Supporters Of London Eruv Go On PR Campaign

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eruv.jpgSupporters of the North-West London eruv have mounted an expensive public-relations exercise in a bid to demonstrate to local strictly Orthodox residents that it is usable.

4000 copies of an lavishly produced 160-page booklet have been delivered to Jewish homes in Hendon and Golders Green, containing endorsements for the eruv from across the Orthodox rabbinic world.

Although the North-West London eruv became operational five years ago, under the supervision of the London Beth Din, it has been consistently opposed by the rabbinate of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, which questions its validity under Jewish law.

The brochure appears in Hebrew and English and is packed with color photographs of influential rabbis along with a pull-out map of the eruv zone. It describes the eruv as mehudar.

But the Union opponents are sticking to their rabbinic guns and say the eruv remains “of doubtful validity”.

A public notice, newly issued by, among others, Rabbi Ephraim Padwa, head of the Union Beth Din, and its president, Rabbi Elchonon Halpern, warns: “It is our considered judgment… that as hitherto, carrying within the area of the eruv amounts to a chillul Shabbos and is forbidden, even in trying circumstances.”

The brochure was sponsored by an anonymous group calling itself “Friends of the North-West London Eruv”.

(Source: Jewish Chronicle)


45 COMMENTS

  1. Whoever wants to use it, and is halachaly comfortable with it GO RIGHT AHEAD, those who are not halachaly sure, do not use it…..and wish each other ‘Shabbos Shalom’ with a smile.

  2. They should be careful about the Eruv. The main reason why I don’t want to live in Boro Park is because of the existence of the Eruv there and witnessing people relying on it! In London, the anti-semitism is rampant as a result of all the Muslims. Is it worth it?

  3. I have always failed to understand the necessity of Eruv supporters to ”mount an expensive P.R. campaign” to attempt to drum up support for it. If their Rabbi supports it and they elect to utilize it, so be it. But if choshiva Rabbonim oppose the Eruv, and warn their adherents to not utilize it, why must its supporters interfer with the Rabbonims admonishment to their Kehila not to use it?

    Let those that approve it use it, and those opposed ignore it. Do not attempt to ”convert” those following their Rabbonim in not using it, to suddenly ignore their shita and start using it.

  4. yossiea – From what I’ve noticed, that is a prevalent problem. Indeed this article above indicates that its supporters have ”mounted an expensive P.R. campaign” to attempt to drum up support for it.

  5. as a chasidisher yurgerman living in NW-London and using the eruv i can only say the those knocking it have after 5 years still not given a pesak as to why it may not be used. they have only succeeded in cursing people who either use it or open our much needed new mosdus hatorah.
    i don’t belive any rov would disagree to this!

  6. It is just interesting when a few local rabbis think they know better then all the major ones world over, namely; rabbi eliyashiv rabbi kanievsky, Rabbi wosner, rabbi shimmon eider ztz”l etc.
    If they are sure that it is kosher 100% then who are a few local rabbis to even mention there opinion, never mind contradict them.

  7. having been helpful when we built the Baltimore Eruv, I feel that this comment is in order.

    The precondition to the building of the Baltimore Eruv was simple. No eruv would be built until every single Rav signed his name to the agreement.

    The purpose of an Eruv is to create Shalom, by mixing up the seperate properties and making it a unified one. Without Shalom, when there is disagreement, the poisonous “satan” of ‘machlokes’ infiltrates our society and destoys our unity.

    The designers of the Eruv left out its foundation!

  8. why is it such a mitzvah to carry with the eruv
    why do the pros have to shove it down our mouth
    it’s the work of the yetzer horah in opinion

  9. Joseph – firstly there are many “choshiva Rabbonim” who support it too. And it’s obvious why they “mounted an expensive PR campaign” – they don’t like being slandered and told that they’re being mechallel shabbos mid’oraisa, when there is certainly al mah lismoch (even if not all Rabbonim hold of all the opinions relied upon).
    Having said that, I do obviously agree that everyone should follow their Rav. But the name-calling of the other side has to stop.

