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Part 3: Rebuttal of Hagaon Rav Yosef Heller Shlita’s Shiurim on Eruvin


The argument: Reb Shlomo Zalman Auerbach who was himself one of greatest geonim of our times said Reb Moshe is in another league completely than all other contemporary poskim. Reb Moshe could finish the entire mesechta Zevachim on a Friday night after the meal. I saw this myself; I was by him several times.The rebuttal: This is irrelevant. No one is arguing about the gadlusof Rav Moshe.  The issue is if we follow all of Rav Moshe’s piskei halacha. Rav Shlomo Zalman zt”l was not always in agreement with Rav Moshe’s piskei halacha. Even regarding the criterion of shishim ribo, Rav Shlomo Zalman did not agree with Rav Moshe since it is apparent that he maintained that the criterion is conditional of the street (Minchas Shlomo, 2:35:19). Moreover, Chabad does not follow all of Rav Moshe’s piskei halacha. Why should eruvin be different? The argument: If someone were to build a proper tzuras hapesach (wire eruv) around a reshus harabim it is only an issur drabanan to carry there (according to some opinions, while others say that it remains an issur d’orasia – Tzemach Tzedek Chidushim Eiruvin and Shut Divrei Nechemya 23). However, to make a proper tzuras hapesach you must know the halachos of eruvin well and you need to check the eruv properly. You cannot just check from a car, you have to walk by foot around the entire Crown Heights (not a short distance). You have to check every single inch of the way to make sure everything is in place. No one is giving testimony that this was done or by whom.The rebuttal: According to some opinions? This is simply misleading. There is no doubt that the Alter Rebbe maintained that once a tzuras hapesach was established the issue was only a matter of a d’rabbanan. To mention here that it is only according to some opinions is inexcusable. The Divrei Nechemya’s question if the Alter Rebbe actually maintains that a tzuras hapesach is sufficient on a d’Oraysa level is mitigated by the fact that the Tzemach Tzedek clearly understood that his grandfather upheld as such (Chiddushim, Eruvin, {perek 2:4 and} 59a).[6][Moreover, the Divrei Nechemya only mentions that he was not sure about the Alter Rebbe’s stance and acknowledged that he said it without fully examining the issue, therefore the Tzemach Tzedek’s testimony definitely stands.]That the Tzemach Tzedek in the end argued that a yorei shomayim should be stringent and not rely on this shita of the Alter Rebbe does not change the fact that the Alter Rebbe wrote in his Shulchan Aruch, without any qualifiers, that a tzuras hapesach is sufficient on a d’Oraysa level. Moreover, we know today that many Rishonim and most Achronim agree with this shitaof the Alter Rebbe. [Furthermore, the Tzemach Tzedek would not classify Brooklyn as a reshus harabbim since no street is mefulash u’mechavanim to a sratya and a platya, and that Brooklyn is encompassed on three of its sides by mechitzos b’ydai adam.]Rav Heller’s further declarations regarding checking an eruv on foot, is simply unsupported. The argument: Even if great poskim would come and say that an eruv can be built, Anash are bound by the psak of Alter Rebbe and the Tzemach Tzedek. It’s not enough to say that the Rebbe said not to build, even though that it’s completely true, because they could answer that they’re not so mekushar to follow every hora’a of the Rebbe.The rebuttal: Anash can rely on the following three reasons why Brooklyn would not be classified as a reshus harabbim: 1) Brooklyn would not be classified as a reshus harabbim since there is no street where 600,000 people traverse any section of it on a daily basis. 2) Even if one does not agree that the criterion of shishim ribo is conditional of a street, no part of Brooklyn would be classified as a reshus harabbim since there is no street that is mefulash u’mechuvan on one side to a platyaand on the other side to a sratya. 3) Even if one would argue that the criterion of mefulash is only conditional of a walled city and that the criterion of shishim ribo is conditional of a city, never[...]

Part 2: Rebuttal of Hagaon Rav Yosef Heller Shlita’s Shiurim on Eruvin


The argument: The halacha is that one cannot enclose a Reshus Harabim using a tzuras hapesach (a wire eruv), and it requires actual walls. I would like to explain why I hold that Crown Heights is a Reshus Harabim and therefore a tzuras hapesach eruv cannot permit it.The rebuttal: It’s a shame that such a superficial statement was said from the get go. The Alter Rebbe maintains that a tzuras hapesach would reclassify a reshus harabbim as a reshus hayachid and only me’d’rabanan is there a requirement of delasos. Not to take this into account from the beginning is simply inexcusable. Moreover, Brooklyn is encompassed on three of its sides by actual walls.The argument: Many opinions consider a street that is 16 amos wide (24 feet) to be a Reshus Horabim. The Alter Rebbe says (345:11,) that in such a case כל ירא שמים יחמיר לעצמו. For us Chasidim, the Alter Rebbe’s words are enough (the Tzemach Tzedek writes the same in Chidushim on Eiruvin). There are other opinions that there must also be 600,000 people for it to be considered a reshus harabim min hatorah. That exists in Brooklyn. This is the psak of R. Moshe Feinstein and R. Zalman Shimon Dvorkin. Even if you’ll find a contemporary Rabbi who claims otherwise – it is irrelevant. You can always search on the internet and find someone who will give you a heter for anything.The rebuttal: If the Alter Rebbe’s words are enough for us Chasidim, how then could Rav Heller omit that Rav Avraham Chaim Naeh zt”l states (Kuntrus HaShulchan, p. 36 note 69) that it is probable that the Alter Rebbe never penned the words כל ירא שמים יחמיר לעצמו?[3]Another, glaring omission is that the Rebbe maintained that the Alter Rebbe accepted the criterion of shishim ribo (see Igros Kodesh, Vol. IX, p. 41, 165).  Furthermore, the Rebbe added there that the Bais Av (2:5:3) lists more than thirty Rishonimwho accept shitas Rashi. The Bais Av is disagreeing with the Mishnah Berurah and asserts that a yorei shomayim does not need to be stringent. The Bais Av argues that we now know that the overwhelming majority of Rishonim uphold that in order to classify a street as a reshus harabbim it would need to be 16 amos wide and also include shishim ribo traversing therein.[4]Therefore, even though the Tzemach Tzedek states that a ירא שמים יחמיר [because many Rishonimdo not accept shitas Rashi] since the Rebbe maintains that the Alter Rebbe accepted the criterion of shishim ribo for all and that we now know that the majority of Rishonim uphold the fundament of shishim ribo, it would be acceptable for a yorei shomayim to be lenient. Moreover, today with the publication of many more manuscripts of the Rishonim we can say that the Bais Av’s list has been superseded; we now know of over fifty Rishonim (and four Geonim) who accept the criterion of shishim ribo (mostly of Ashkenazic origin) and thirteen who do not (all of them of Sefardic origin). Thus, there is no doubt that a yorei shomayim can rely on shitas Rashi l’chatchilah. Rav Heller declares, without delving into the matter, that the criterion of shishim ribo is satisfied in Brooklyn, and that this is the p’sak of Rav Moshe and Rav Dvorkin. However, even if we were to accept that the kol korei which Rav Dvorkin signed on to is legitimate, the kol korei does not give any reason for opposing an eruvin Brooklyn. Who says that Rav Dvorkin signed because he supposed that the borough was classified as reshus harabbim of shishim ribo? Regarding Rav Moshe’s opinion, even if Rav Moshe issued a p’sak, there is no doubt that his understanding of the criterion of shishim ribo differed greatly from the Alter Rebbe.  While the Alter Rebbe maintained that shishim ribo is conditional of the street (see the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch, 363:44) Rav Moshe upheld that it is conditional to an area of twelve mil by twelve mil (Igros Moshe, O.C. 1:139:5). Therefore, it is difficult to understand how Rav Moshe’s shita can obligate Chabad. Moreover, notwithstanding th[...]

