Eruv Vandalized for Third Time; Park Slope Affected

Acts of vandalism against a controversial eruv for the third time in the three weeks since it was erected have escalated hard feelings among observant Jews in Crown Heights and its surrounding neighborhoods.

From The Jewish Week:

“The vandals not only invalidated the Crown Heights eruv,” wrote the board of Congregation B’nai Jacob in Park Slope in a statement posted on a local news website. “They disqualified the broader eruv as well — including the eruv that covers Park Slope. This hurt our community and could have led to a mass chilul Shabbat [desecration of the Sabbath].”

According to community members, the Greater Crown Heights eruv, contiguous with the Park Slope eruv, was found broken in several places before Shabbat began last Friday.

The eruv, which allows observant Jews to carry items on Shabbat within its boundaries, is opposed by members of Chabad whose rebbe, the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, forbade the building of an eruv in Crown Heights.

Naftali Hanau, who serves on the eruv committee at Congregation Kol Israel, the local Modern Orthodox congregation supporting the Greater Crown Heights eruv, said he and other community members are “shocked and appalled that this is happening and strongly condemn the vandalism.” He said they are still waiting for local leaders of Chabad-Lubavitch to condemn the vandalism.

“We hope that the rabbis in Chabad who were so quick to condemn the eruv would be just as quick in condemning the vandalism against the eruv,” Hanau said. “Not saying anything when vandalism is occurring seems like tacit approval.”

Click here to continue reading at The Jewish Week.


  • 1. CR wrote:

    On the contrary, CKI. You were dismissive of the BaDaTz of CH and their well articulated concerns when building your eiruv. It is the height of chutzpah to demand a robust response of them now.

    • 2. Mlihouse wrote:

      CKI had no reason to care about either of the so-called “badatzim” of CH. CKI is not under their authority, and doesn’t owe them any deference. But when their irresponsible words have caused such a crime to be committed, they are obligated by the Torah to condemn it in public, and CKI has every right to demand it of them, just as they themselves demanded of the Satmar rabbonim 40 years ago. Who knew that the peace that now reigns between Lubavitch and Satmar would lead to Lubavitcher rabbonim learning bad middos from their Satmar colleagues?

  • 3. curious wrote:

    Does anyone know if the Rabbonim came out against this vandalizing?

  • 4. Y Sufrin wrote:

    its very kosher eruv, badatz need to rule according to halacha… not rumors of the rebbes opinion.

    confirmed rebbs’s letters articulate how to make a kosher eruv

    • 5. HUH? wrote:

      The Alter Rebbe says you can’t have an eruv in a community like CH, so they did rule according to halacha – there is NO ERUV in CH.
      Cutting the eruv only makes people like you realize that you can’t carry here.

    • 6. Toshov Hashchuna wrote:

      So there is now a “halachic” dispute between “Horav” Y Surin and the non-fiction actual rabbonim on the Badatz about the complex halochos of eiruvin. I wonder which of them has more credibility, knowledge and reliability to rule??? Only a fool states opinions about matters of which Khan e has no knowledge of.

    • 7. Kick Him Out wrote:

      Some people are trouble makers in the neighborhood. They use their huge pisk to state their opinions / shitos and views. Sufrin is good at that. A 100% shanda.

    • 8. Milhouse wrote:

      The Alter Rebbe says you can’t have an eruv in a community like CH

      That is an outright falsehood.

    • 9. Park Slope wrote:

      The Alter Rebbe says you can’t have an eruv in a community like CH,

      What has that got to do with Park Slope? Did the Alter Rebbe forbid an eruv here too? And what if he did? This is not a Lubavitcher community, so why should we pasken like him?

      (Actually not only is our eruv kosher according to the Shulchan Aruch Harav, but it even follows the chumros he recommeded, which the new CH eruv does not. So even Lubavitchers can carry here if they like, at least when it’s not destroyed by Lubavicher criminals.)

  • 10. Anonymous wrote:

    I think this vandalism is just horrific. I personally do not approve of the Eruv and will not use it, however, destroying something that is not yours just because you don’t believe in it is appalling behavior!

    • 11. HUH? wrote:

      Destroying the kedushash Shabbos is more horrific.
      I can’t leave my shul without seeing some scantily clad woman carrying her pocket book (by the way it’s mukzah so you can’t carry it anywhere, not even in your home).

  • 12. great wrote:

    This is simply (a minority within the majority) removing what a minority is attempting to impose on the majority. When park slope wants their eruv left alone, they should keep their eruv separate from forced eruv.

    • 13. Yossi Sofer wrote:

      if someone builds a public sukka and badatz say a sukka is against halacha would you tear it down? seriously?

    • 15. Park Slope wrote:

      Park Slope did nothing to Crown Heights. Our eruv is nowhere near you. You came to our neighborhood and destroyed our eruv, and for that you will burn in gehenom. And any Crown Heights rabbi who does not publicly condemn the vandalism shares responsibility for it, and is a rasha who deserves no respect. That is the standard your Rebbe applied to the Satmar rabbis who were too afraid to condemn the beating of Rabbi Korf, and that is the standard you must accept for your own rabbis now.

      Just remember that your vandals did not achieve their goal last week — the Crown Heights eruv was inspected before Shabbos and found to be up, and those who use it carried with the Torah’s permission, but the Park Slope eruv was down. The vandals, and the rabbis who incited them, will be punished for both aveiros: the loss of oneg shabbos by those who did not carry, and the chilul shabbos by those who did.