  10. Why is there so much fighting going on Golders Green has never seen such sinas chinom before there are enough problems to deal with.

  11. #4 The pro camp needs to explain their position clearly, even though people might listen to their Rov, they should not think that it is really forbidden like some people would want you to believe. Because if the campaign is unsuccesfull the people who carry will be considered outcasts in their community, for following their Rov!!

    Number two, They need to show their followers that they can stand up for themselfs and explain themselfs, proving that they are on solid ground, with a future, Then people will contribute to their cause, which brings it a future in mainstream crowd.

  12. a couple of points.

    The Eruv was built under the supervision of Dayan Chanoch Ehrentrau. It is opposed by the Union, and the main opponents are R’ Pinchos Roberts & R’ E Halpern.
    All those three are world reknown and respected Rabbonim. What is a massive shame is the Machlokes and comments that have come because of it!

    There were three Mumchim brought over from Eretz Yisroel by a couple of gevirim who’s aim was to stop the machlokes by improving the Eruv so that those who opposed it could back down. These same Gevirim are the ones who produced the Booklet. Their aim is simply to stop the machlokes and the “slagging off” of R’ Chanoch Ehrentrau!

    The problem is that the main reaosn why the Union (Hisachdus Kehillas HaCharedus) oppose the Eruv is not simply on Halachic grounds.
    It is because one of their senior Rabbonim don’t want there to be an Eruv because they say it will cause a Kilkul in Shemiras Shabbos, Taaruvois with families socialising, etc.
    For this reason the Union have decided to Pasken like R’ Moshe Feinstien, despite Chasidim (which most of the Union are) very rarely paskening like R’ Moshe. And, simply, if you Pasken like R’ Moshe, there can never be any Eruv in London unless walls and/or gates are installed! So there is no backing down to be done. This is not simply a Hallocha argument!

  13. our choshuve morah deasra and all our rabbonim on both sides of the fence are world renowned talmidei chachomim and universally accepted poskim .It is not for us to voice an opinion. In the interest of kvoid talmidei chachomim and sholom no further comments voicing an opinion should be posted. let us all pray for refuos and yeshuos in our beautiful community, mhere there is so much to be proud of

  14. #16 the Unioin has whom to follow which is R’Henich Padwa which was also oppsed, to any eiruv, taking on that London is a RH”R
    BTW the picture YWN posted is wrongfully so, as you can see the american alternate side, sign underneath,

  15. People can’t really comment about the halachic issues because there are only about five people in the world who truly undertand the complexities (and they don’t hang about on blogs).

    What people are entitled to comment on is the disgraceful campaign of disinformation and villification undertaken by the “antis”, whose name calling campaign has reached new depths recently.

    Actually, there is one blogger who IS a mumche on these inyonim (eruvonline.blogspot.com), I will be interested to hear his thoughts on this issue.

  16. When the Boro Park eiruv was first put up there was a lot of machlokes also. People used to scream at whoever carries ‘Shabbos’ and that our grandparents would be ashamed of us. Bochurim would even go and minutes before Zman Shabbos, cut the eiruv. If not for special shomrim to watch out for this, many people would be mechalel shabbos unknowingly. I hope it doesn’t get to this in London, but what I’m trying to bring out is that even though it seems like it is heavy machlokes now, eventually iy’h people will settle down, and just follow their rav.

  17. The chazon Ish zt’l once explained the difference between a Rov Hagun and a Rov Sheaino Hagun.

    A Rov felt there was a need to put up an eiruv in his community. He spent a lot of time, effort and money putting up the eiruv as best as was possible.

    A young boy who was living in his community grew up and went to learn in an out of town Yeshiva. When the Bachur returned home for bein hazmanim, he dedcided to stop using the eiruv. The Rov found out about this Bochur who “frumed out” and stopped using the eiruv.

    A Rov Hagun says: “BARUCH HASHEM!! Every city eiruv must rely on so many kulois. I have touble sleeping at night knowing how many people are relying on this eiruv because of me!! I know one day I will have to go to din for each person who relies on my hteirim! But I had no choice. I had to build it. At least now, I have one less person to worry about!!”

