Eruv Update – December 3, 2021
ATTENTION: The Eruv is down for this Shabbos. 12/3/2021
Eruv Update — November 21, 2021
Below find an update concerning the Eruv from the Rabbanim Achraim – Rabbi Menachem Greenblatt and Rabbi Yosef Landa, who are the halachic supervisors over the Eruv and many other important St. Louis Jewish community matters.
If you have any questions about the following message concerning the Eruv, please feel free to contact me.
Rabbi Ze’ev Smason
Message from the Rabbanim Achraim re the Eruv:
We begin with expressing our deepest gratitude to the dedicated leadership and inspectors of the Eruv committee who have tirelessly given their time and energies over the last 27 years to maintain the Eruv in our community. Throughout that period their yeoman efforts have enabled us to maintain a kosher operational Eruv in St. Louis each and every Shabbos almost without interruption. We owe them our deepest thanks and appreciation.
Equally deserving of recognition and thanks are all the members of our community for their understanding and patience during the last couple of months. We are fully aware of the hardship that the lack of an Eruv has caused many individuals and families. We are not indifferent to that, G-d forbid. We feel the frustration and the angst that this has caused, and the community’s patience during this trying period is profoundly gratifying. We have been doing everything possible to restore the Eruv as expeditiously as physically possible. Indeed, an enormous amount of progress has been made, and we believe that we are extremely close to completion.
We wish to be unmistakably clear that virtually all the work currently being done is essential to the Kashrut of the Eruv. These are not elective enhancements, but repairs necessary for the Kashrut of the Eruv, which would permit “carrying” on Shabbos. Many changes can occur in the course of 27 years, and many have been capably identified by our dedicated inspectors. There are topographical changes, that affect the Kashrut of the Eruv and may often impede the access necessary to visually inspect the eruv. There are issues related to erosion and major road construction projects, such as the Metrolink construction, the I-170 and I-64 interchange etc. There are numerous utility poles and cable changes that regularly occur which impact the Eruv. Over time, lechis deteriorate and alignments fall out of place.
Additionally, there are many new state-of-art tools and techniques that were not available 27 years ago. These tools can help us to better determine the condition of the eruv and of the surrounding areas, including high-powered photography, and most significantly, Google Earth. We simply have better eyes today with which to evaluate the conditions on the ground in less accessible areas.
The Hallachot of Eruvin are among the most intricate and complex in the entire Shulchan Aruch. This is an area of Hallacha that is highly specialized. For this reason, when the western border of the Eruv on Warson Rd. came down, we as the Rabbanim Achraim who are responsible for the Kashrut of the Eruv, thought it wise and prudent to conduct a thorough and comprehensive review of our Eruv, which hasn’t been done since the Eruv’s original construction. To this end we engaged the expert services of Rabbi Shlomo Francis, a highly regarded Eruv expert and the noted co-author of the acclaimed book “The Laws of An Eruv”, whose expertise is sought-after by many communities.
With Rabbi Francis’ advice and guidance, and with the help of many dedicated volunteers, a tremendous amount of work has been accomplished in a relatively short period of time. Much work has been done by the linemen that have worked with us so diligently over the years, as well as local volunteers, and another eruv specialist who came with his bucket truck from Chicago and worked non-stop for a period of 6 days. This has truly been an “all hands on deck” team effort.
We are very pleased with the progress made. We continue to work just as expeditiously as possible. Our singular objective, which we know is also your objective, is to have a fully functional and hallachically sound Eruv for our community as soon as possible. We’re almost at the finish line. All we ask from our beloved community members is their continued patience and understanding.
With best wishes and Torah greetings,
Rabbi Menachem Greenblatt and Rabbi Yosef Landa
Before Shabbos, call the Eruv Hotline at 314-863-1811. To find more information about the St. Louis eruv check their webpage http://www.stleruv.org/