COTE ST. LUC / HAMPSTEAD / SNOWDON ERUV
Web Site and Map
View Rav Herschel Schachter's Letter of Support
We are fortunate to have an Eruv in
our neighborhood including most of Cote St. Luc / Hampstead / Snowdon, under the direction of (Rabbi Joshua Schmidman - of blessed
memory) and assisted by Rabbi Michael Whitman. An Eruv (Hebrew for "union"
or "joining") is a symbolic boundary around an area that permits Jews
to carry, push, or throw objects outside on Shabbos, actions that are otherwise
prohibited by Jewish law. By symbolically enclosing this area, the boundary converts
the outside public space into a private domain, as if all the inhabitants were
members of one family.
Having an Eruv only relates to the
halachos of carrying. All other halachos of Shabbos still apply. It must be emphasized
that muktzah items remain muktzah and may not be moved or used even with an Eruv;
such items include umbrellas, wallets, and purses. Also, any action done on Shabbos
to prepare for after Shabbos is prohibited. For example, you may not walk to synagogue
on Shabbos afternoon carrying your car keys so that you can drive home after Shabbos.
This is because the keys are being carried on Shabbos only for use after Shabbos.
Furthermore, some pastimes may still be prohibited such as ball playing, bicycle
riding, etc. Concerning these issues, please consult your rabbi.
is another vital, though subtle, aspect of Shabbos observance that must be remembered
- maintaining the atmosphere of Shabbos. Shabbos is a day of sanctity - a day
of spiritual transcendence. With an Eruv there are many activities that may not
fall into any specific prohibition other than destroying the holiness of Shabbos.
The purpose of an Eruv is not to make Shabbos more mundane, but to make Shabbos
Using the Eruv involves the halachos regarding
assumptions. Because many things can happen to invalidate the Eruv and thus, frequent
repairs are necessary, we must determine when the Eruv can be assumed to be in
operation. For this reason the Eruv is checked every Friday morning. Once that
inspection has been successfully completed, the web site and answering machine tape is set
for that Shabbos. To ascertain that the Eruv is in operation on a given Shabbos,
you must either check the website, www.eruvmontreal.org, or call the Eruv hotline, 514-418-6892, on Friday. Sometimes repairs are being
made until close to Shabbos. Sometimes there is no answer at the hotline number;
this happens when many people call at once. Please wait a few moments and call
again. You cannot rely on the Eruv each week just because it was up the previous
week. It is best to get in the habit of calling the hotline just before each Shabbos.
you hear that the Eruv is up for a given Shabbos, you may assume that the Eruv
will remain intact all Shabbos long. Our experience has been that the Eruv is
quite durable - even medium strength windstorms, snowstorms, or thunderstorms
rarely cause damage to the Eruv. But, in the event of unusual conditions where
tree limbs are felled, the assumption that the Eruv is intact may be void. Nonetheless,
you should be very hesitant to conclude that the Eruv has gone down. Even if you
see something that appears to call the Eruv into question, it may not necessarily
be a problem since many places along the Eruv perimeter have backups built into
the system. In such a case, you should contact your rabbi.
from time to time the Eruv will be down. Although all possible attempts will be
made to have the Eruv functional every week, you should always make contingency
arrangements when planning anything on Shabbos that relies on the Eruv.
Jewish community is fortunate to have an Eruv. May it be the will of the Almighty
that our Eruv fulfill its deepest meaning; that we are joined, united - that we
are truly one family.
Rabbi Michael Whitman