Part 1: Rebuttal of Hagaon Rav Yosef Heller Shlita’s Shiurim on Eruvin


After reading a transcription of the Rosh HaKollel, Hagaon Rav Yosef Heller shlita’s, two shiurim opposing an eruv in Crown Heights, I feel that there is a need to clarify the many misconceptions mentioned in the shiurim. I will only address pertinent points, and I will omit the rest of the transcription.It is unfortunate that the initial assumption in Chabad is that an eruv is proscribed. This conjecture is so entrenched that some are willing to go to great lengths and pile on layer upon layer of assertions in opposition to an eruv even if these arguments were never Chabad issues. The contention that Brooklyn is classified as a reshus harabbim according to the Alter Rebbe is baseless and is being used to convince the gullible public to inveigh against an eruv. I reiterate, the purpose of this rebuttal is not to judge the efficacy of an eruv for Crown Heights but only to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Crown Heights would not be classified as a reshus harabbim according to the Alter Rebbe. The following are notes from a shiur on the Crown Heights eruv delivered on Sunday, 13 Sivan, from a talk in Kollel by Harav Heller Shlita, transcribed and edited by Rabbi M. GreenbergThe argument: Eruv is a concept in Torah and halacha, and one who does not hold of the concept of eruv is an apikoros. There is no such thing as “not holding of eruv.” However, you can say you don’t hold of “this” eruv.The rebuttal: I am sure Rav Heller made this important point because he realizes that with all the rancor against an eruv in Crown Heights people are bound to say things that smack of apikorsus.  In fact, many people in Crown Heights have been saying things that appear to be rooted in apikorsus, such as, “Chabad does not hold of eruvin,” c”v.The argument: I once asked R. Sholomo Miller about the eruv he built in Toronto and he told me it is one of the best eruvin in America, yet Bnei Torah shouldn’t use it. With “bnei Torah” he meant those who are mehader b’mitzvos. He built the eruv, yet it was clear to him that someone who is mehader b’mitzvos shouldn’t use it.The rebuttal: Hagaon Rav Sholomo Miller shlita reestablished an eruv in Toronto and most people rely on this eruv including almost all Chasiddim. However, this eruv is in conflict with Rav Miller’s rebbe, Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l shitos in eruvin; therefore, he suggests that Bnei Torah should not make use of the eruv. Rav Aharon’s arguments include that the criterion of mefulash u’mechuvanim, even as it applies to mavaos hamefulashim, is conditional of a walled city, and that we pasken asu rabbim umevatlei mechitzta. The Tzemach Tzedek clearly maintains that in order to classify mavaos hamefulashim as a reshus harabbim, they would need to be mefulash u’mechavanim m’shar l’shaar even in an unwalled city (Chidushim, Shabbos6a). Furthermore, the Alter Rebbe maintains that we pasken lo asu rabbim umevatlei mechitzta (363:42; 364:4, and Kuntres Achron, 345:2). These positions are clearly in conflict with Rav Aharon’s shitos in eruvin. Therefore, Rav Miller’s stringencies are not pertinent to the issue whether or not we classify Brooklyn as a reshus harabbim according to Chabad. The argument: You can’t make an eruv in crown Heights. Crown Heights is unlike Borough Park where there is a machlokes if one can make an eruv or not. Great rabbonim made the eruv there and say you could use it, while other great rabbonim say that an eruv cannot be made there. It was always the subject of a machlokes.The rebuttal: As an aside, I have seen people cite the Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:86 as proof that an eruv cannot be erected if the rabbanim are not all in agreement. They are incorrect, for Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l’sconcern was not the consensus of other rabbanim but the halachah as he saw it.  A case in point: Had the position of other rabbanim been a consideration, Rav Moshe would not have allowed the Manhattan rabbanim to establish an eruv (ibid., 4:89; HaPardes, 33rd year, vol.[...]

