The Benefits of an Eruv
According to Jewish law, one is prohibited on Shabbat from carrying objects in a public domain. However, a “symbolic” wall called an eruv can be designated or erected, changing the status of the public domain. An eruv such as the Eruv of Elkins Park, built and maintained according to Jewish legal standards, allows Jews to carry or push objects which are considered necessary for Shabbat. Through the construction of our eruv, we have joined Elkins Park together in one large enclosure. Without an eruv, a parent with an infant might be confined to the home on Shabbat, unable to attend synagogue or to visit a friend’s house for lunch. Neither food nor books, raincoats or tallitot could be carried in a public area. The purpose of the eruv is to help preserve kedushat Shabbat, the sanctity and spirit of Shabbat. Its proper use can enhance Shabbat observance. The following is a general guide to prohibited and permitted uses of the eruv on Shabbat, and is not definitive. For specific questions one should consult with Rabbi Brisman.
- One may not walk into malls, stores or businesses within the eruv, even to pick up a newspaper which has already been paid for.
- Mailing letters is prohibited
- Athletic activities, except for children up to age 5 or 6, are prohibited.
- Any objects which are muktzeh (generally prohibited on Shabbat), such as: pocket-books, wallets, purses, writing implements, car keys – or any object for use after Shabbat, may also not be carried within the eruv.
- The carrying of sticks or stones is prohibited.
- The carrying of umbrellas (even if opened before Shabbat) is prohibited.
- Carriages, strollers, crutches, wheelchairs and canes may be used within the eruv.
- Apparel for use on Shabbat, including handkerchiefs, gloves and rain hats, may be carried.
- Food and food containers may be carried
- Carrying of house keys is permitted. Setting tables, chairs and food outside is permitted.
- Carrying of siddurim (prayerbooks), tallitot and religious books is permitted.
Using the Map
The map published here should be consulted before using the eruv. Besides observing the outer boundaries of the eruv, care should be taken to avoid carrying in wooded areas. Again, in case of questions, consult Rabbi Brisman.
Checking the Map
Its is the responsibility of every adult planning to use the eruv to check before Shabbat whether the eruv is “up” – i.e., intact. It should never be assumed that the eruv is up, because it may be undergoing repairs, may have been damaged by wind or rain, or may have been breached by activities of one of the utility companies. The Eruv of Elkins Park will make every effort to ensure that the eruv is well-maintained. To check the status to the eruv, call: (267) 415-6760.