    • 16. Mlihouse wrote:

      What exactly do you expect Park Slope to do, and why? Park Slope has had its eruv unchanged for many years; why do you demand they change it now, what change do you demand, and what right do you have to demand it?

      “Pedant”, why do you think a sukkah is different from an eruv? Specifically, why do you think a sukkah that you ignorantly imagine to be possul is different from an eruv that you also ignorantly imagine to be possul?

    • 17. To Yossi Sofer wrote:

      When the Alter Rebbe paskenned that a certain woman was not free to remarry, he decreed on the FOOD that would be served at her wedding would be treif. Even though it was prepared by a meticulous yid (who didn’t even know that there was a problem with the wedding) everyoone who ate at the wedding ate treif.
      I think that is a lot more severe than tearing down an invalid sukkah.
      By the way, if the sukkah isn’t kosher you can’t eat in it, so it’s probably a mitzvah to tear it down. Ditto with the non-eruv.

    • 18. Milhouse wrote:

      Where did you read this fairy tale?

      And just because you think a sukkah or an eruv is not kosher, that doesn’t mean another Jew has to agree with you. You have no right to impose your halachic view on him, even if they weren’t ignorant (which in this case they are).

    • 19. Ezra wrote:

      Milhouse, look at the Alter Rebbe’s shallos uteshuvos, no. 39: שלא ישחטו על החתונה ח”ו שום בהמה ועוף ואם יעברו ח”ו תהא שחיטתן נבילה כדין העובר כו’. Now, it is true that the whole story that has been woven around that (that indeed such a wedding took place, and a child ate from the meat there and later on had problems with learning, etc.) is unfounded; but the fact is that indeed the Alter Rebbe did ask the local rabbanim to declare the food treif, for no other reason than עובר על דברי חכמים.

  • 20. Crown heights resident wrote:

    If thier is a letter from the Reba saying no Eruv in crown heights somebody should plz post it in English

  • 21. Anonymous wrote:

    While I hate this eruv it makes me sick to my stomach vandalizing it is wrong

  • 22. who's vandalizing who??? wrote:

    Let them build their eruv in their community, and leave Crown Hights alone!!
    YOU are vandalizing our neighborhood!!!!!

    • 23. Rabbi Zirkind wrote:

      an eruv is a mitzva and a improvement to a neighborhood ( a real frum neighborhood comes with a eruv )

    • 24. Mlihouse wrote:

      Park Slope did build their eruv in their community, and did leave Crown Heights alone, but Crown Heights won’t leave Park Slope alone. Crown Heights came to Park Slope and destroyed their oneg shabbos. What right did you have to do that?

      Unlike the new CH eruv, Park Slope had a mehudardike eruv that is kosher according to almost every opinion, until Crown Heights vandals, with the silent approval of much of Crown Heights and its rabbonim, came and destroyed it. The gemara says about eruv vandals חכמים המה להרע ולהיטיב לא ידעו.

  • 25. chutzpah wrote:

    The fear in all these voices. They hear the words “vandalism” and they all chicken out.
    Stop folding down: stand up for whats right!

  • 26. Haim wrote:

    The Eiruv will prevail at the end and the vandalisers will be in jail

  • 27. wrong is wrong... wrote:

    You are not making the Rebbe proud by destroying things that are not your property. This is such an embarrassment
    Stop saying it is for the Rebbe…he would NEVER approve

  • 28. its not the ch eruv wrote:

    the eruv that is in question here is the park slope eruv,
    don’t touch the park slope eruv!!!!

    the ch eruv is not the same thing, don’t touch the park slope eruv,
    they don’t have what to do with each other!!!

    • 29. Not true wrote:

      if the park slope eruv shares a section with the CH non-eruv, then if that wire was cut, it would have affected both. And if it’s not part of CH, then maybe it was cut for other reasons. Don’t blame CH.

    • 30. Park Slope wrote:

      The Lubavitcher vandals didn’t just cut strings, they destroyed every lechi along the Prospect Park fence, on Ocean Ave and Parkside Ave.

      Ocean Ave is the boundary between the Park Slope eruv and the new Crown Heights eruv. Why did the vandals take down this boundary? What quarrel did they have with a neighboring community that did them no harm?

      And Parkside Ave is not even part of the new CH eruv, it’s only Park Slope.

  • 31. Vaad Taharas HaChinuch VihaDas wrote:

    Yes, we will break up any outsider Irvuv.

    The offense of an eruv by inside-out-siders is but one of multiple targets. We are also currently pursuing a recent influx of well-meaning frum secular educators who have become too comfortable here within the warm climate of their chasidishe hosts. These “chinuch experts” have already infiltrated the curriculum of one of our key institutions.

    We have made it our business to ensure our childern are sheltered from any outside impurity threatening to harm the delicate, chassidisher environment of our young impressionable children.

    Like you, we never asked for anybody’s religeous aproval for what we do. We will stand up for the perservation of the ruchnius in Our neighborhood. We intend to keep it wired within the framwork layed down by Our rebbeyim.

    Schools, your next: If its not from the rebbeyim, we will break it.

    We mean buisness.