Part 7 -- Rebuttal: Eruv in Crown Heights According to the Alter Rebbe


In summation: 1) Brooklyn would not be classified as a reshus harabbim since there is no street where 600,000 people traverse any section of it on a daily basis. 2) Even if one does not agree that the criterion of shishim ribo is conditional of a street, no part of Brooklyn would be classified as a reshus harabbimsince there is no street that is mefulash u’mechuvan on one side to a platyaand on the other side to a sratya. 3) Even if one would argue that the criterion of mefulash is only conditional of a walled city and that the criterion of shishim ribo is conditional of a city, nevertheless, the entire borough would be classified as a reshus hayachid me’d’Oraysa since the streets are encompassed (on four sides) by mechitzos habbatim, and, moreover, the borough is bounded on three of its sides by mechitzoswhich are omed merubeh al haparutz.  Furthermore, even if one would allege that according to some poskim the above criteria would not remove from Brooklyn the classification of a reshus harabbim,[14]nevertheless, they would have to agree that each issue is still at the very minimum a safek. Consequentially, we are dealing with a sfek sfek sfeika, and we would therefore go l’kula even if the matter was a d’Oraysa.[15]How much more so, according to the Alter Rebbe, once a tzuras hapesachwas established the issue would not be a matter of a d’Oraysa only of a d’rabbanan. It is important to note that the Alter Rebbe maintains (362:19) that one should be stringent and follow the Rambam who considers a tzuras hapesach a valid mechitzah only when utilizing at the minimum two mechitzos which are omed merubeh al haparutz (Shulchan Aruch, O.C. 362:10). Where this is not the case, each pole can be no more than ten amos apart from the other. However, since the proximity of property lots in Brooklyn is such that they are omed merubeh al haparutz ― particularly the fences that surround the property lots ― an eruv in Brooklyn could be classified as a Rambam eruv.  [14]  Of course, it is always possible to cite shitos yachidos to argue that an area is classified as a reshus harabbim; however, ruling according to shitos yachidosis not the correct approach in halachah. [The Chasam Sofer writes (Y.D.37) that if we were to collect all the shitos ha’ossrim we would not be able to eat bread or drink water.] Even more so, in hilchos reshuyos and eruvin, since all criteria have to be met for the area to be classified as a reshus harabbim, even if we were to employ a shitas yachidregarding reshus harabbim that would then disqualify the eruvbased on only one criterion, the other conditions would not be met and an eruvwould be permissible l’chatchilah. Consequently, to invalidate an eruv, one would have to selectively choose from disparate shitos yachidos ― which in many cases are contradictory ― and that is an unjustifiable approach to halachah. The reality is that if someone learns hilchos reshuyos and eruvin with an open mind, he would realize that since it is almost impossible to meet all the criteria of a reshus harabbim, creating an eruv l’chatchilah is a real possibility.[15]  The Tzemach Tzedek states (Eruvin, 5:6) that since shitas Rashi was not accepted by most of the Rishonimand most poskim do not agree that a tzuras hapesach would reclassify a reshus harabbim as a reshus hayachid, a yorei shomayim should not employ these criteria. However, as I mentioned previously, the Rebbe assumed that we do rely on the criterion of shishim ribo l’chatchila. Moreover, today we know of additional Rishonim and that most Achronim maintain that a tzuras hapesach would reclassify a reshus harabbim as a reshus hayachid. Consequently, there is no reason not to enact these criteria as a sfek sfeka.        Furthermore, the Tzemach Tzedek would classify Brooklyn as a reshus hayachidbecause the streets are not mefulash u’mechavanim on one side to a sratyaand on the other side to a platya. Moreover, even [...]

Part 6 -- Rebuttal: Eruv in Crown Heights According to the Alter Rebbe


The argument: G) Conclusions that Apply with regard to Actual PracticeAs explained,according to the rulings of the Alter Rebbe and the TzemachTzedek, a generaleruv encompassing the community as a whole with a tzuras hapesachwould not be valid. It is, however,possible to use a tzuras hapesach to make an eruv that encompasses areas deemed as a karmelis.Areas that are deemed publicdomains according to Scriptural Law could not, however, be included in such an eruv.Which parts of the community would be deemed public domains? Let us return to the definition of a public domain given by the Alter Rebbe in sec. 345: 11:What constitutes a public domain? Roads and marketplaces that are sixteen cubits by sixteen cubits in area, for the road in the camp of the Levites in the desert had these dimensions ....Similarly, thoroughfares that run from town to town that are sixteen cubits wide and so too, lanes that are sixteen cubits wide that run from one road to another or from roads to thoroughfares that are sixteen cubits wide are deemed public domains in a complete sense.He mentions four types of public domain:a)      Roads -I.e., major arteries of human traffic. Eastern Parkway and Empire Blvd. would certainly be placed in this category.b)      Marketplaces -Kingston Ave, Nostrand Ave, and Utica Avenue would certainly be placed in this category. After all, the Tzemach Tzedek (Chiddushim 33c) considered the town square of Lubavitch as being considered a marketplace -and therefore a public domain -even though the village was home to no more than a few hundred families.c)      Thoroughfares that run from town to town -Highways of this nature are not found in our community.d)      Lanes that are sixteen cubits wide that run from one road to another - Such lanes would not ordinarily be considered as public domains because, in and of themselves, they do not produce a large amount of human traffic. Nevertheless, because they are connected to major roads or marketplaces, it is likely that human traffic from the roads and marketplaces will spill over into them. Hence, they too are deemed public domains.Most of the streets in the community, Brooklyn Ave, Albany Ave, President Str. Crown Str. Montgomery Str. Etc. would be placed in this category because they run either from Eastern Parkway to Empire Blvd. (from one road to another) or from Kingston to Utica or Nostrand (from one marketplace to another).In which places could an eruv be constructed using a tzuras hapesach? In the alleys that run behind the homes in the streets between Union and Empire, for these alleyways are not places through which people at large pass.The rebuttal: Going forward, it is important to keep in mind that the Alter Rebbe maintains that an area encircled with a tzuras hapesach is a reshus haychid me’d’Oraysa, and the obligation of delasos is only me’d’rabbanan. Since the issue is only me’d’rabbanan, we can be lenient [safek d’rabbanan l’kulla] and apply any additional heter to remove the requirement of delasos. This shita of the Alter Rebbe should in its own right have terminated this debate, but the writer of this article chose to be stringent in all matters regarding reshuyos. To begin with, this entire argument is extraneous. If we maintain, as the writer would have us believe, that the criterion of shishim ribo is conditional of a city, every street in the entire borough would be classified as a reshus harabbim, and no part of the community (besides for some shared alleyways) would be deemed a karmelis. There would be no need to ascertain the classification of each and every road ― whether it is a reshus harabbim or not. [Nevertheless, even according to the writer, as we mentioned above, Brooklyn would not be classified as a rehsus harabbim since all the streets in Crown Heights, even Eastern Parkway, are not mefulash u’mechavanim on one [...]

