Monday, October 23, 2006
The Evening Standard (London)
Second London Zone for Orthodox Jews
October 20, 2006 Friday
By Rashid Razaq
London's second Jewish boundary for the orthodox community goes live tonight.
Barnet council approved the construction of a four-mile eruv in Edgware which will allow Jews to perform tasks otherwise banned on the Sabbath.
Marked out by fishing line between 39 poles, 30 feet high, it stretches from Springwood Crescent in the north to the Broadfields estate near Edgware Tube station and Hale Drive in the south. Orthodox Jews, who are barred from working as well as doing tasks such as carrying keys or pushing a pram on the Sabbath, can ignore the rules when in the zone.
Permission was granted after the success of an eruv in Golders Green, the first in the country when it was approved in 2002.
Despite objections from residents who feared it would create a "ghetto" and affect property prices,the boundary has helped about 10,000 observant Jews in north London. The Edgware Eruv Committee, which incorporates eight orthodox synagogues in the area, started work on the new zone 18 months ago. The eruv becomes active at sunset today.
Tali Kramer said: "The eruv is wonderful news for orthodox people. It will increase quality of life and freedom as mothers with young children will be able to take them out in pushchairs and elderly people can be pushed in wheelchairs or use a walking stick.
"For orthodox Jews it is very important to observe the Sabbath correctly."
"There has been very little objection and if the poles weren't pointed out to you then most people wouldn't notice."
"The Golders Green eruv hasn't had any negative effects, it has just allowed orthodox Jews to enjoy life more on the Sabbath."
On Fridays, rabbis will check the lines and poles to ensure they are not broken.They have established a text message and email service to alert followers when the boundaries have been approved as kosher.
Under religious law, Jews are not allowed to carry any item, no matter its weight or purpose, in a reshus harabim (public domain) on the Sabbath. There is an eruv in every town in Israel and 200 cities worldwide.