    • 32. Mlihouse wrote:

      Your religion is not Judaism. What you are defending is not ruchnius but tum’ah. You are “eino modeh betoras eruv”, which has the status of a goy.

    • 33. Pedant wrote:

      Brother, I am hugely sympathetic with your sentiment but “we never asked for anybody’s religeous aproval for what we do,” is as veit fun atzmus as the eruv rav toieva, indeed the inyonim in klipa have their root (dakus shebedakus) in kedusha (see the higher biur in ana nesiv malka).

      You absolutely need to submit yourself to an religious authority asei lecha rav.

      Even pinchas inquired about kanaim poigim boi.

      The klipa in your statement above is deep.

      (as an aside, you need to be aware that their are circumstances under which a website can be forced to hold onto and to provide the ip address of the internet end point from which a comment originates)

    • 34. to We Mean Business wrote:

      That sounds like a threat. So whaddya gonna do – steal the poles? Chop down branches?

      FTR I am firmly against the Eruv, but I don’t take kindly to threats. And what’s all this nonsense about educators? Are you wanting to keep the schools in the 18th century? I guess you must planning something radical, like the madrassas do. You are just as bad as the muslim extremists.

    • 35. Crown Height Community Council wrote:

      to Vaad Taharas HaChinuch VihaDas
      you are a incarceration of (Isis Daesh )
      with a zeidene kapota!
      you have no place in chabad or crown heights!!

  • 36. Pops wrote:

    Why do people in the community feel the need to resort to mafia like tactics? I do not support the eruv. However, how can you justify vandalism? Is this how you will draw people closer to Torah and Chassudus? We need to do some soul searching and figure out why it has come to this and why so many people hvae rejected the standards of the community.

  • 37. Eruv Builder wrote:

    You can keep breaking it. They’ll keep fixing it. The vandals will be caught and prosecuted, and will further embarrass the Lubavitch community and the name of the Rebbe.

    You are wasting your breath and making a mockery of your community.

    Have the inner strength to teach your children that true chassidim of the Rebbe don’t hold by the eruv. Put your energy into improving your middos and doing mivtzoyim. Go put tefilin on the Hipsters of Crown Heights and be glad that now, on Shabbos, they are not oiver an issur d’orayta when they carry their keys in their pockets.

    When Lubavitchers go out on shlichus, their children learn that there are some things that other Yidden do that they do not.

    Do you have such low regard for the Lubavitchers of Crown Heights that you don’t think they have the ability to teach this to their children in the Rebbe’s own Shchunah?

    This behavior just makes you look like a community that cannot control your own people and is terrified of losing control…

    • 38. control wrote:

      you refer to control?
      don’t refer to your lack of control of crown heights, with a need to be controlling of all individuals in our community.

    • 39. Milhouse wrote:

      It wouldn’t be an issur de’oraisa anyway, because despite the ranting of ignorant rabbonim, Crown Heights is definitely not a reshus horabim. The walls around three sides of Brooklyn make the whole borough a reshus hayochid mid’oraisa.

    • 40. Why wrote:

      Why should we put up with your chillul shabbos in our community. You want a modern orthodox eruv, go build it on the other side of Park Slope. Just keep your chillul shabbos off our streets.

    • 41. Park Slope wrote:

      What a chutzpah you have to accuse us of chilul shabbos. Our eruv is in our community, where we are not under the authority of your ignorant rabbis, and don’t pasken like them. Nobody asked you or anyone in your community for your opinion on the matter, and you had no right to come to our community and destroy it.

  • 42. best mashpia wrote:

    live and let live!!!
    if you don’t carry don’t use the eruv.
    if you use the eruv, mazel tov, enjoy shabbos.
    No rabbanim in crown heights today…r marlow was the last real rov of our shcunah….

  • 43. not vandals, more like career criminals. wrote:

    i dont think the term “the rebbes chayolim” means in literal sense to start wars!!!
    are these the same people that patrol who can and cant talk in 770 on shabbos?

  • 44. Borsalino wrote:

    If you place video cameras you are going to realize that nobody is vandalizing anything
    Nature can’t go against the Rebbes wishes of not to having an eruv in CH
    You don’t understand that there is no eruv , even if you try to put it , there is no eruv

    • 45. crown heights resident wrote:

      where does it say that the rebbe said no eruv in ch?

  • 46. Feffer wrote:

    The congregation who put up this eruv is in a location that does not even approach the borders of the CH Lubavitch community. For them to come in and put up an eruv is encroachment to the fullest extent of the word. That is against all tenets of halacha.
    You cannot walk in to a neighborhood of 10k+ people of one stripe, and say “Oh, I have 2 folks who walk to my shul from your neighborhood, so I’m gonna put up an eruv”. Not ONE recognized rav (one who paskens shaalos en masse) in the neighborhood approved of the eruv.

    Don’t try feeding that boloney that there’s a growing M.O. presence in CH. Where are they hiding? Why don’t we see them? Yes, we do see more and more of our own who act like M.O. but they are under the jurisdiction of Chabad rabonim (rebels). The facts on the ground still are that 99.9% of the lubavitch boundaries of CH are lubavitch families and no one else. The M.O. area simply is not in the same borders. There is no justification for such encroachment. Thus the only ones disturbing what was a peaceful and amicable relationship between CKI and CH are the people who put up the eruv. They started with fire. Back off!