Part 5 -- Rebuttal: Eruv in Crown Heights According to the Alter Rebbe


The argument: Moreover, there is one day a year, LaborDay that 600,000 people certainly pass through Eastern Parkwayand its side streets. According to many authorities, that is sufficient to affect the street'sstatus.The rebuttal: “According to many authorities,” this is fascinating. The title of this treatise is, “Eruv in Crown Heights According to the Alter Rebbe,” thus, if the Alter Rebbe weighed in on the matter it is his opinion that concerns us here. In fact, the Alter Rebbe (following the Shulchan Aruch) maintains (345:11) that the criterion of shishim ribo is a daily requirement, and one day a year would not classify a street as a reshus harabbim.[12]Furthermore, it is doubtful that even on the day of the parade that 600,000 people actually traversed a particular section of the parkway.[Besides for the criterion of shishim ribo, there are additional reasons, which we will discuss further on, why Eastern Parkway is not classified as a reshus harabbim, such as mefulas u’mechavanim and mechitzos.] The argument: F) Must the Main Street be Straightand Run from One End of the Cityto the OtherThe proponents of the thesis that it is the existence of a major thoroughfare that determines whether an area is deemed a public domain or not find an argument for leniency in our Sages' statementthat for a street or a marketplace to be deemed a public domain, it must run straight from one end of the city to the other.In his Shulchan Aruch  (sec.345:11), the  Alter Rebbe addresses this issue, stating that marketplaces and major roads are deemedpublic domains "provided they are not roofed and they are not encompassed by a wall or even if they are encompassed by a wall but [the road] runs from gate to gate."Thus, the leniency that a majorroad is considered a public domain only when it runs straight, from one end of the city to the other,applies on1y in a city with walls. If a city does not have walls, a road can be classified as a publicdomain even if it does not run from one end of the city to the other. This conclusion is also clearlystated by the Tzemach Tzedek (Chiddushim, pp. 33d-34a) who explains that since Lubavitchwas unwalled, its main streetswere considered public domains even though they did not run from one end of the village to the other.The rebuttal: This entire argument is incorrect. The assertion that the criterion of mefulash u’mechavanim is conditional of a walled city is relatively a new one and one which most poskim would not have subscribed to (the cities that the following poskim applied the criterion of mefulash to were not walled: Bais Meir, 363:29, 364:2; Yehudah Yaleh, O.C. siman54; Divrei Malkiel, 4:3; Rav Shlomo Dovid Kahane zt”l, Divrei Menachem, O.C. vol. 2, pp. 42-43). Therefore, to make use of the criterion of mefulash is not just some, “found argument for leniency,” that the writer would have us believe but only the suggestion of the Gedolie Haposkim.   Additionally, the allegation that according to the Alter Rebbe the criterion of mefulashis conditional of a walled city is totally without merit. The Alter Rebbe (following the Shulchan Aruch) is referring to rechovos and shvakim[marketplaces] that are walled on two sides and not to a walled city. There is no difference between our city streets and rechovos and shvakim; they are both fronted by houses [which are mechitzos l'kol hadeios], and both would not be classified as a reshus harabbim if they are not mefulash u’mechavanim m’shaar l’shaar (in any case, the city is bounded by mechitzosas well, and, therefore, would be classified as a walled city).  Regarding the Tzemach Tzedek, this is a gross misrepresentation of his understanding of mefulash. Only in regards to these main roads, sratyas[intercity roads or town squares] and platyas [marketplaces] in an unwalled city, does the Tzemach Tzedek posit that there is no requirement of the criterion of mefulash u’mechava[...]

Part 4 -- Rebuttal: Eruv in Crown Heights According to the Alter Rebbe


The argument: E) Why the Arguments Supportingthe Boro Park Eruv WouldNot Apply in Crown HeightsThe exponents of the Boro Park eruv base their argument on the thesis that the question of whetheror not an eruv can be established does not depend on the number of inhabitants of the city as a whole, but on the number of people who pass on a city's main street and the other roads leadinginto it. Theirrationale is that the citiesof the Talmudic era consisted of one main thoroughfare with side streetsleading into it. This was its public domain. Thus, they contend, if 600,000 people do not pass through the main street of a neighborhood and its side streets on one day, that neighborhood is not considered a publicdomain.As mentioned, according to the Alter Rebbe,the emphasis is on the city as a whole,not on its main street. However, even according to the other approach, there is a fundamental difference between Crown Heights and otherneighborhoods. Eastern Parkwayis a major thoroughfare with many other streetsleading into it. Besides all the people who live in the neighborhoods surrounding it, manycommuters on publictransport use it and a large number of cars pass through. Hence, it is quite likelythat 600,000 people pass throughit and its side streets on an ordinaryday.The rebuttal: As I mentioned previously, no one of stature argues that shishim ribo is conditional of the population of the city. This is a modern day argument. The Alter Rebbe certainly does not understand the criterion as such either. It is simply untrue that there is a difference between Crown Heights and Boro Park.   The same argument which is being made about Eastern Parkway was made about Ocean Parkway, and most rabbanim allow an eruv that would include Ocean Parkway.  The writer declares, without any substantiation, that those who uphold that the criterion of shishim ribo is conditional of a street, would include those people traversing the side streets leading into the thoroughfare in the tally.[8]In fact, this entire argument is specious. Roads that bisect main thoroughfares would not be included in the count of those traversing the main roadway; we only judge the volume of people traversing each section and not the entire length of the roadway in order to calculate the total (see Bais Ephraim, siman 26 p. 47; Yeshuos Malko, siman 27; Bais Shearim, the end of siman 132, and Minchas Yitzchak, 8:32). It is illogical to include the entire length of a thoroughfare in one aggregate. Those entering along one section of the roadway are only traversing that particular section and are independent of those traveling along the roadway at a different point.     Furthermore, as mentioned above, Rav Moshe admitted that the simple reading of the Shulchan Aruch (shishim ribo ovrim bo b’chol yom) is that the criterion of shishim ribo is conditional of the street and of the myriads traversing that particular section of the road on a daily basis (Igros Moshe, O.C. 1:139:5, 4:87). Therefore, Rav Moshe posited that in order to classify a intercity road (which the writer argues Eastern Parkway is) as a reshus harabbim, according to the Shulchan Aruch 600,000 people would need to traverse a particular section of the road on a daily basis (ibid., 5:28:16).  Accordingly, we would not include vehicles or individuals entering the roadway at different points in the total count as they are each traveling along different segments of the roadway. Finally, the Bais Av weighed in on this matter, as well. In the same teshuvahand seif that the Rebbe quoted, the Bais Av (2:5:3) clearly states that the requirement of the criterion of shishim ribo is that the 600,000 people gather in one place. No doubt the Bais Av maintains that only those people traversing a particular section of a road are included in the tally.Consequentially, since no section of Eastern Parkway includes shishim ribo trav[...]

