What is an Eruv?
Biblical Jewish Law prohibits carrying or transporting on the Sabbath day. This is only permitted within one’s private boundaries or a defined local area referred to as an Eruv.
What is an Eruv
An Eruv is a continuous geographic boundary designated in accordance with ancient rabbinic principles. Within the Eruv carrying is permitted as is the use of pushchairs and wheelchairs.
How is the Eruv formed
An Eruv may utilise existing local boundary features such as those formed alongside roads, railways, rivers, fences, walls or embankments. However, where the continuity is breached by highways crossing the boundary, then this must be ‘closed’ by the erection of a notional gateway.
What construction is involved
At these ‘gaps’ in the Eruv boundary it is necessary to erect posts linked by a wire crossing the highway. The posts need only be of the slenderest dimensions and the wire of the finest gauge. No signage is required and their presence would, therefore, be barely noticeable.
Are many posts required
The proposals involve the use of some 60 pairs of posts on the public highway distributed over an Eruv boundary of over 13 miles. They would be discreetly located and in many cases existing lampposts will be utilised. They will be painted in muted grey and be almost invisible in an area already containing over 10,000 more prominent items of street furniture.
What legal processes are required
Applications are being made to Bury, Salford and Manchester Councils and Greater Manchester Transport for planning consent and permission to work on local highways. All these Authorities have been previously consulted and have contributed to the design of the Eruv.
The cost of implementing the Eruv, as well as its annual maintenance, will be borne by the orthodox Jewish community. This is of a moderate order in relation to the many hundreds of orthodox Jewish families who would benefit from its introduction.
Impact on the general public
Whilst an Eruv would benefit only one group within a multi-cultural community, the effects on others would be imperceptible. Apart from Israel, there are already over 150 Eruvim worldwide stretching from France to Australia and America, including three in London.
Why an Eruv?
An eruv makes Shabbos observance more pleasant in many ways. The Manchester Eruv
will enable many thousands of Jewish people living in the area to enjoy Shabbos
to the full.
Eruvim are especially helpful to families with young children who want to use a
pram or baby buggy outside their home on Shabbos and to people who use a wheelchair
or walking frame. Others will find it useful to be able to carry house
keys, reading glasses, medication or books to a shiur.
Currently, families with young children are home-bound each Shabbos. Many couples
have children too young to walk to synagogue and cannot attend a Shabbos service
together, nor a kiddush or simcha. Grandparents will be able to host their younger
grandchildren on Shabbos. Shabbos events will be available to all families - young
and old, mobile and less mobile. Everyone will be able to join in the Shabbos religious
and social life of the community.