    Those letters of the Rebbe brought by Shuchat are all very obviously referring to non-anash neighborhoods or cities. Every time an eruv was discussed in the context of *anash* the answer was a very very strong negative (ask the people who got the answers, this is simply the metzius).

    I hope the “vandals” continue their holy work of protecting the integrity of Kan Tziva until CKI recognizes their terrible mistake and redraws their eruv to cover their own neighborhood and not encroach upon the Rebbe’s.

    For some randoms to come in and build an eruv disregarding the unanimous decision of all halachik authorities of the neighborhood (not a common occurrence to get them all on one page).. the word Chutzpah doesn’t do justice.

  • 47. Feffer wrote:

    Milhouse, you and others keep responding to valid arguments with “Park Slope did build their eruv in their community, and did leave Crown Heights alone”. You know very well that if the ones who cut the eruv came from here that they had no intention of damaging the eruv of park slope. They probably made an innocent mistake and you’re exploiting it. I think that some higher authorities in our neighborhood should apologize for the incident, it really is a dishonor.

    Why would they want to damage the Park Slope eruv?! No one had a problem with it all these years… Know why? CKI, it’s because Park Slope live and let live. You CKI should live and let live! Stop infringing on our neighborhood. You stick to your area of Franklin Av and we stick to ours – that is live and let live.
    This propaganda that there’s a growing M.O. population in our midst is simply a lie, they are nowhere to be seen in the Lubavitch section of CH. CKI, you think anyone would blink an eye here if you kept your eruv to your nabe near Franklin? No. So live and let live. May the damage continue until CKI gives up on infringing on our neighborhood,
    The comparison to Sukkah is silly, an eruv is on public property, it is a public issue, not a private one.

    Anyone with a half a brain would realize this is really not about CKI (poor them, they were shlepped into all this shmutz ruining the cordial relationship that existed all these years). This is about the Modern Lubabs in CH rebelling against the Rebbe and his rabbinate (whichever side of politics you choose). This is dangerous and must be fought. It’s not against the institution of eruv ch”v as others are trying to besmirch (you thing the rabbonim are stupid apikorsim who don’t believe in eruvin?! You dummy, wake up and smell the coffee).

  • 48. Eruv Builder wrote:

    There are a number of CKI members who live South of Eastern Parkway. They have a right to live wherever they choose. They have the right to live in an Eruv. The Lubavitchers in Crown Heights have the right to not use the eruv.

    We have many members who live on Eastern Parkway between Kingston and Albany. Albany and Carroll, President and New York. You don’t see them because they come to shul in the morning before you are even awake!

    Today we got a message from a mother of 2 special needs children who has been stuck in the house, praying for an Eruv for the last 3 years. She’s planning to come to shul this shabbos for the first time in ages.

    What do you say to her?

    Feffer- you use very interesting language when you say the eruv cutters who damaged the Park Slope eruv made an “innocent” mistake. There is nothing innocent about criminal vandalism. It’s illegal, immoral, and halachically forbidden to damage the property of others.

    There is no justification for vandalism. What goes around comes around… be careful.
    Why should these people suffer? Why don’t you just focus on teaching your children why you don’t use the eruv?

    • 49. bitul wrote:

      We need to start asking all our halacha questions to Y Sufrin. He is the newly appointed posek. I wonder which comic books he uses to get the information. No one in that family was known for intelligence.

  • 50. Crown heights resdedint wrote:

    where does it say that the rebbe did not want an eruv in ch?either way vandalism is wrong

  • 51. Feffer wrote:

    “Eruv builder”, of course they have the “right” live wherever they choose, no one denies them that, it’s a free country (btw, they only go to shul Shabbos morning? Do they return by helicopter so we don’t see them all week or coming back from shul?!). However it is common decency to respect the prevailing local culture and it is a halachik requirement to follow the opinion of the community rabbis. Facts are that the vast majority of CKI doesn’t live here (in our boundaries). You are infringing on our neigborhood.
    You won’t get anyone to have rachmones with your touchy stories, this is a halachik matter.

    Cutting the CH eruv wouldn’t be vandalism, it’s actuvism. Very simply, there must be a form of macha’ah before it is considered accepted by the neighborhood residents. Obviously this wouldn’t apply to damaging PS’s eruv, I don’t defend that.

    Better idea Eruv Builder, live and live, you stuck to your area, we stick to our area, you stick to your areas. Move your eruv away! The whole story can end there, it’s in your hands. You asked for problems and knew it’s coming.

    As a side note, I strongly doubt you’re really a born and bred M.O., you’re probably a local rebel who really are the rabble rousers in town. Really, why would CKI wanna get themselves into all this trouble?! It’s quite obvious this is not about them, it’s about the CAY folk and their ilk.

    No, CH doesn’t “belong” to anyone, but it’s common decency and more importantly halachikly imperative to abide by local standards (no, geographically CKI is a different area, be real, you know that).
    CH is now under attack, we must stand up to defense. It’s under attack by local rebels (the innocent KCI people were shlepped in at our expense – in the media) and the rebellion must be rooted out until they move elsewhere. If you want to deviate from the ways of your parents, have some minimal respect and don’t do it in their face.

  • 52. Great Idea wrote:

    In Williamsburg the eruv never gets vandalized, even though there is opposition to it. Why? Because no one knows where it actually is!