Part 3 -- Rebuttal: Eruv in Crown Heights According to the Alter Rebbe


The argument: Aside from the different sources that indicate the intent is not one place, but the city as a whole,upon closer examination, as explained at length in Dober Shalom,p. 131, the argument that the intent is one place is entirelyuntenable. In the Talmudic era, by and large, people did not pass through the streets at night. Thus, a day refers to a twelve hour period. In such a period, there are 84,000 seconds. Hence,for 600,000 peopleto pass by a particular place in one day, 15 peoplemust pass by every second over the duration of those 12 hours.[5] Obviously, no such place has ever existed. Thus, the intentis not a specific place, but the city as a whole. Thus, when discussing this issue, the Alter Rebbe mentions (sec. 357:7) "a large city whichpossesses 600,000 inhabitants and (sec. 392:1) "a city with a large populace." For this reason, Rav Moshe Feinstein (Igros Moshe, Orach Chayim, Vol. 1, responsum 139) ruled that an eruv that includes Brooklynas a whole may not be constructed.[6]The rebuttal: There is no one of stature who indicates that shishim ribo is conditional of a city. Regarding Rabbi Levine’s claim that it is physically impossible for the criterion of shishim ribo to be conditional of a street, he is toeh b’dvar Mishnah. He calculates the number of people traversing a given part of a street as one person per second, but a person's gait is more like two or three steps per second (see the calculations in Meseches Pesachim, 94a). Hence, it would only take approximately five hours for shishim ribo to traverse a street. In regards to the Alter Rebbe, they are totally mistaken. As I mentioned previously, there is no doubt that from siman 364:44 we see the Alter Rebbe understands that shishim ribo is conditional of a street. There is no reason to create contradictions in the Alter Rebbe’s Shulchan Aruch when we can explain it simply. In both references that they listed, the Alter Rebbe is referring to a city whose population of shishim ribotraverses its main street. [Moreover, the first source listed (357:7) is a total misunderstanding on their part, see note [7]below.] Regarding Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l, they are missing the point. To begin with, I think that it is essential to give an overview of Rav Moshe’s chiddushim in shishim ribo. Like most poskim, Rav Moshe originally maintained (Igros Moshe, O.C. 1:109) that the criterion of shishim ribo was dependent on the street having shishim ribo traversing it. However, later (ibid., 1:139:5) he formulated his chiddush in which shishim ribo, when applied to a city (see further regarding a sratya), was not dependent on a street but over a twelve mil by twelve mil area. Rav Moshe added that the criterion of shishim ribo ovrim bo would require a sizable population living and commuting into the twelve mil by twelve milarea so that it could physically satisfy the condition of 600,000 people collectively traversing its streets. When these criteria are met, the area would be classified as a reshus harabbim. However, at this time, Rav Moshe did not quantify how many people would be required to live in this twelve mil by twelve mil area.In the first teshuvah quantifying how many people would be required to live in this twelve mil by twelve mil area, Rav Moshe stated (ibid., 4:87) that since in the past eruvin had been erected in cities with populations exceeding shishim ribo, one could not classify a city as a reshus harabbim solely on the basis of the existence of a population of 600,000. He then added that, although the actual number of inhabitants could possibly vary according to the city, in Brooklyn it would most likely require four to five times shishim ribo. In the final two teshuvos which followed regarding Brooklyn, we see that Rav Moshe codified his chiddush that the requirement is, "just about three million people," (ibid., 5:28:5) or, "at least five times s[...]