    A Rov Sheaino Hagun says: “How dear you!! Who do you think you are? Do you know who I am? Do you think you are frumer than me?”(quoted by the Shaarei Aharon)

    The yesoid is, that every city eiruv is full of major kulois. The Chofetz Chaim zt’l paskens on eiruvin a million times better then our city eiruvin that “Baal Nefesh” should be stringent.

    Those who are lenient and carry put a tremendous pressure on the families of those who do not. When everyone elses wives and children are carrying, it is very difficult for others to tell their families not to.

    I understand that each person must listen to their own Rov. But everyone must ask their Rov and not just carry because of social pressure.

    AND DON’T PUSH YOUR P’SAK ON EVERYONE ELSE. If you carry, go ahead, just leave everyone else alone!!

  18. 9: “It is just interesting when a few local rabbis think they know better then all the major ones world over, namely; rabbi eliyashiv rabbi kanievsky, Rabbi wosner, rabbi shimmon eider ztz”l etc.
    If they are sure that it is kosher 100% then who are a few local rabbis to even mention there opinion, never mind contradict them”

    A Qualifiedrav has the supreme authority in his shteler to be bodek in the sugyah of whatever the issue at hand is, and when he reaches his psak, in his “terrirory” THAT IS THE HALACHA!!. He will of course take the psakim of the above mentioned Gedolim into consideration, but he will base his psak on the primary text of halacha: Shulcan Aruch. A baal Habayis has NO RIGHT to question “Why did you not pasken like Rabbi X? He is greater then you”

  19. Not one rav from yerushalayim has actually seen the eruv and if they have they have not seen the whole eruv. after speaking to one of the rabbonim involved in saying the eruv is not kosher, he knows that they have not seen the problems with the eruv.
    another point is, that i think we should throw out all of our local rabonim, including but not limited to new york etc, and have all our shailos paskened by the rabonim in yeruslayim. hang on, that is wrong! yes! our rabonim are the ones who pasken our local shailes…
    my rov mentioned to me, that there may be problems with the toronto eruv, but thet DO NOT get involved EVEN if they would be asked to do so!

    Another point i have: IF the eruv is so kosher and has been for the past few years, why change parts of it as the Keddassia/Union have said? and why the need for such an extensive £100,000 ($US200,000) propoganda campaign to convince “us” that it is kosher?

    let the rabbonim have thier machlokes in halocho and we not to get involoved. I AM NOT MEKANEH THE BAALEI BATIM WHO MADE THIS MAGAZINE AND WHO MAKE THE MACHLOKES WITH THE RABONIM!

  20. to #22 yfr bachuR
    PLEASE GIVE US THE HALACHIK SOURCE FOR UR STATEMENTS.
    BTW DO U REALLY THINK every qualified rav IS “bodek in the sugyah…reaches HIS psak”?? do u know how involved this sugya is?

  21. kiddo15 – The situation has pretty much calmed down in London. Many in Hendon do carry, many in GG don’t. Almost everybody has a “live and let live” attitude – this is England where people are, at least externally, gentlemanly about things. The UOHC shuls have permanent notices saying that the eruv is chillul shabbos doriysa, but use of the eruv is quietly tollerated, even in Golders Green, and at places like Chabad. The sight of a black hatter with a buggy is not so rare. Quite a few rabonim say its OK to use but don’t carry themselves. I think this status quo is sustainable, but it would be nice if carryers wern’t marred as shabbos-breakers. Does that make my food not kosher?

  22. # 18, I never said that the Union don’t have on whom to be follow. In fact, if you read by post properly, I havn’t taken one side or the other.

    I’m simple explainning that the opposition to the Eruv from the Union is NOT because they don’t think the Eruv is built properly and is too Kulohdik. It is on ideological grounds, whether or not there should be ANY Eruv at all.

