Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

4 Elul 5768 - September 4, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Secular Rioters Continue Vandalizing Eruvin Throughout Jerusalem

By Yechiel Sever

All of the eruv wires in most Jerusalem neighborhoods were broken on the night of Shabbos Parshas Re'eh by a group of hooligans, leaving hundreds of thousands of Jerusalem residents with no kosher eruv whatsoever. A gathering of rabbonim representing all neighborhoods was held to form a plan of action to deal with the rash of destructive incidents aimed at the Shabbos-observant public.

For several weeks secularists have been going on the rampage in south Jerusalem neighborhoods, especially Kiryat Yovel and Kiryat Menachem, where the costly erection of poles for eruvin mehudorim has triggered resentment among secular figures, including officials at the Kiryat Yovel community administration as well as secular political figures at City Hall.

Chareidi representatives such at MK Rabbi Uri Maklev urged ranking police officers to take action, yet despite their explanations of the importance of building and maintaining eruvin for Shabbos-observant Jews, police have done nothing to lay their hands on the vandals — except for a brief, fruitless investigation of two suspects last week. Last Friday rabbonim and public figures warned that eruv wires in Jerusalem might be severed as part of efforts to anger the chareidi public, and their warning proved all too true.

On Friday afternoon the rabbonim in charge of the eruv in several neighborhoods made special preparations and on Shabbos night conducted a stakeout to ensure the eruv remained unharmed, after realizing their requests to police to protect the eruv had gone unanswered.

One of the rabbonim who lay in hiding on Shabbos night told Yated Ne'eman that around 1:00 am two Mazda cars parked near the eruv and three agitated ruffians stepped out, hurling coarse remarks at shomer Shabbos Jews nearby. "We couldn't do a thing because of kedushas Shabbos," he said. "We urged them to leave, but to no avail. As we stood there they tore down and destroyed the eruv, cutting the wires from one pole after the next. But we didn't know the extent of the damage until Motzei Shabbos."

Immediately after Shabbos, several activists who set out to assess the extent of the damage were astonished to find the damage had left most of the city's neighborhoods without an eruv on Shabbos and enormous sums to construct and maintain them had gone to waste. Eruv wires were severed in Kiryat Yovel, Kiryat Menachem, Armon Hanatziv, Bayit Vegan, Givat Mordechai, Gival Shaul and other parts of the city. These neighborhoods have only one eruv and when it was ruined the residents had to rely on the other eruvin surrounding the city, such as the Rabbinical Council eruv and the Eida Chareidis eruv, but these too had been destroyed and in this case all of the backups erected over the years to prevent possible mishaps were not enough since they were wrecked deliberately. Thus all of the routes leading to the Kosel Maarovi, Bikur Cholim Hospital, Shaarei Tzedek Hospital, Hadassah Ein Kerem and Hadassah Har Hatzofim, the Magen David Adom building near the entrance to the city and all of the routes connecting different neighborhoods were left with no eruv whatsoever.

When news that most of Jerusalem had been left without a kosher eruv the chareidi community railed against police inaction and encouragement for the vandalism voiced by secular political figures seeking support in the upcoming elections.


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