  • 53. Crown Height Community Council wrote:

    99.9% of crown heights residents silently want a eruv.. they just don’t want to be terrorized by Mr. Feffer and company.

    so far we see from the Rebbe and the alter rebbe writings that we should make a eruv.

    crown heights can be made according to the alter Rebbe ( ain reshus harabim bzman haze )

  • 54. Eruv Builder wrote:

    Feffer- We aren’t rubbing anything in your face. If we wanted to do that, we would have built the eruv to the Alter Rebbe’s standards and we would have publicized the eruv to the Lubavitch community. Instead, like decent people, we quietly built an eruv to our standards, for our community. It was the Lubavitch blogs that took the story and ran with it, with varying degrees of accuracy.

    Even more polite, our community members make an effort not to walk down the streets of the Lubavitch parts of the neighborhood on shabbos with our strollers and other items, unless we have specific business there. During the week, most of our members are either going to shul or work, early in the morning. If you want to look, you’ll find them. They are the people who look you in the eye and say good shabbos.

    The fact of the matter is, Crown Heights, is not owned by anyone. People in our community are living in, and moving to, “your” part of Crown Heights. There is no stopping that. In fact, all of Crown Heights used to be a very Jewish Neighborhood that predated the Lubavitch presence. The notion that there is an accepted BD in Crown Heights is patently false, as there are two rival Battei Din. The fact that both are against it holds no weight for the non-Lubavitch community that lives in the area. We are not bound, in any way by those Battei Din.

    As you correctly note, your community has issues with the more modern elements. That is a reflection on the Lubavitch communities’ internal problems. The problem you have with “these CAY folk” are not new. They predate the eruv. The erection of the eruv is simply exposing them. Perhaps it is time to look inside your own community to figure out the root of these problems. Do you really think cutting down an eruv, screaming at people on the streets, and making pronouncements that others are mechalel shabbos is going to solve these problems? If you do, I feel truly sorry for your community.

    The “Modern Orthodox” community has no interest or need for the eruv to be accepted by the Lubavitch community. We just ask that it be left alone so that we can live our lives.

    Focus on your own middos, and your own minhagim, and your own communal norms and your community will be strengthened. Maybe they’ll even come out stronger for it.

  • 55. Feffer wrote:

    “Eruv Builder”,

    “we quietly built an eruv to our standards, for our community”

    No, you built it in our community, not yours. No one in our community cares if you build an eruv on your side of town. The issue is that you came to our area and made yourself an eruv. Stop selling your fantasies, a few members of your shul moving here doesn’t justify upsetting the cultural sensitivities of the 99.9% of the nabe. Live and let live. Keep your eruv by you and everyone will leave you alone. You’re correct that if this was CH of the 60’s when we had a very large and diverse Jewish community here then my guess is that the Rabbis would respect the decision of another local one to build an eruv. But that is simply not the case. Facts are that Lubavitch stayed and everyone else fled. Now you have 2 or 3 people who come here and you call that a M.O. community???!!! What’s wrong with you buddy?! You don’t have a community according to any standard. Those 2 or 3 people knew they’re moving in an area without an eruv and still in all decided not to live on your side of town, that’s their choice. Poor excuse to pick a fight with 10,000 people.
    Respect your neighbors, take it down. Live and let live, keep it on your side of town.

    Community infighting and politics is irrelevant to this discussion (I know it’s too juicy for you to ignore), fact is all recognized botei din/rabbis of our community oppose it.

    “The “Modern Orthodox” community has no interest or need … by the Lubavitch community. We just ask that …be left alone so that we can live our lives.”

    Love the way you put it. Now just switch around M.O. with Lub and vice versa… How about you leave us alone and go build your eruv by you. A few people on our side doesn’t justify causing such discord.

    • 56. Crown Height Community Council wrote:

      Feffers views is from the minority extremist.
      the vast majority of the Lubavitcher community of crown heights are so excited and thankful for the eruv!

  • 57. Eruv Builder wrote:

    Feffer- The lovely thing about an eruv is that is has absolutely no effect on the people who don’t hold by it. All they have to do is continue on not carrying things on shabbos.

    We didn’t cause any discord. This eruv isn’t for you. Unfortunately for you, this eruv is exposing the discord that already exists in your community.

    Maybe you should work on that, and then you can lecture us about what sort of community we have. We may not be perfect, but at least we haven’t stooped to vandalism and other forms of criminal behavior.

    Have a wonderful shabbos! Moshiach now!

  • 58. Milhouse wrote:

    There seems to be some confusion about the Alter Rebbe’s opinion on eruvin, with many people believing that he had some unique shita, or that he was especially strict. This is just not true. The Alter Rebbe paskened like the 80% of rishonim whose opinion is known, who hold that a street within a city is not a reshus horabim unless 600,000 people pass through it every day. He also paskened like the majority of rishonim that there is no limit to the width of a tzuras hapesach.

    So if one were to put up four poles, and run strings over their tops to join them in a square, even if they were miles apart, then if the area started out as a carmelis then it’s now a full reshus hayochid, and one one can make an eruv chatzeros and carry. If the area started as a reshus horabim then it’s now a reshus hayochid min hatorah, but midrabonon one may not carry unless one also puts up doors.