    As to those posters who say that you should not carry in any eruv if possible. I’m sure that you are all men! Try and sit at home every Shabbos for 26 hours with children who can’t go out of their house because their baby brother or sister can’t walk yet. You try and entertain kids who are going crazy stuck in the same four walls for 26 hours! I garauntee you that if the Rabbonim had to swop with their wives and had to stay at home enterntaing screaming kids without being able to go out for even ONE Shabbos, they would make sure that an Eruv would be built THAT WEEK!

  23. “This is not simply a Hallocha argument”

    Nothing in Judaism is ONLY a Halachic argument (add agendas, personal hashkafas, mix in politics and a tad of honor and what do you get = a BIG ZERO).

  24. “Not one rav from yerushalayim has actually seen the eruv”

    So the pictures in the brochure are faked?

    Any more meshugaasen you are going to come out with?

  25. the picture shows that they are at ONE part of the eruv and not in the Heath which is a major problem with the eruv. (the use of brambles as part of the eruv…) As for other halachic problems, the A406, the Great North Way and the use of Finchley Road are all reshus harabim doraaisa. And yes, I wont eat London Beis Din as as far as my rabonim are concerned the Dayonim MAY be nichshel the rabim and therefore will also not eat at someone who carries in the eruv.
    I recently suggested a shidduch for someone and they said no. i now know that it is because he is stating that the eruv is kosher.
    So to those who will question me and say that the eruv is kosher – i will argue back as i only know from what little i learnt from my rav about eruvin.
    BUT those who dont do so, i will only say that the baalei batim involved – the so called “freinds of the eruv” – they have a larger issue to deal with soon…

    There is mounting pressure to throw them out of the Burial Society – YES! GUESS WHAT? When it comes to the important issue such as kevora – they want to use the UNION/KEDDASSIA! AND THEY DAVEN IN A UNION SHUL!! AND SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO UNION AFFILATED SCHOOLS!

    Isnt that a chutzpa when they have a personal agenda/fight with our Keddassia/Union rabonim?!!?

  26. I am not from London and have never seen this booklet. From the posts here it seems that people are claimiming that the Hagoan Reb Elyashiv Shlita is from the matirim.

    I find this very hard to believe. It is well known that Reb Elyashiv shlita has many chumros in city eiruvin. He is of the opinion that the entire Sechiros Makom of a city does not work!!

    How then can anybody claim he is matir any ciry eiruv?

    And Reb Chaim Kanievsky shlita usually follows the psakim of the Cason Ish zt’l. It is close to impossible to make a big city eiruv according to the Chazon Ish!!

    This all sounds like a bunch of propaganda to me!!

  27. chochom: you are correct. sechiras makom is another problem of the Union. when dealing with such a vast eruv that is a problem. the only way we can have an eruv, is one for Golders Green excluding the Hampstead area because of Finchely Road, and one for Hendon from the A406 till the Great north Way.
    Then we can all be happy, unless the two baalei batim decide to continue fighting and want people to cross the A406-North Circular into Hendon….

  28. “Not one rav from yerushalayim has actually seen the eruv”

    So the pictures in the brochure are faked?

    “the picture shows that they are at ONE part of the eruv…”

    I accept your apology.

  29. it most certainly was NOT an apology:
    look at my first comment number 23 –
    “Not one rav from yerushalayim has actually seen the eruv and if they have, they have not seen the whole eruv.”

    so let me ask you something: which burial society are you subscribed to? which school do you send your children?

  30. How can anyone not living in London AND knowledgable about the issues comment on this? Unless you live there, just daven that the issue should be resolved soon. (It always amazes me that so many people can have so many opinions on things they have nothing to do with…)

  31. #16 You make an interesting point that the “for” don’t pasken like Reb Moshe ztl.
    The London Beis Din for tens of years did not supply kosher milk to their community during the year, presumably paskening like Reb Moshe, but now when it comes to carrying on shabbos, we do not seem to pasken like Reb Moshe. Interesting!

