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Here’s A New One: Anti-Eruv Activists Say It’s a Hazard For BIRDS!

The Jewish community in Agoura Hills, California has received backlash for it’s Eruv from residents concerned over its impact on the environment, The Acorn reports.

The eruv, constructed in the Lake Lindero neighborhood, consists of fishing line attached to metal poles about 20 feet above the ground.

Rabbi Moshe Bryski of Chabad of Conejo said the eruv is essential to the Orthodox Jewish community.

“(On Shabbat) we cannot carry (items) in a public domain. If I wanted to carry a key six feet outside I would have violated the Sabbath,” Bryski said. “Pushing a stroller, a bicycle, carrying a gift are all not permitted in a public domain.”

Bryski said prior to having an eruv, members of the Chabad who had young children couldn’t visit their friends or go to synagogue because they were prohibited by Jewish law from transporting the young ones and their strollers across public areas.

“If an eruv is (installed) it deems that particular area within its domain as private, and thus you’re allowed to carry,” he said. “We have nine Chabad centers in the Conejo Valley. This eruv is specifically for (Chabad of Conejo).”

But critics have argued that birds can fly into the eruv lines and become injured.

A 2007 attempt to install an eruv in Oak Park drew similar criticism following unconfirmed reports that three hawks had broken their wings by colliding with the fishing line.

Bryski said concern for the wildlife is unfounded.

“There’s not a single report in the entire world of a bird being harmed by an eruv. The only place, somehow, was in Oak Park,” Bryski said.

“Birds can see worms from who knows how far away. There was a bird that was found 11 years ago that was wounded, and all of a sudden it became, ‘it must have been from the eruv.’ That story became fact and then there were hundreds of birds all over the streets, like part of the 10 plagues.”

Bryski believes the fear has been overblown.

“Everyone believes they’ll see a few thousand feet of string hanging around the border. The reality is, this eruv is 95 percent not string,” Bryski said.


11 Responses

  1. These bird lovers must pay for every electrical grid/wire across the USA and indeed across the world, to be built underground, as in Manhattan, because all these electrical wires are so hazardous for birds flying into these huge voltages.

  2. Why in all the articles about eruv’s ppl are saying that they are essential to the jewish community? Im sorry but they aren’t essential, they are a nice thing. I don’t use the eruv, and I know plenty of ppl who don’t use one aswell and yet we survive, and we somehow are able to have shabbos. Does it make it harder on the family, yes it does, is it essential, not at all.

  3. wont be surprized its those rishey yisroel, reform etc. same stuff made from WOW. No gentile ever bother these issues…eirev, separate seating etc only rishay yisroel all generations

  4. bigissy- You arise a fully loaded topic, where we won’t be able to debate it in it’s entirety here. I’ll try to respond to your questions (from my opinions and perspectives)
    1. Many Rabbonim say it’s essential because they want to allow many to partake in the enjoyment of shabbos, and at the same time prevent others from being over the melacha of carrying without an eruv. On the surface, there are questions as to whether my house-key tie clip, an elderly man’s cane or his wedding ring on his finger, and sanitary napkins (and misc.) of a woman are considered carrying.
    2. An Eruv isn’t essential if we are comparing it to oxygen, a roof over our heads, or food on the table- but it may be considered essential and valuable for many frum families. An elderly man in a wheel chair may never be able to go to shul, a married woman may debatably not be able to go to the mikvah, chinuch for showing young children to love shul, davening, and kriyas hatorah might not occur.
    3. I also know many people who don’t use it (or don’t trust it) and they are surviving as well. I also know families who have left communities because of the lack of an eruv, mikvah, Jewish education. I understand and respect their decision.
    4. Essential is defined as ‘absolutely necessary’. A local community Mikvah (can travel a few hours drive for one), Jewish education (can be home-schooled) , eruv (can stay home or carry nothing), kosher food options (can live without poultry, fish, and meat) are all non-essentials. Chabad Jews in Montana and Idaho survive without the above. I want to be unbiased for all of our Jewish lifestyle options.

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