2006-06-07

Original WH eruv e-mail

Here is the first of the anonymous mass e-mails about the recently erected Washington Heights eruv. (Thanks to the kind person who passed this along to me.)
Subject: W.H. eiruv news

Avraham Gordimar was told by Rav Hershel Schachter that the eiruv in Washington Heights is posul- this is what's been passed around

"Rav Schachter used the Chazon Ish for the YU eruv, but the other pesul of the wire going over bus shelters and other reshuyos ha-yachid (e.g. mail-boxes) is why he holds the local eruv to be possul."

The full writing he wrote me ....

"One of the basic issues here is the machlokes of the Chazon Ish vs. the other poskim I noted. The Chazon Ish holds that in large cities, where buildings line most streets, the city isnot a reshus ha-rabbim d'Oraysa, as streets that are lined with buildings on three sides intersect the other major streets and halachically create barriers for them on many sides, making the entire area no longer a reshus ha-rabbim d'Oraysa.This approachrelies on a shittah in the Gemara (Rebbi Elazar) and some Rishonim that "La asu rabbim u-mevatlei mechitzta" -a street that is used as a thoroughfare cannot interrupt a barrier. Many Rishonim hold otherwise, per Reb Yochanan in the Gemara, and they therefore say that a halachic barrier that has people going though it (such as an "imaginary" barrier created on all sides by buildings, when it is cut by a main street without three-sidedbarriers, such as Broadway) is a reshusha-rabbim d'Orasya, and as suchcannot be enclosed by poles and wires. I have seen the Chazon Ish's shittah described as a major chiddush, but it is used in many places. Reb Moshe did not accept it, nor did the poskim I noted.[Rav Gelley, Rav Dovid Feinstein, Rav AharonSoloveichik,and I think Rav YD Soloveichikandmany others].

Rav Schachter used the Chazon Ish for the YU eruv, but the other pesul of the wire going over bus shelters and other reshuyos ha-yachid (e.g. mail-boxes) is why he holds the local eruv to be possul."

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