  32. 29, I’m sorry to say this but you are speaking rubbish. Not only have the three mumchim gone round EVERY SINGLE cm of the Eruv, they made many changes to many parts of it. As it just so happens, R’ chaim Halpern has been round the entire Eruv as well!
    This was NOT because the Eruv was not kosher, it was Chumrois to make it more mehudar in an attempt to get all sides to agree to it.

    FYI, the London Beis Din have NEVER picked a fight or slagged off the Union rabbonim. You won’t hear them say anything derogatory about any of them EVER! Therefore, there is no reaosn why they shouldn’t want to be part of the Union Borial Society, the Schools etc. THEY HAVE NO ARGUMENT WITH THE UNION. It is the UNION that have made derogatory remarks and slagged off both the Eruv & their Dayonim.

    As regards the Great North Way, A406 etc. Of course there are poskim who say that an Eruv cannot be built over a major road like that. But accordign to those Poskim, the Eruvim in most towns and cities in the US, and the Yerusholaim Eruv are also no good. The same is true about Sechiras Reshus. The LBD have used the exact same Sechiras reshus as in Yerusholaim!
    But the same Union baal Habaatim who won’t use this eruv will happily carry in Yerusholaim. We’re not talking according to these Poskim at all.

    What we’re talking about here is how good the Eruv is, according to those Poskim who hold that you CAN make an Eru in cities such as London, Toronto & Yerusholaim! And these three Mumchim have made so many changes and upgrades to the Eruv that it is now THE BEST LARGE CITY ERUV IN THE WORLD! Toronto are even making changes to their own Eruv after seeing the NW London Eruv!

  33. if you look at my orgianl post #23 it says:

    “Not one rav from yerushalayim has actually seen the eruv and if they have, they have not seen the whole eruv.”

    so there is no apology from me nor is it required…

  34. # 35, it is well known and brought down in Halocho that for Eruvin you should be Meikel.

    # 36, you’re WRONG. As I wrote in note 36, all three Mumchim, as well as the five Dayonim of the LBD and the Rav Hamachshir of the Eruv (R’ Conway) have gone round every single inch of the Eruv! Will you only be satisfied about this FACT if they bring out a DVD of them walking around the entire Eruv?

  35. I belong to the Adass of R. Schonfeld zt”l and Rabbi Dunner zt”l, before it got hijacked by a disreputable Hungarian clique, who wish to foist their dubious chumras and dubious hashkofos on reasonable people.

    I daven in an Adass affilliated shul where the Rov is quite happy for his congregation to use the eruv (there are quite a few such places b’h).

    If you think that either of the aforementioned Rabbonim would ever countenance the abhorrent language directed by the Halpern clan towards the respected Dayonim who built and maintain the eruv hamehudar, you don’t know what you are talking about.

  36. Another intersting point to #35 Abba Englender:

    is that most of those that carry show a tefach of hair, despite reb moshe only saying that in dire circumstances – but that they hold of and not his chumras!

    they rely on the chazon ish, but none of them keep chazon ish shiur including tzitzis shiur…
    but it does not matter that they wear tzitis which is not needed on shabbos, coz if they carry – they have an eruv!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Does anybody know how I can get ahold of this booklet which was distributed?

    I have an interest in eiruvin and would love to see this!! (I live in U.S.A.)

  38. The the London people commeting here: this whole discussion is making me sick. Abba Dunner suggested as his the levayoh of his son Benzion Dunner z”l that his untimely pertirah was perhaps a korbon for the machlokos that has erupted surrounding this issue and R’ Shimon Weingarten shlit”a repeated the importance of sholom at his hesped – it was obvious what he was referring to.

    It’s a shame that a kehilloh that has always had achdus is being fragmented by *balei batim* who (judging by the somments here) perpetuate the argument. It’s even more of a shame that those Londoners commenting here seem to be resorting to this level of debate.

