Do you know what an eruv is? Well, one of ’em has sued

I tell you, Google takes all the fun out of being an off-and-on-again smartypants.

I do know what an eruv is, so I understand what’s going on in the New York Law Journal abstract about a lawsuit involving an eruv. But Google does have an advantage: it lets me be lazy. I.e., I don’t have to explain an eruv myself. I only have to paste in this definition:


noun: eruv; plural noun: eruvim an urban area enclosed by a wire boundary that symbolically extends the private domain of Jewish households into public areas, permitting activities within it that are normally forbidden in public on the Sabbath.

Since you’re now informed, you may continue on to find out that Southhampton caved to eruv plaintiffs.

Actually, I just realized I have a bit more to explain. You may have occasionally noticed in New York City wires above you, maybe ten feet or more high, that don’t seem to be electrical wiring but loop from one post (lightpost or other post) to another. They are fairly inconspicuous, i.e., they don’t restrict anybody’s lives or movements. They do add visual clutter to the upper reaches of a city that has enough visual clutter via utility posts, signposts, cell towers, more signposts, traffic and parking regulation posts, etc.

But then, given all that clutter, an eruv doesn’t make much of a visual difference. It probably does in Southhampton, Quogue and Westhampton Beach, though, so maybe that’s the background for this lawsuit.

I really didn’t want to write all that but I guess being an off-and-on-again smartypants is a sort of mandate. And I don’t want to forget to point out that this little story and definition is a small sample of the god problem presented by fundamentalist religions’ demands for unusual accommodations.

Southhampton Accepts Creation of an Eruv

Andrew Keshner, New York Law Journal  

The Town of Southampton has settled litigation against it calling for creation of an eruv. Suits against the villages of Quoque and Westhampton Beach brought by the East End Eruv Association, residents, Long Island Power Authority and Verizon are pending.

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