Sunday, June 17, 2007

Go Google the Manhattan Eruv

Ritual Fence Set for Jews in Manhattan Is Extended

Jews living in a large area of Manhattan who regularly observe the Sabbath will have a much easier time of it today. An eruv, a line that delineates the concept of domestic space for Orthodox Jews and dictates where they may carry items on the day of rest, has been extended from Midtown to Houston Street.

The change may be most significant for young congregants starting a family. Many are unwilling to push a stroller or carry a diaper bag outside their home on the Sabbath, except within an eruv. Until now, if young couples there wanted to observe Jewish law, the mother had little choice but to stay home with the children.

Jonathan S. Nachmani, a trustee at Magen David of Union Square synagogue, which helped organize the project, said the expansion could help keep the religious community vibrant. “Synagogue is going to be more of a social center for young married couples,” he said.

...Rabbi Sarna is integrating the eruv with Google Maps, and organizing an e-mail list to spread the word.

“What I see as a common religious struggle in the United States,” he said, “is how, on one hand, to be loyal to one’s traditions but also to be fully engaged in modern life.”

No comments: