This article about eruvin in Queens is fascinating. As an epilogue, I would add that the Judge Aaron Goldstein mentioned in this article was in Maimonides Hospital in 1999 prior to his passing. A member of the nascent Boro Park Vaad HaEruv happened to be visiting someone at the hospital at the time and struck up a conversation with the neighboring patient. This patient mentioned that he was Judge Aaron Goldstein and that his proudest moment on the bench was when he issued his ruling in favor of eruvin. He added that he was very pleased that his ruling was being employed all over the world.
Additionally, I would like to expound on what the article accepts as a simple matter namely that Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l allowed the Queens eruv (Kew Gardens Hills). In fact, there has been much spilled ink regarding the difference between Brooklyn where Rav Moshe objected to an eruv and Queens where he allowed one. There has been absolutely no rational reason that has been suggested to date. All the arguments submitted are clearly excuses after the fact.
There are people who attempt to rationalize why Rav Moshe allowed an eruv to be erected in Queens. For example, some allege that Queens was not incorporated into the city as a whole unit but rather as a set of disparate neighborhoods, which is evident by the fact that when one writes a letter he indicates the neighborhood not just the borough, e.g. Kew Garden Hills, Queens as opposed to the other boroughs. Therefore, they argue, the population of Queens is considered divided, and each neighborhood is independent of the other, which is why Rav Moshe allowed an eruv to be erected there. This argument is specious; Rav Moshe never claimed that Kew Gardens was a separate entity, only that it was a small neighborhood in Queens (Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:86 and Addendum to O.C. 4:89). Additionally, Kew Gardens Hills is part of Queens just as Boro Park and Flatbush are part of Brooklyn, as can be seen on any map of the area. Every neighborhood in Queens is built up to the adjoining neighborhood and forms one contiguous borough just as all neighborhoods do in Brooklyn. Why then did Rav Moshe allow an eruv in Queens and oppose one in Brooklyn?
Moreover, according to Rav Moshe, it makes no difference whether or not Queens is considered as one city since Rav Moshe’s main thesis is that we view an area of twelve mil by twelve mil and not how the boroughs are conceptualized. If the twelve mil by twelve mil area contains a population of 3 million, an eruv cannot be erected in any part of it (ibid., 1:139:5, 4:87-88). Kew Garden Hills is part of the twelve mil by twelve mil of Queens just as Boro Park and Flatbush are part of the twelve mil by twelve mil of Brooklyn. If the population of Queens doesn’t meet the requirement of Rav Moshe’s chiddush to be classified as a reshus harabbim, neither does the population of Brooklyn. Even more so, since both Brooklyn and Queens have similar populations of over 2 million, why did Rav Moshe not apply the same gezeirah that he implemented regarding Brooklyn and Detroit to negate an eruv in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens as well (see Three Million: More or Less?)?
Additionally, in a speech given a while ago about the eruv in Flatbush, there was a claim made that the reason Rav Moshe allowed an eruv in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens was that the area is encircled with mechitzos. This is a fabrication, as Rav Moshe never refers to mechitzos in any teshuvah concerning Kew Gardens Hills (ibid., 4:86 and Addendum to O.C. 4:89). Nor does anyone else mention mechitzos regarding Kew Gardens Hills (See Minchas Chein, siman 24 and Minchas Asher, 1:51-52, 2:56-57, 2:59). More so, since Brooklyn is encircled with mechitzos as well, why should it be any different than Kew Gardens Hills? If Brooklyn would require delasos at its pirtzos, Kew Gardens Hills would require delasos as well (Igros Moshe, O.C. 1:139:3).
Some even argue that those establishing the Kew Gardens Hills eruv did not apprise Rav Moshe of the pertinent statistics of Queens. First of all, this argument is motzei laz on those people whose only aveira was that they wanted to be mezakeh their neighborhood with an eruv. In any case, if this is so, why is it so difficult for these same people to believe that Rav Moshe was sold a pack of lies regarding Brooklyn (e.g. that the borough contains a population of greater than 3 million, including more than a million people commute into the borough to work, and that both Boro Park and Flatbush contain a population more than shishim ribo, and that Brooklyn is not encompassed by mechitzos)? I guess when the objective is to negate eruvin, we believe all tales, but when the goal is to establish an eruv, we don’t even believe the written word.