Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Requirement of Shishim Ribo: Is It Conditional on a City?

This teshuvah proves Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l knew that there were cities with populations exceeding shishim ribo (600,000) and nevertheless, eruvin had been erected there. Therefore he posited that like the diglei hamidbar there would need to be 3,000,000 people over an area of twelve mil by twelve mil in order for that area to be classified as a reshus harabbim. Consequentially, those that argue that shishim ribo as stated in the Shulchan Aruch is conditional of a city and not a street would have to answer the fact that there were cities that had a population of shishim ribo and nevertheless established eruvin.

The following large cities with populations of 600,000 erected eruvin: Warsaw, which was not walled from the year 1877 and which had shishim ribo on the larger side from the year 1900 (Mishmeres Sholom, 24:10; Divrei Menachem, O.C. vol. 2, pp. 42-43; Encyklopedia Warszawy, 1994 p. 187, and Rocznik Statystyczny Warszawy 1921 i 1922, 1924 p. 14; see also Igros Moshe, O.C. 5:28:5), Lodz (Mishmeres Sholom, 24:10 and Encyclopedia Judaica, 1996 vol. 11 p. 426), Odessa (Divrei Malkiel, 3:14-18, 4:3; Tikkun Shabbos, and Tuv Yehoshua), Manchester (introduction Bais Av vol. 2 and Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 vol. 17 p. 547), St. Louis (Tikvas Zechariah and Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 vol. 24 p. 24), and New York in 1905 (Oznei Yehoshua, 1:18; Tirosh VaYitzhar, siman 73; Eruv V’Hotzaah, and US Census, 1900).