    So far there’s nothing special about the Alter Rebbe, no need to cite him, this is how the overwhelming majority of poskim hold. Where the Alter Rebbe becomes relevant to us, his chassidim, is that although the above is the halacha, he recommended that we adopt two chumros:

    1. To be machmir like the rishonim who hold that a street can be a reshus horabim even without 600,000 people. Therefore if an area fulfills all the other requirements of a reshus horabim, and an eruv was constructed that consists only of tzuros hapesach, we should not carry, since according to this minority opinon such an eruv is invalid midrabonon.

    This chumra does not apply anywhere in Brooklyn, because even without the 600,000 requirement there is no reshus horabim, since there is a wall surrounding it on three sides. This wall has a few breaks in it that are wider than 10 amos, so midrabonon it’s not good enough, but mid’oraisa it’s a good wall and the entire area it encloses is a reshus hayochid.

    (Of course even if this weren’t the case, now that the new eruv exists the area would definitely be at least a reshus hayochid de’oraisa, so even according to this shita one couldn’t accuse those who carry of chilul shabbos d’oraisa.)

    2. The second chumra, which does apply in Crown Heights, is that we should be machmir like the Rambam’s opinion that if you have a perimeter that is mostly solid wall, but it has a few gaps here and there, then you can fill those gaps in with tzuros hapesach that are as wide as you like; but if there’s more gap than wall, or no wall at all, and you want to build an eruv almost entirely of tzuros hapesach, then each one must be no wider than 10 amos.

    Of course in modern urban conditions it’s impossible to keep tzuros hapesach under 10 amos, so the only way to build a Rambam eruv is to have the majority of the perimeter on at least three sides be made up of solid mechitzos. Then wide tzuros hapesach can be used to fill in the gaps. The Park Slope eruv does fulfil this criterion, but the new eruv in Crown Heights does not, and therefore anyone who considers himself a Lubavitcher chossid should be machmir and not use it except in a case of urgent necessity.

  • 59. Feffer wrote:

    “Crown Height Community Council”, lol. You must be sarcastic, cuz so far *everything* you have said the opposite is true.
    “Eruv Builder”, no one lectured you about what community you should or shouldnt have, so I’m not sure the relevance here.

    “Unfortunately for you, this eruv is exposing the discord that already exists in your community.” To the contrary, if anything this has only brought people together. But once again you’re trying to deviate from the issue of you infringing on our neigborhood culture by bringing to the conversation irrelevant inner politik. Again, this is one issue all our elected and appointed rabbis agree on.

    You are the criminals by picking a fight with a community outside yours. Keep the eruv by you and end of story.

    You see folks, this eruv controversy is like no other. Other ones (whether they were between the secular or religious neighbors) dealt with people living in the same area (AKA neighbors), here we’re dealing with a new chutzpa, people who don’t even live here. That’s a new low to stoop to. Two or three of your members are insignificant in the big picture of 10,000+ others.

    To come to a neighborhood not yours in any shape or form and encroach in such a brazen manner is beyond audacious.

  • 60. Eruv Builder wrote:


    You may think it’s audacious, and you may not be wrong. However, the CKI community is perfectly within our rights, both secular and religious, to build and eruv to serve our community. You may think that we don’t have people to justify it, but we disagree. Simple as that.

    Again, we get to the most important question.

    If the Lubavitch Rabbis in Crown Heights say that the eruv isn’t kosher for Lubavitchers, isn’t that the end of the story. Lubavitchers shouldn’t use it.

    There shouldn’t be any discord. I cannot understand why you would feel the need to resort to criminal vandalism.

    Why are you so threatened by the idea of “three people” carrying on shabbos in “your” area? Why can’t you just ignore it, and use the opportunity to teach your children about the beauty of your minhagim? If there are 10,000+ good chasidim in Crown Heights who don’t carry, how do the “three” members of our shul, who quietly and respectfully use the eruv, cause such a scandal?

    Something doesn’t add up.

    • 61. Ezra wrote:

      You know, I think we begin to see how is it that in the times of the first Beis Hamikdash, we are told over and over how “the people were still sacrificing on bamos (private altars).” Surely those who did so used similar arguments:

      * “It’s in my back yard; what’s it to you? No one’s forcing you to use it.”

      * “It’s only me and a couple of neighbors. Why are you so threatened by it? Why can’t you just ignore it, and use the opportunity to teach your children about shchutei chutz?”

      * “There are local people who have been stuck at home for years, unable to get to the Beis Hamikdash to offer a korban. They’ve been looking forward all this time to a local bamah. How dare you deny them that small comfort?!”

      * “We have great talmidei chachamim who have declared it permissible. In fact, here’s a haskamah from none other than Achiyah Hashiloni, and we find the great tzaddik Yehu following it too” (see Sanhedrin 102a).

      Etc., etc. And yet, all those arguments notwithstanding, those people were still committing an action which is chayav kareis, and which was one of the factors that led to the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash that we are still mourning 2400 years later.

    • 62. Milhouse wrote:

      If there are 10,000+ good chasidim in Crown Heights who don’t carry, how do the “three” members of our shul, who quietly and respectfully use the eruv, cause such a scandal?

      Eruv Builder, it’s not as simple as that. While CKI has the right to make its eruv as big as it likes, and to expect it to be left alone, it should be obvious why the CH rabbonim and community object, and what they’re afraid of.