Part 2 -- Rebuttal: Eruv in Crown Heights According to the Alter Rebbe


The argument: D) When a Large Metropolis is Deemed as a PublicDomain Even Accordingto the More Lenient ViewThe existenceof a metropolis that is considered as a public domain even according to the more lenient view is not just a theoretical concept.Such cities existedin the Talmudic era, as well. Thus, Rashi (Eruvin6b) speaks of Mechuzah (a city in Babylonia) as having 600,000 inhabitants. The rebuttal: To begin with, it is important to note that the assertion that the criterion of shishim ribo is conditional of a city is a relatively new one. Let us explore the core arguments regarding how to apply the criterion of shishim ribo, to a city or to a street. The main evidence cited by those who claim that shishim ribo is conditional on a city is that Rashi, the central supporter of this fundament, employs the word ir [city] when mentioning shishim ribo (Eruvin 6a):ר"ה: משמע רחב שש עשרה אמה ועיר שמצויין בה ששים רבואHowever, the source for Rashi, the Behag (Berlin edition, p. 131), refers to a place/road:רשות הרבים דוכתא דדשין בה שית מאה אלפי גוברין בכל יומאTherefore, it is unlikely that Rashior any of the other Rishonim maintain that the criterion of shishim ribo applies to a city.Why then does Rashi make use of the word city in reference to the criterion of shishim ribo? Rashi clarifies his shita further on in Eruvin(59b):אלא לאורכה: דרך עיירות להיות פתחי פילושיהן לאורכם ורה"ר עוברת מפתח לפתח וחלוקה לאורכה ... והני דרסי בהך רה"ר ... ורה"ר זו מחברתם שכולם מעורבין בהLikewise, we find in the Tosfos Rid (Eruvin 59b):דדמי מבוי האמצעי לכל מבואות העיר הפתוחין לעיר, כמו המבוי לחצרות ... כך כל מבואות העיר דורסין על המבוי האמצעי כשרוצין לצאת מן העיר ולהיכנסThe same is notated in the Semag(the beginning of Hilchos Eruvin):וכן בתוך העיר ימצא ר"ה כגון שרחוב שלה רחב שש עשרה אמה וכו' ומפולש משער לשער ובוקעין בו ס' רבואSimilarly, we see from the Riaz(Eruvin 5:5:4):וכן אם בא לערב כל מבוי ומבוי לעצמו הרי אוסר כל מבוי על מבוי שכנגדו וכו' ורחוב העיר, המהלך באורך כל העיר, מפסיק ביניהם ורחוב העיר אוסרן שרשות כולם שולטת בוRashi and these Rishonim are informing us as to how cities were designed. Because most cities were walled, cities in the past had a main road that all residents used to enter and exit the city; therefore, this thoroughfare was the reshus harabbim of the city. Consequently, when Rashi and the Rishonim who follow him use the word city in reference to shishim ribo, they are not signifying that the criterion is conditional on a city but only that the main thoroughfare [a derech hamelech] in a city containing shishim ribo would be classified as a reshus harabbim since it is traversed by its entire population.This follows why Tosfos (Eruvin 6a); Rosh(ibid., siman 8); Rabeinu Peretz (ibid., 6a); Ritva (Shabbos6a); Ran (Eruvin 6a), and Meiri(ibid.), when citing this Rashi (Eruvin 6a) [which utilizes city in reference to the criterion of shishim ribo], omit the word city because, as defined by Rashi, a city that includes a population of shishim ribo would also contain a central corridor traversed by the entire population of the city. A city containing shishim ribo is only an example as to how a thoroughfare can support such a population. Now we can understand the Rashisin Eruvin (6b) describing the reshus harabbim of Yerushalayim and Mechuza. Regarding Yerushalayim, Rashi states:ירושלים :רשות הרבים שלה מכוון [...]

Part 1 -- Rebuttal: Eruv in Crown Heights According to the Alter Rebbe


Rebuttal: Eruv in Crown Heights According to the Alter RebbeRecently Rabbi Eli Tauger translated into English Rabbi Shalom Ber Levine’s (Hebrew) argument[1]that, based on the shitos of the Alter Rebbe, Brooklyn is classified as a reshus harabbim. However, as I will demonstrate, Rabbi Levine misunderstood and omitted parts of the Alter Rebbe’s and even the Rebbe’s shitosin eruvin. The Rebbe never claimed that his issue with eruvin was in regards to reshus harabbim, and as we will demonstrate, the Rebbe understood the Alter Rebbe’s opinions otherwise.   What follows is an analysis and a refutation of the entire translation in a linear fashion.The argument: There has been much discussion recentlyregarding whether it is desirableto establish an eruv in Crown Heights. Before even enteringinto such a discussion, it is necessary to establish whetherit is halachically possible -particularly according to the Alter Rebbe's rulings in HilchosEruvin -to establish such an eruv in this community. The rebuttal: The purpose of this rebuttal is not to judge the efficacy of an eruv for Crown Heights but only to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Crown Heights would not be classified as a reshus harabbimaccording to the Alter Rebbe. The argument: In his Shulchan Aruch (sec. 364:4), the Alter Rebbe writes:True, a tzuras hapesach is an entirely valid partition and if one made [an enclosure by making] a tzuras hapesach using four poles, it is a private domain in a complete sense according to Scriptural Law, even if it is constructed in the midst of [an area that is] a public domain in a complete sense (reshus harabim) .... Nevertheless, according to Rabbinic Law, a tzuras hapesach is not effective [in creating a partition] for an area that is a public domain in a complete sense, [i.e.,] it fulfills all the stipulations for a public domain stated in sec. 345:11 [According to Rabbinic Law,] one who seeks to make a public domain fit to carry [articles] within must make actual doors on either side.Thus, a tzuras hapesach can serve as a valid divider to enclose areas that are essentially private property but in which carrying was forbidden because they are used by several families together, e.g., a courtyard or an alley (a karmelis in halachic terminology).  If, however, one enclosed an area defined as a public domain with a tzuras hapesach, the enclosure is not valid according to Rabbinic Law.The rebuttal: The above is important to take note of. The Alter Rebbe maintains (and so do numerous Rishonim and the majority of the Achronim) that a tzuras hapesach would reclassify a reshus harabbim as a reshus hayachidand only me’d’rabbanan, is there an obligation of delasos [doors to close the breaches]. Since the requirement of delasos is me’d’rabbanan, we can be lenient [safek d’rabbanan l’kulla] and apply any additional heter to remove the requirement of delasos (Avnei Nezer, O.C. 273:16, 279:2; Kanah V’Kanamon, 5:56; Livush Mordechai, 4:4, and Bais Av, 2:9:3).[2]The argument: B) The Definition of a Public DomainIn sec. 345:11, the Alter Rebbe defines a public domain asfollows:“What constitutes a public domain? Roads and marketplaces that are sixteen cubits by sixteen cubits in area, for the road in the camp of the Levites in the desert had these dimensions ....Similarly, thoroughfares that run from town to town that are sixteen cubits wide and so too, lanes that are sixteen cubits wide that run from one road to another or from roads to thoroughfares that are sixteen cubits wide are deemed public domains in a complete sense.There are authorities who maintain that any place where 600,000 people do not pass through every day, as was the situation in the encampment in the desert, is not considered a public domain, but rather a karmelis.Based on their words, the custo[...]

