Sunday, December 11, 2005

Tenafly eruv o.k.

Bergen Record

Inconspicuous black plastic strips on utility poles could finally connect about five Orthodox Jewish families in the borough with the rest of their congregation during Sabbath.
The families live outside the eruv - an enclosure that erases the border between an Orthodox Jewish home and the outside world. The symbolic perimeter had been the subject of a heated, five-year legal battle between the borough and the Tenafly Eruv Association.
Now that the two sides may finalize a settlement next month, the eruv could be extended by adding more plastic strips, called lechis.
For Jews who strictly observe Sabbath, it means being allowed to carry objects outside the home and push a stroller.
"All of a sudden, families outside the eruv can have members of the community over [during the Sabbath]," said Jim Fox, rabbi of the Community Synagogue of Englewood and Tenafly, known as the Kesher synagogue, which has families in Tenafly beyond the eruv.
Members of the congregation who lived in Tenafly during the contentious lawsuit are anxious for a resolution.
"It's good that it's behind us," said John Fox. "Now we can worship on the Sabbath in confidence that this aspect of religious liberty will not be taken away by some ordinance. Tenafly is back to normal."
Experts say cases against the eruv are rare and Tenafly's situation was rarer still because of the borough's opposition.
"In my experience, this is the first case I've seen in which officials of the town opposed an eruv," said Nathan Lewin, who represented three of the plaintiffs in the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled the eruv should remain until the case is resolved.
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posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 2:18 PM

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