Staten Island Eruv Removed After Anti-Semitic Backlash

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An Eruv built in parts of Staten Island has been taken down.

The controversy started when residents of Westerleigh noticed thin gray PVC pipes were put up on utility poles around the neighborhood.

The eruv was put up by a group of Orthodox Jews without approval from Con Ed, Verizon, or the Transportation Department.

The flames were further fueled when some residents began putting up signs considered to be anti-Semitic.

Recently, there was hateful messages in Staten Island, when homeowners places signs in their gardens which said “Westerleigh Strong”. That was a message to homeowners from selling their homes to Orthodox Jews who have recently been moving into the area.

City Councilman Steve Matteo says Young Israel has now taken the eruv down, but says they have submitted paperwork to have it re-attached.

[HATE IN STATEN ISLAND: Chabad House and Nearby Yeshiva Both Defaced With Anti-Semitic Slurs]

The Westerleigh Improvement Society also released a statement saying:

“We are thankful that most of the Eruv has been removed, as it was installed without the required permission, required insurance, and did not follow standard or established details. We are curious why some portions of it remain up without the required items. We have asked Con Edison to permit the Society to review the application for a new proposed Eruv, and don’t understand why they consider this information to be private, when the proposal is to install non-communication equipment in the public right of way. We would like to call attention to the fact that we have a thriving community that we love, made up of folks of many ethnic and religious backgrounds, and welcome our new neighbors to assimilate with us and expect and insist that we all abide by the same laws and processes. So far these normal expectations have not been demonstrated.”

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)




30 COMMENTS

  1. Had they obtained all the necessary approvals there would be an eruv. Now that it has become a public issue the owner(s) of the utility poles may have second thoughts about allowing the use of the poles. BTW isn’t use of the poles without the owners permission geneva?

  2. With all due respect, it should not have been put up without proper permits and permissions. they brought it upon themselves. NYC would allow the Eruv, as long as it’s done with the proper procedures.
    So the “anti – Semitic outrage” was caused by the Jews themselves

  3. This title is just not true. A bunch of Jewish people put up an eruv without any permits or licenses against city protocol, the city asks them to take it down, and TYW tries to make this a case of anti-semitism because of some “westerleigh Strong” letter. No, this is clearly Jews doing what they wanted without trying to involve the government.

  4. “So far these normal expectations have not been demonstrated” That is the problem. Some of us still live in a cocoon thinking “the goyim” are all stupid. People in NY today know what an Eruv is and what it means for the population balance in their neighborhood. Apply for permission properly and get approval, is the message. Another six mop0nths without an Eruv is not that terrible.

  5. What, are all these little neighborhoods parts of the borg collective? Why do they want us to assimilate?

    Resistance isnt futile.

  6. Presumably, in order to create an eiruv in any community-at-large, s’chirus should likely be required. While relying on some government official to execute that agreement – I assume based on the legal concept of emanate domain – is questionable in halachah, but it is often relied upon for many eiruvin. Somebody, had to have signed off on this agreement. If so, to suggest the eiruv was built without permission from the local government, would be tantamount to saying the eiruv is posul. And if permission was granted, the above article is false and slanderous. Coming days after the parshah of onoas devarim makes this a bit surprising and disturbing.

  7. It will probably end up in court, and the anti- semites\eruv will ultimately lose as was the case in similar situations.

  8. Everyone take a deep breath (since no one here seems to know what is actually going on). It was an expansion of the eruv that was taken down. Anyone who knows, in NYC Con Ed always gives permission, and even said that they should correct certain places and then they will issue permits. However, afterwards they insisted that the eruv come down until they issue the permits. This is a dangerous precedent, and no doubt had to do with the locals (aka anti-Semites) insisting that the eruv come down, under the cover that it was expanded without a permit. It remains to be seen the next step that these locals will take to obstruct the issuing of the permit.

  9. I know for a fact that Con Ed has authorized what are called “pole attachments” for eruvim in multiple areas of the city and their legal department and the City both have dealt with the issue multiple times w/o problems when the proper paperwork is submitted. The opposition of a local neighborhood is NOT considered a reason to deny the permits unless they can show some real physical risk or burden from the attachments, which his hardly ever the case for a properly constructed eruv. Opposition based o emotional or philosophical objections to religious accommodation by the City is not a legitimate basis to deny the permit.

  10. shuali: “Presumably, in order to create an eiruv in any community-at-large, s’chirus should likely be required. While relying on some government official to execute that agreement – I assume based on the legal concept of emanate domain – is questionable in halachah, but it is often relied upon for many eiruvin. Somebody, had to have signed off on this agreement. If so, to suggest the eiruv was built without permission from the local government, would be tantamount to saying the eiruv is posul.”

    No such an halachah. the eruv is kosher notwithstanding permission being granted. Eminent domain is not questionable regarding a non-Jew.

  11. In 20 years from now this village will be all Frum. The people living there now don’t stand a chance as they are trying too hard.

  12. Shual,
    “to suggest the eiruv was built without permission from the local government, would be tantamount to saying the eiruv is posul.””

    You are confusing the two issues, Sechirus and Tzuras Hapesach/Mechitzos; the only issue with the gov are the poles etc, which, technically, does NOT need permission as per halacha…

  13. @youdontsay and gaon:
    Al ha’achron rishon – I am not confusing the two issues at all. In order for an eiruv, made up of a system of tzuros ha’pesach, to be effective, the non-Jew’s property must be properly rented by the Jewish residents. In large eiruvin, where it is impossible to rent from them individually, some sort of rental agreement with the local government, or with local utility companies, is executed. The process by which this is accomplished today is far from agreed upon by prominent poskim, for several reasons, and is a major reason why they strongly encourage a ben-Torah to refrain from using such eiruvin.