Memories Play Tricks: Rav Reuven Feinstein Shlita Remembers His Father (Ami Magazine)


In Ami Magazine (Issue no. 259, March 9, 2016) there is an interview with Rav Reuven Feinstein shlita called Growing Up in the Shadow of Greatness, where he discusses his father. As there are some shocking accusations made on page 72 regarding the Flatbush eruv, I feel a need to refute these comments. Unless Rav Reuven did not actually say what is stated therein, I would have recommended that he read through his father zt”l’s teshuvos (Igros Moshe, O.C. 4:87-88) on the Flatbush eruv prior to the telling of these tall tales. The following is a line by line refutation: “For example, when he was first asked about the possibility of constructing an eiruv in Brooklyn he refused to answer. He maintained that the local rabbi should answer the question. But they kept on asking, insisting that unless he issued a psak no one would follow it.” The first part of the statement is accurate as can be discerned from Rav Moshe’s teshuvah (ibid., 4:87). However, the last sentence is pure fiction. There is no doubt that, from the start, Rav Moshe did not want to be involved in the Flatbush eruv. He wrote that he told the Flatbush rabbanim who had visited him earlier regarding the Flatbush eruv, “I do not want to join you in this matter, because there are many opinions on this topic, as we see in the Shulchan Aruch.” However, it was not because of people insisting that he issue a p’sak that led Rav Moshe to finally investigate the matter. Rather, as Rav Moshe detailed in the above teshuvah, his reason for examine the efficacy of a Flatbush eruv was only because at the time there was a misunderstanding concerning his personal conviction and some people mistakenly supposed that he was even in support of an eruv; hence, he saw a need to clarify his opinion on the matter. “What did he do? He sent someone down to Borough Hall to find out the exact size and population of Brooklyn. Once he determined that Brooklyn was a reshus harabim d’Oraisa so you cannot make an eiruv, those who tried to attack him were not matzliach – which is not to say that they didn’t try.”This sequence of events is specious. If Rav Reuven was correct that his father sent someone down to Borough Hall to examine the Brooklyn statistics, then how is it possible in the second teshuvah regarding the Flatbush eruv (ibid., 4:88) Rav Moshe admitted that the statistics that he based his first teshuvah on (ibid., 4:87) may not be accurate. Rav Moshe wrote in the second teshuvah that now he was told that the population over an area of twelve mil by twelve mil in Brooklyn was definitely less than shishim ribo. Following this information, Rav Moshe stated that his opposition to a Brooklyn eruv would only be because some may think that the population was actually greater shishim ribo (thus a Brooklyn eruv was only a matter of a gezeirah). [However, at the end of the second teshuvah, Rav Moshe stated that there was no doubt that there was shishim ribo in any twelve mil by twelve mil area in Brooklyn. He states that he was now told that more than a million people come into the borough to work and visit, and that the population was near three million. In fact, those who told Rav Moshe these statistics made it up out of whole cloth; see here.] It is simply not believable that Rav Moshe sent a shliach to Brooklyn Borough Hall to inform him regarding the statistics and was lied to. It was more likely that the anti-eruv cabal made up facts out of thin air. There was a group headed by a Boro Park rav who was extremely anti-eruv and was willing to go to any extreme in order to negate the possibility of the establishment of an eruv. This cabal was in cahoots with those who were Rav Moshe’s gatekeepers (this point is validated by the fact that the teshuvah regar[...]

The Reestablishment of the Manchester Eruv


To begin with, I use the term “re”establishment of the Manchester eruv because the original eruv was established over a hundred years ago by the foremost posek to have lived in Manchester Harav Avraham Aharon Yudelovitch, author of the Bais Av (Harav Fishel Hershkowitz shlita maintains that the Bais Av's teshuvos are in a league of their own).  Anyone who would like to learn the intricate halachos of eruvin would do well if they studied the second volume of the Bais Av titled Kerem Av. There is no sefer on hilchos eruvin that is its equal. Clearly, those seeking guidance regarding the establishment of an eruv in Manchester, should look no further. As can be noted from his teshuvos on the matter, the circumstances then in Manchester were similar to the current situation and nevertheless, Rav Yudelovitch allowed an eruv there (in fact, the population of Manchester was even greater in his times than it is currently). There is no reason why anyone in Manchester would not follow this towering posek regarding this matter. I greeted the news of the reestablishment of the Manchester eruv with great joy. However, as my experience with city eruvintaught me I tempered my joy with trepidation at the perils that lie ahead.  Unfortunately, my familiarity with these situations proved right. The Cabal (Chevrah Hilchos Issurei Eruvin) reared its ugly head.  While it is understandable and commendable that rabbanim who seek to establish an eruv for their town to confer with experts regarding the extremely intricate halachos of eruvin, today there are rabbanim who call on yungerleit who specialize in combating city eruvin. In their zeal to impede eruvin, these yungerleit have a penchant to collect all shitos yechidos under one roof. If the Cabal would mean it l’shem shamayim, Manchester would not be on their radar at all, since an eruv for Manchester is no different than most towns that have erected an eruv and the issue of reshus harabbim there should not be an impediment. Harav Moshe Feinstein zt”l would not have an issue with a Manchester eruv nor would 99.99% of all poskim have an issue with a Manchester eruv (see below for a more detailed analysis).The fact that there is resistance to the eruv in Manchester just proves my point. There is a misplaced antipathy towards city eruvin. The Cabal believes that an eruv is a trick and needs to be stopped by any means available, so much so that, in their eagerness to negate city eruvin, they include non-halachic arguments, such as an eruv is likely to lead to michsholos. In fact, these secondary allegations would negate all eruvin, even private ones. It seems that these people are not troubled that an eruv is a mitzvah me’d’rabannan, and as such, they should be labeled, modern day Tzedukim or Apikorsim. Furthermore, those yungerleit who argue that halachically city eruvin are problematic are negating a mitzvah. Today’s city eruvin are an outgrowth of the halachos of shtufei mavaos which is a separate mitzvahclassified in the Shulchan Aruch (O.C. 395:1). Therefore, by negating all city eruvin, at the minimum they should be labeled as eino modeh bshtufei mavaos.Moreover, the Bnei Yissachar (Nimukei Orach Chaim, 394:1) and the Chidushei HaRim (Siddur Tefillah Likutei Yehudah, p. 186) were makpid to carry in a kosher eruv in order not to be included with those who are eino modeh b’eruv, or Tzedukim. I think that the Bnei Yissachar and the Chidushei HaRim had the foresight to know what was to come and even anticipated the Cabal. It is ironic that Rav Yudelovitch when he established the original Manchester eruv had to deal with a rav who made similar arguments in opposition to his eruv. Rav Yudelovitch (Kerem Av, 1:25) did not mince words; he stated כי [...]