    American chereidim would never think of speaking about their rabbonim the way the commentors here have.

    fertig: you’re comments in particular are abhorrent and beyond the pale – the internet does not mattir bizui chachim or loshon horah the way the goyim think the annonyimity of the internet is mattir them to engage in whatever they like online. Your language is disgusting and inappropriate and brings the entire London into disrepute. Btw, I have not heard anything of this “abhorrent language directed by the Halpern’s towards the respected Dayonim” – despite being a member and regular of two of “The Halpern”‘s shuls. (Btw, as a member of the Adass, you’re abviously not a resident of Golders Greeen and so you’re information is obviously second hand or worse, and also btw, R’ Chuna Halpern went out of his way to rebut the loshon horah that said he called those who keep the eruv machalelei shabbos d’oraisoh)

    Me, I would like to carry in the eruv, I wish my rov would find a enough of a heter for our level of frumkeit but I accept his psak, in the same way as I accept Kadassia’s hechsher (though of course, this is also “just politics” , right?) and certainly not seek to question his policies on a public internet forum – that’s just not deroche’hoh darchei no’am of a torah yid.

    I also think it’s a shame that this pro-eruv booklet came out at a time when that had been a status quo between the two botei dinim to let things be, had we only waited a few more years perhaps enough improvements could have been made that would actually satisfy the Union, now the chances of (say) a Golders Green-only eruv have been made more unlikely by stirring things up.

  39. Fertig, politics aside , the eiruv is not kosher. Period. Full stop in your neck of the woods. You see when big poskim from our generation and the previous one forbid it, we must listen. No rov or Av Beis Din can go against them. Its that simple. If a rov’s assumption and reason of heter that the North Circular does not have 600,000 on a daily basis when we all know that there is a lot more traffic than 600,000 vehicles passing through, it makes you wonder.

  40. PS Mechel:

    “If a rov’s assumption and reason of heter that the North Circular does not have 600,000 on a daily basis when we all know that there is a lot more traffic than 600,000 vehicles passing through, it makes you wonder.”

    You seem to be suggesting that the Rabbonim HaMachshirim have lied about the number of vehicles. Now that I have shown you to be incorrect (link above), will you pease retract your allegation?

  41. Ok, so my first reply above didnt pass the censor for some reason, possible because it doesn’t allow links.

    Do a google search for “north circular road investigation” and click the first result, it’s a pdf file.

    Then apologise.

  42. Re:24
    As for halachic sources i will quote my rav Harav Feivel Cohen Shlit”a when brought in a rav from monsey to create a eruv in brooklyn (please dont turn this into a disscution about the flatbush eruv!) He Said That there are many rabonim in flatbush who are qualified to open a shulchan aruch and pasken the halacha and no one has the right to bring in or pasken from somewhere else the rabonim of the city have supreme authority” (as it was a couple of years ago i do not remember the exact lashon). For more specific sources I will ask him for more specific sources on Shabbos. I venture a guess that the sources are in the rambam sfer maddah hilchos yesodei hatorah OR sfer shoftim.
    This is a very deep sugya and a rav is bodek in EVERY sugyah before he paskens. That is what a psak is, the weighing of the different shitos to come to halachah.its not a psak if the rav doesnt weigh the shitos. and any rav that is accepted for hora’ah has the haskamah/help of the ribono shel olam in his psak.
    And yes, I have the Emunas Chachomim that when a rav is asked a shaila he will be bodek in the sugya for a psak, or if it is beyond his qualifications he will decide which Godol to ask.

    RABONIM DONT PASKEN FROM GUT FEELINGS THEY PASKEN FROM HALACHAH

  43. although i do not agree with anything fertig says, Rav Mechel, you must knowthat there are not 600,000 cars go through the A406/North Circular. In fact the gemara says that it is kemat impossible to have 600k people go through a road even if it were 16 amos wide….

    BUT the problem is that the A406 services a city of over 600,000 adults and that is the problem.

    I did write a long answer to all fertigs and golders green points but for some reason it was censored.

  44. FYI i have spoken to R’ Halpern numerous times regarding the eiruv and every time he has mentioned that he is a personal friend of Dayan Ehrentrau and that he hold him in highest regard. he stated that the the Dayan was under immense pressure from the United Synagogue to create the Eiruv and that he had to be somech on allot of Kulah’s.