    Milhouse: He’s a Rabbi of local modern orthodox synagogue. They have a website.

    Rabbi Heller: ….

    Milhouse: …

    Milhouse: …

    Milhouse: Rabbi Heller?

    • 97. Milhouse wrote:

      I don’t know who built the eruv, but I do know that Rabbi Schwartz knows who he is, and says he’s an expert. And yes, Rabbi Schwartz is every bit the equal of any rabbi in Crown Heights, including Rabbi Heller. He has the same authority and is entitled to the same respect.

      The people responsible for maintaining the eruv’s kashrus, under the expert’s supervision, is not secret. You know their names as well as I do, and they stand by their work.

      And don’t pretend that you don’t know why the expert wants to remain anonymous. You are probably yourself one of the terrorists who would harass him and his family if you only knew who he was. Why should he expose himself and his family to that? Where in halacha does it require him to do so?

    • 98. K told me that it is Hearsay wrote:

      I asked K (who stayed out of this discussion) and he told me:

      Rabbi Schwartz has no personal knowledge about the kashrus of the eruv. It is pure hearsay! Or “eid m’pi eid”.

      Therefore his opinion about the eruv’s kashrus has zero nemonus – not in Torah and not in secular law!!

      I am writing this opinion based on what K told me (just like Rabbi Schwartz gave an opinion based on someone else’s opinion).

  • 99. Wingless Mosquito wrote:

    Rabbi Schwartz is every bit the equal of any rabbi in Crown Heights, including Rabbi Heller. He has the same authority and is entitled to the same respect.

    Uh huh

    • 100. Milhouse wrote:

      Yes. Have you got a problem with it? What exactly is the difference? What makes you feel entitled to disrespect Rabbi Schwartz? What makes you think your rabbi is somehow better than him?

    • 101. CR wrote:

      1) He is an itinerant who does not live in the community over which he presides. His involvement consists of walking in from Boro Park on Shabbos morning, giving a drasha or two at morning davening and then heading back home. This is not a profile of a community leader of any sort.

      2) He has denied all involvement in the eiruv project.

      3) He and others working on the eiruv will not divulge who gives the ishur kashrus on the matter. It is asserted that the issuing “rov” wants to protect his privacy from so-called “terrorists”. Nonsense. I can think of a half-dozen cases of individuals who give hechsherim on establishments that most “heimishe” and even “modernishe” would not touch. However they put their names and faces out there for all to see and have even given interviews in anglo-Jewish publications describing the views and opinions they apply while also acknowledging the strong resistance. “Rav X” does not have the courage of his convictions and is a moral coward. He is not credible. Period. Full. Stop! And no amount of “trust him, he’s a good guy” can overcome that.

      4) Everyone involved is attempting to be “okeir” an established psak that has been in effect in the neighborhood since long before any of them arrived in the vicinity.

      Richard, it is R. Schwartz who has debased and disrespected himself by being party to this charade. The whole matter stinks like a Brooklyn curbside during a sanitation strike!

    • 102. Milhouse wrote:

      1. Where he lives is irrelevant. Outside Shabbos we have these things called phones. Crown Heights has a rov who commutes from Brussels; does that make him less of a local rov?

      2. Now you’re simply lying. He has not denied anything. He has laid out exactly what he did: his community needed an expert eruv-builder, and he found them one, and certifies that this person is indeed an expert. He stands by that choice 100%.

      3. There is no anti-hechsher mafia. You know very well that there is an anti-eruv mafia who take it on themselves to harrass anyone who dares to stand up to them.

      4. Even if there is such a thing as an “established psak”, Kol Israel has never been involved in one, and has no reason to care what other people in the area have said in the past. And Kol Israel has been in the area longer than most Crown Heights congregations. For that matter Rabbi Schwartz has been in his posiiton longer than most Crown Heights rabbis. He is in no way subject to their authority, and it’s time they acknowledged that.

  • 103. Wingless Mosquito wrote:

    Because we don’t live in mosquito land where pulpit rabbis for park slope modern orthodox synagogues rate to world renown Rabbonim of the most elite Jewish community in the entire world.

    You can rhetoric as you wish and win this debate be we’ve sized you up .. bzzzzzt!

    • 104. Milhouse wrote:

      You keep buzzing and buzzing, and not saying anything. What makes your stuck-up community “elite”? What makes it better than any Jewish community in the world?

      You seem to imagine that “modern orthodox” is some kind of put-down, as if it were less legitimate than your kind of orthodoxy. That betrays either extreme ignorance or extreme chutzpah. נהרא נהרא ופשטיה, and modern orthodoxy has nothing to be ashamed of.

    • 105. K told me about MO wrote:

      The MO (Modern Orthodoxy) led to OO (Open Orthodoxy) which is the old Conservative by another name.

  • 106. Milhouse wrote:

    The lack of respect for people with other opinions is amazing! Where is our Ahavas Yisroel and why can’t we be Dan Lekaf Schus? People need to agree to disagree and carry on with their own lives! This business of bossing people around and acting stuck up needs to stop! Did we forget why the Beis Hamikdash was destroyed???? We seem to never learn…

  • 107. Nosson wrote:

    I am grateful that the author R’ Heller has stated near the end “The reason that it is permitted to make fun of avoda zara is that since avoda zara doesn’t make logical sense you can’t fight it with logic. You can’t fight foolishness with intellect.”


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