Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Shabbos the Eruv came down

Yesterday, some time Shabbos morning, someone noticed that the eruv was broken. It was fine on Friday night but was not up in the morning. And (as I understand it), they told the eruv rav, who sent out messengers to the various shuls that it was down.

Naturally, this caught many unawares -- those who were already out carrying, those in shul with keys to their house and no Shabbos belts, those who had almost no experience with no eruv on Shabbos, and so on. A while later, somehow, the eruv went back up, and messages went out to inform people -- though some shuls had already let out.

It raises interesting questions. Should the fellow who noticed this just have kept silent, and let people continue carrying in the karmelis? (One rav purportedly said so.) Do you tell someone who is already out carrying something or pushing a stroller? (It was suggested not to. If informed, what do you do?) If when Shabbos came in, the eruv was up, why not extend the permitted status throughout all Shabbos. (There are discussions about this in what I link to) How can a partition of the tzurat hapetach be erected on Shabbos, and take effect? Who directed this fix? Was it a Jew, bemeizid? If this is not really building, is such permitted? Was what fell down the electric line or telephone line and the company came and fixed it? And does the reerection of the eruv bring back the initial permitted status?

It has been a while since I've seen any of these issues inside, in depth, so I am not going to declare anything about the subject. But here is a bit of Aruch haShulchan on the issue.

See Aruch Hashulchan, siman 362, seif 7-11, and particularly seif 11. And see siman 374.


Unknown said...

It was quite annoying, for those who had kids/strollers in shul. We ended up being allowed to push/stop every few feet with ours because our 7-month old obviously can't walk, but mostly were trying to get three 2-year olds to push it. Interestingly, when we heard, I went to ask a shailah as to what to do (my wife was outside with the kids/stroller), and it *seemed* like the Rav was not happy that the word had spread so quickly, though he had himself announced it within our shul. (It seemed like he wasn't happy it was told at all, but once it was, felt obligated to tell the shul.) At the same time, the first question he asked me was if my wife even knew it was down - otherwise it seems he'd have just said to have her push unknowingly.

He said that a child that cannot walk can be pushed, just to stop every few feet; another person mentioned similarly that it's clearly not a real reshus harabim, and we should likely be able to push; our friends saw a couple passing their kid back and forth, back and forth every few feet; and we saw another friend helping his 1-year old who had just started to walk walk all the way down the block. (It took them a while.)

Our friends with twins a few months old had no choice but to push, obviously.

FWIW, I heard that a non-Jew put it back up.

I'm trying to figure out where someone would be able to see that it went down, unless it was on Park Drive East near the highways.

Rabbi Joshua Maroof said...

The phrase "the eruv rav" immediately struck me as funny.

Chaim B. said...

The Nesivos holds that an issur derabbanan b'shoggeg does not require teshuvah because violating a derabbanan is a transgression of lo tasur, i.e. rebelling against Chazal, and by definition shogeg cannot be an act of rebellion. If the eiruv is down, so long as people are unaware and are acting b'shogeg, there is no issur. Telling people creates a problem. Even if the Rabbi is told, he can avoid announcing it publicly so people can get home.

(There are others who learn the Nesivos to mean that no tshuvah is needed but violating a derabbanan b'shogeg is a ma'aseh aveirah. IIRC R' Elchanan discusses this, but I can't remember where.)

See the sefer Nesivos Shabbos footnote end of ch. 15 who collects the opinions of the matirim, among them the Aderes and R' Shlomo Zalman.

Fixing the eiruv through an aku"m should be a shvus d'shevus b'makom tzorech rabim. The M"B has a chiddush din that maybe even an amira l'aku"m to do a melacha d'oraysa would be permitted here.


Chaim B. said...

Carrying the child is the easy part - stop every few feet, pass back and forth, etc. But there is another problem -- taking a kid into the house from outside is going from a rh"r (actually a karmalis) to a reshus hayachid. You have a hachnasa problem as well as a ma'avir problem.

yaak said...

Well, if you're talking about carrying the kid itself, you can add "Hai Nosei et Atzmo" into the equation, if the kid is old enough. If you're talking about an infant, however, you may still have a problem of an Issur De'oraita (or close to one if it's a karmelit).

I say that every community should purposely have their Eiruv down one Shabbat a year, so that people can learn hilchot hotza'a. It's unfortunately an unknown major part of Shulhan Aruch.


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