      They’re not bothered by the few CKI members who use the eruv; they’re concerned that many locals will use it. As you are surely aware, there live in CH many people who identify as Lubavitchers, and pay lip service to Lubavitcher practices, not from any sincere commitment but because that’s how they grew up. Their commitment even to basic halacha is weak, and they will take advantage of any heter they can find to do what they want.

      These are the women who flout the laws of tznius, or adhere to the most minimal standards they can imagine; the men who trim their beards; those who might not be careful with cholov yisroel, etc. So long as there’s no eruv they don’t carry, at least in public, but once there is one they will take full advantage, ignoring the standards that the rabbonim try to set.

      Experience in other communities has shown that no matter how strongly Lubavitcher rabbonim insist that their members should not use the eruv, the moment they acknowledge that it is kosher large numbers will defy them and use it.

      The real issue, though, is that this “Chabad light” segment has been demanding an eruv for a long time, and has been refused because the Rebbe was against having a public eruv. Now suddenly an outside shul claims to have decided all on its own to expand its eruv to CH, purely for its own internal use, and it’s pure coincidence that this happens to satisfy the demands of those who have been calling for an eruv for years, and I have to tell you that a very large proportion of the CH community — probably a majority — do not believe you. They are convinced that it was their own fringe element that put you up to it, and you are merely acting as their fig leaf, so to speak. That’s why they’re angry. They feel as if you are playing them for fools. And if this is not the case then you have to figure out some way to convince them of it. I don’t know how you can do that, but if you want some return to normalcy I suggest you try.

    • 63. Milhouse wrote:

      Ezra, Achiya and Yehu did not permit bamos; the gemara you cite has nothing to do with bamos, it’s about avoda zara. Yehu signed a statement that everyone must obey Yerov’om no matter what he says, confident that he would never order anyone to do an avera. Yerov’om then used it for his golden calves, and Yehu worshipped them, thinking that if Achiya endorsed it it must be OK. Of course Achiya didn’t endorse the calves. I don’t know how you see a connection between this and bamos.

      But if Achiya had held that bamos were permitted, then indeed nobody would have had the right to criticize anyone who followed his opinion. If your neigbhor invites you to his korban BBQ because he follows Achiya, you should politely decline, or accept but avoid the meat. That you hold what he’s doing is forbidden is irrelevant; he doesn’t have to agree with you.

      How much more so with regard to an eruv that is kosher ,not according to one minority opinion, but according to the overwhelming majority of opinions (and is not an issur de’oraisa according to almost any opinion). When you are the one following a da’as yochid, you certainly have no right to criticize or interfere with those who follow the majority.

    • 64. Ezra wrote:

      Milhouse, you do realize that korbanos were being brought at Yeravam’s sanctuaries, right? Even if there were no statues there, that still was a violation of shchutei chutz, because it was _after_ the Beis Hamikdash had been built. Please tell me you’re not going to argue there’s no issur in that; if you are, then kindly take a refresher course in Zevachim and Menachos.

      (As for whether his eglei hazahav were avodah zarah, that is indeed a whole other issue; you can find mefarshim on both sides of the question.)

      Same, then, is true of people’s private bamos.

      (So how did Yeravam manipulate Achiyah into signing off on it – a “psak” that Yehu, a century later, relied on? Presumably it was based on the notion that the Beis Hamikdash built by Shlomo is not in fact ‘המקום אשר יבחר ה, merely another bamah. In turn, that had its effect on the people of Yehudah as well: they were “moreh heter” for themselves to build bamos, given that there were so-called “valid halachic opinions” allowing it.)

    • 65. Milhouse wrote:

      Ezra, did you bother reading the gemara that you cited?! It’s quite explicit, and I can’t imagine how you could write what you did after having seen it. It seems to me that you copied a reference from somewhere without checking it yourself, and that is not an acceptable practise.

      But even so, I explained the gemara to you, and yet you completely ignored my explanation, as if you didn’t bother to read that either, and hared off on your own baseless speculations. That’s not just unacceptable practise, it’s also rude.

    • 66. Ezra wrote:

      No, Milhouse, you are showing your am haaratzus. Let’s start with this: do you or don’t you agree that once the Beis Hamikdash was built, it became forbidden to offer korbanos anywhere else?

      I am perfectly well aware – because I have looked at that Gemara inside, not as you are being choshed biksheirim (and deserve to be lokeh begufo for that) that I copied a reference from somewhere else – that the Gemara there is talking in terms of avodah zarah. But you seem to not be aware – because you are too arrogant to look it up – that Radak, Metzudos, and other mefarshim (on I Kings 12:28) state categorically that Yeravam’s golden calves were not avodah zarah, but were intended to be a symbolic resting place of the Shechinah. And yet, even according to that opinion, anyone who offered korbanos there was guilty of an aveirah, namely shchutei chutz (an issur which, apparently, you don’t believe exists).

      So how do we reconcile these variant views? Well, Malbim suggests that indeed Yeravam was being duplicitous about it: he meant these calves as objects of avodah zarah, but – knowing that no one would tolerate them in that case – spun them for public consumption as being lesheim shamayim.

      According to that, then, the Gemara I cited is telling us something similar: Yeravam, and the resha’im that he seated on his council, wanted to introduce the eglei hazahav as avodah zarah; the tzaddikim, Achiyah included, were misled into accepting them as a substitute for the Beis Hamikdash – i.e., permitting bamos at a time when in fact they were forbidden, which was my original point.