  14. @gaon – “the only issue with the gov are the poles etc, which, technically, does NOT need permission as per halacha…”

    After reading your post again, I can say I understand what you are saying, fully, and you make a good point, I believe. But think it might be a moot point. Any permission received should have likely included use of the poles. If not granted, NEEDED OR NOT, then there is anyway no eiruv. Technically, maybe it is two different concerns and issues, as you mention, but as far as the kashrus of the eiruv is concerned, it’s very likely they cannot be separated. But I hear and understand what you are saying.

  15. Shaul,
    “in order for an eiruv, made up of a system of tzuros ha’pesach, to be effective, the non-Jew’s property must be properly rented by the Jewish residents”

    I don’t know where you are getting the above?
    There are two factions of Eruvin:
    A) Mechitzos – never needs anyone’s permission, Mechitzos (i.e. Tzuras haPesach) is a factual boundary that renders a domain as a Reshus haYachid once erected.

    B) Eruv Chatzeros – technically needs permission for the “rental” to be in effect.

    As for the heter, I will leave it up to @ youdontsay to explain how …
    שכירו ולקיטו ע”י שר העיר operates..especially nowadays in the USA.

  16. Shaul,,
    You did not mention Siman 391:

    הגה ויש אומרים דדוקא לענין להוציא ולהכניס לרשות העכו”ם אבל לטלטל במבוי יכול לשכור מן השר שהרי דרך המבוי הוא של השר ויכול לסלק כל העכו”ם משם: (ריב”ש סי’ תש”י) במה דברי’ אמורי’ בשר שאין הבתי’ שלו וגם אין לו רשות להשתמש בבתי בני העיר כלל אפי’ בשעת מלחמה אבל במקו’ שכל צרכי העיר אינם נעשי’ אלא על פי השר או הממונה שלו ודאי ששכירו’ מהשר ההוא או משכירו ולקיטו מהני שהרי יש לו רשות להושיב אנשיו וכלי מלחמתו בבתי בני העיר בשעת מלחמה שלא מדעתם:

  17. ” Any permission received should have likely included use of the poles”

    Let’s look at it from a diff angle –

    Historically speaking, every eruv in Europe was erected WITHOUT the consent of the many Non-Jewish Antisemites residing in the towns in concern (who actually destroyed the Tzuras Hapesachim – see many responses in SHU”T Avnei Nezer Hil. Eruvin applying many Kulos without having to erect a Tzuros haPesach).

    What exactly did they rely on?

  18. @Gaon: Mavui? I’m possibly missing something here, but (1) since when do eiruvin in towns, townships, and cities include only mavuos where the Sar can be m’vateil reshus and (2) I question if a city clerk, city council member, or even the mayor could do this to satisfy the halachah. A Sar is very different than any elected official.

  19. The fact is that many contemporary poskim consider the sechirus typically executed as not satisfying the halachah. Fact. This may not effect this particular eiruv. I, perhaps we, cannot say for sure, but as far as the halachah is concerned, this is real consideration.

  20. Shauli,

    מבוי is precisely where the Eruv is needed, i.e. streets and roads – you don’t need the’ Sar Ha’Ihr’ eruv for your house, shul etc. unless you plan to carry into any non-Jewish private properties.

    Yes, the mayor has the power to close off …issue a curfew on ANY of the above, hence, his power should indeed be suffice and relevant to the above requirement.

    (Note – Officials can also decide they want to remove your house for the benefit of a road, park etc.)

  21. Shauli,
    “but as far as the halachah is concerned, this is real consideration.

    BTW, you are aware that this very issue effects the Eruv in Jerusalem/Tel Aviv etc as well, and should be even more of an issue, as we are dealing with Jews (though secular) that are against an Eruv not Non-Jews..

  22. “The eruv was put up by a group of Orthodox Jews without approval from Con Ed, Verizon, or the Transportation Department.” Doesn’t sound like anti semitism to me. It sounds like the folks who constructed it didn’t want to abide by existing rules.

  23. @Gaon – “מבוי is precisely where the Eruv is needed, i.e. streets and roads – you don’t need the’ Sar Ha’Ihr’ eruv for your house, shul etc. unless you plan to carry into any non-Jewish private properties.”

    ¿ And the sidewalk in front of the non-Jew’s home? ¿ The street of which the non-Jew “owns” a portion through the taxes paid? . . . This joint / public right to every karmilis is precisely why an eiruv and sechirus is required. No?

    My ignorance, notwithstanding, the poskim discuss this issue and indeed have the very same issue with ALL eiruvin requiring sechirus reshus as you pont out.

    “Yes, the mayor has the power to close off …issue a curfew on ANY of the above, hence, his power should indeed be suffice and relevant to the above requirement.”

    Except that is rarely, if ever, who gives that reshus.

  24. S,
    “Yes, the mayor has the power to close off …issue a curfew on ANY of the above, hence, his power should indeed be suffice and relevant to the above requirement.”

    “Except that is rarely, if ever, who gives that reshus.”

    Sorry, but THAT is the very essence of the sevara mentioned above:
    שהרי יש לו רשות להושיב אנשיו וכלי מלחמתו בבתי בני העיר בשעת מלחמה שלא מדעתם

    The same applies for “the sidewalk in front of the non-Jew’s home”, even though you pay tax etc, the Gov still has enough power to enact a curfew etc when they see fit.

    That in theory is more than enough and, is likely even better than the sevara mentioned by the Rivash/Shu”A (regarding Sar h’Ihr having rights in a state of war, even though a war may never happen, but its enough).

    There are other sevras as well, how the US Gov can infringe and has enough power over your assets and certainly over the streets, roads. They can determine any hazardous claim and bar you from walking in the entire area etc. (e.g after 9/11 all of the area was barred from entry.. even residents)