Frequently Asked Questions
What is an eruv?
An eruv is a Halakhic enclosure that allows for transporting objects from different domains on Shabbat, an activity otherwise prohibited. The concept of an eruv comes from an ancient practice that involves creating a defined boundary around a community or area, effectively transforming it into a single private domain according to Jewish legal definitions.
How was the boundary determined?
The eruv was designed using the maximum amount of existing infrastructure in order to minimize the additional components' cost to install and in order maintain the highest possible structural and halakhic integrity of the eruv. The majority of the eruv boundary is the solid train embankment walls of Chicago--Player with Railroads and the Nation's Freight Handler. Unfortunately, due to the limitations of existing infrastructure the eruv does not extend to the community in East Hyde Park, though the potential to do so in the future is possible.
Why do we need an eruv?
The purpose of the eruv is the enhancement of Shabbat observance, not its diminution. The eruv will be especially helpful to families with young children and to individuals who are unable to walk, as strollers and wheelchairs may be wheeled within the area of an Eruv. Others will find it convenient to bring a tallit or siddur to shul, or a book to a class or shiur, or to carry glasses, house keys, or other permitted items necessary for Shabbat. Items required for use after Shabbat may not be carried on Shabbat.
Please note that the existence of the eruv should not be considered a dispensation to enter places not consistent with maintaining the sanctity and spiritual character of Shabbat. Whether a community does or does not have an eruv, one should not enter the following on Shabbat (for example): business establishments, stores, offices, restaurants, places of entertainment (movies, etc. - even if payment has been made in advance).
When is the eruv checked?
The eruv is inspected weekly and the status of the eruv is posted on our Twitter feed (and website) every Friday by 2pm. It is the obligation of each individual who wishes to use the eruv to ascertain, every Friday, that the eruv is indeed functional.
Who is the Rav Hamachshir?
The Rav Hamachshir for the Eruv is Rabbi Haim (Howard) Jachter Dayan (Rabbinic Judge), Beth Din of Elizabeth and Rabbi of Congregation Shaarei Orah, the Sephardic Congregation of Teaneck.
What if I have more questions?
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org