    • 67. Milhouse wrote:

      Ezra, Ezra, Ezra. You’re making a cholent out of two incompatible interpretations. The only source that Achiyah signed anything is the gemara you cited, which explicitly says it’s about avoda zara. You can’t mix that with other interpretations, because then you have no foundation for your entire premise.

      Further, the same gemara says exactly what Achiyah signed and why. It had nothing to do with any halachic mistake, and certainly not to do with a view that Shlomo’s bayis was not the real beis hamikdosh. It’s impossible that you actually read that and yet wrote what you did. Therefore I stand by my conclusion that you didn’t look at the gemara until just now.

    • 68. Ezra wrote:

      Milhouse, you miserable and disgusting rasha and liar. You haven’t the slightest proof that I “didn’t look at that Gemara until I just did,” beyond the fact that you are incapable of admitting a mistake. You think that there is only one way – your way – to interpret things, and that no one else knows what they’re talking about. In short, you are the personification of klipas Midyan.

      You are, quite simply, a disgrace to Lubavitch, to the Jewish people, and to the human race generally.

    • 69. Milhouse wrote:

      Ezra, the gemara is very clear. There is no room for ambiguity, or for speculation as to what Achiya was thinking. And there is no room for your claims. Achiya did not give a heter for bamos, nor did he have any doubt about the validity of the beis hamikdosh. You could only have come up with those claims by not having looked at the gemara first.

      And none of this has any relevance to the current debate about the eruv. In this case the matirim are not a small minority but the overwhelming majority of poskim. When CH rabbonim claim otherwise they merely expose their own ignorance on the subject, and thus disqualify themselves from consideration.

      The only arguments against the eruv are:

      (1) The Rebbe was against making one, so it would have been wrong for any Lubavitcher to do so. However since the people who made it are not Lubavitchers they have no obligation to obey the Rebbe’s wishes. Certainly nobody has the right to interefere with them. Now that it has been done the point is moot. Even if it was a bad idea to make it, that’s no reason not to use it once it’s there.

      (2) The Alter Rebbe’s recommendation that we be machmir like the Rambam. That is not a psak halocho; nobody except Temanim think the halocho is like the Rambam. It’s only a chumra, but it’s one that the Alter Rebbe recommends, so any chossid will adopt it and not use this eruv except in cases of necessity. But one must recognize and accept that those who do choose to carry are 100% shomrei shabbos, even according to the Alter Rebbe.

  • 70. Feffer wrote:

    “Eruv Builder”, you ended off correctly, “Something doesn’t add up”. 2, 3 people of yours on our side here so you build an eruv so large?! No, something doesn’t add up. You and I know the answer, it doesn’t lie in CKI it lies in our local rebels. They are trying to change our neigborhood lifestyle. But that’s irrelevant in the realm of our arguments because so far the only *public* face of the eruv is CKI, so that’s who the discussion must take place with as it regards to the media.

    As far as your mention of rights, no you are not within religious rights to build an eruv in another neighborhood not yours. The CH neighborhood within the boundaries with Chabad families (not the same area as CKI) is under the religious (no, I did not say secular, I said *religious*) authority of CH rabbonim (either side of the aisle, but they’re both against). It is incompatible with halacha to interfere with the religious affairs of another community; putting up an eruv is doing that.

    You have no business building an eruv in our neighborhood. You stick to your neighborhood, build an eruv there and no one will bother you, that simple.
    Two or three people of yours here cannot justify encroachment to this degree. Stop infringing on our nabe. Live and let live. The eruv must come down.

    • 71. Milhouse wrote:

      Feffer, there is no such thing as a geographic area within a city where certain rabbis have religious authority. New York is a city with many religious authorities, and every resident has the right to choose which authority he accepts. As Eruv Builder says, the rabbonim and various botei din have authority over those who accept them. No other Jew has to accept their authority just because he happens to move into an apartment within some arbitrary boundaries that you have drawn.

      And the fact that you have two botei din each claming to be the community beis din means that neither one has the authority they claim, and the fact that they happen to agree on an issue doesn’t magically give them that authority. Even if they would both sign on the same page (which you know would never happen), two zeroes don’t equal one.

  • 72. Eruv Builder wrote:

    Milhouse- We are never going to convince Feffer, and the others, of anything, and we’re not going to waste too much energy trying.

    Please note that CKI did not build this eruv, nor has the shul ever claimed to. Those claims were made by the Lubavitch media. This eruv was privately built by members of our community, and is approved for our use by the the rabbis of CKI.

    Nevertheless, the fact that the “chabad light” community wants to use this eruv and supports an eruv is not the problem.

    The problem seems to be that some of the Lubavitchers in Crown Heights do not listen to their rabbis. While that is a shame, that doesn’t mean that all the other folks in Greater Crown Heights should not have an eruv.

    The Lubavitch Rabbis in crown heights have religious authority over the Lubavitchers of Crown Heights.

    There is no such thing as “your neighborhood”.

    We live here too.

    The Lubavitch community has every right to deal with those Lubavitchers who do not follow their Rabbis as they see fit. Nobody has a right to vandalize the property of others.

    The fact that tznius, cholov yisroel, and even basic halacha are not being observed by Lubavitchers in Crown Heights does not mean that we should not have an eruv that is big enough to suit the needs of our growing community. You don’t have to agree with us that we need an eruv this large, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s here to stay.



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