L’Hachzir Atarah L'Yoshnah: Manchester


Mazal Tov to the Jewish Community of Manchester on the reestablishment of their eruv. Please stay tuned for more on this matter. 

In the Words of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l


In Rav Aharon Felder's recently published Reshumei Aharon volume 2 ois 9 he writes:שני רבנים חשובים מפלאטבוש הגיעו לבית מו"ר זצ"ל וביקשו שיסכים להכשיר את העירוב שרוצים לתקן בשכונתם. ואמר להם מו"ר זצ"ל שהגם שאסר בשו"ת אגרות משה [בעינן עיר מנהטן] לעשות עירוב בכה"ג, אמנם אם יעשו את העירוב לא יצא נגדם בפומבי לאסור, היות שיודע שיש שיטות בפוסקים שיכולם לסמוך עליהם כדי להכשיר עירובם. לבסוף הלכו והכריזו בשמו שהיא מסכים לעירוב שרוצים לעשות..., ואז החליט מו"ר לכתוב תשובה לאסור את העירוב בשכונת פלאטבושWhile it is significant that a talmid muvhak of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l explicates the chain of events regarding the 1979 Flatbush eruv, it would have been more noteworthy if Rav Felder would have spelled out Rav Moshe’s conclusion. You see, dear reader, it is not like Rav Felder’s quotation was a huge secret; on the contrary, Rav Moshe in his teshuvah regarding the Flatbush eruv writes likewise; albeit, as we shall see, with a notable difference: שו"ת אגרות משה אורח חיים חלק ד סימן פזהנה כשהיו אצלי הרבנים החשובים הרה"ג מוהרש"ז שארפמאן שליט"א והרה"ג מוהר"נ שרייער שליט"א בדבר תיקון עירוב בפלעטבוש ואמרתי שאיני רוצה להתערב בזה כי הרי כמה שיטות איכא בפירוש מה זה רשות הרבים ובפירוש דלתות נעולות וספרי הש"ע מצוים, אבל מאחר שיצא קול שאני הוא מתיר בעצם מצד לשון זה שאמרתי מוכרח אני לבא בזה לברר בקיצור מה שאני בעצמי סובר,Clearly Rav Moshe’s summery of the chain of events is what Rav Felder recalled. However, Rav Moshe in his narrative did not declare from the start that an eruv in Flatbush, just like in Manhattan, was not permissible. On the contrary, when the rabbanim of Flatbush asked Rav Moshe about an eruv, he declined to state his personal convictions. He affirmed that he did not want to join them in the matter, because there are many opinions regarding reshus harabbim. Following this, as Rav Felder stated, Rav Moshe maintained that he had to clarify his own opinion as there were those who asserted that he would allow an eruv in Flatbush. And this leads me to my main issue with Rav Felder’s account, which is that he omits the following explicit remark of Rav Moshe’s regarding the Flatbush eruv: עכ"פ אני סובר לדינא כדכתבתי אבל לא רציתי לומר זה לפס"ד ברור מאחר שלא הוזכר זה בפירוש בדברי רבותינו האחרונים ובעה"ש משמע שודאי לא נחית לזה... אבל בזה טעם שלא אמרתי למה שאני סובר לרבנים חשובים לפס"ד ברורIn summation, even after Rav Moshe clarified his personal opinion opposing an eruv in Flatbush, he did not want to issue a p’sak din barur, since his chiddush was not mentioned in the Achronim and, moreover, the Aruch HaShulchan would not agree with him. Consequentially, no one has the right to argue that by establishing an eruv in Flatbush one is belittling the kavod of Rav Moshe (unless one believes kol koreis over explicit teshuvos). [...]

L’Hachzir Atarah L'Yoshnah


Mazal Tov to the Jewish Community of Vienna on the reestablishment of their eruv. Finally, there is a contemporary eruv in a city with considerably more than shishim ribo that was built with very little contention.

The following article regarding the eruv was published in the October 10, 2012 edition of Ami Magazine.  
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A New Low in the Eruv Imbroglio


This past Friday night, a terrible tragedy happened. A 62 year old man, R’ Elimelech Weiss z"l, was killed when a car hit him in Williamsburg. Brooklyn. R’ Elimelech was an exceptional individual who helped many people and was also involved with the establishment of the Williamsburg eruv.

Unfortunately, even before R’ Elimelech was a shochen afar, some miscreants threw out pashkevil (see here) stating that this calamity befell him because he made use of the eruv for which his punishment is death (a mechalel Shabbos receives skilah). These demented individuals who belong to the anti-eruv cabal believe that they are privy to the goings on in shomayim and are the Ribono Shel Olam’s policemen. That they have the temerity to add to the pain of the family in these trying times illustrates to what length the cabal would go and how perverted their cause has become. [In fact, it was to his benefit that he was using the eruv since he was identified by the keys that he was carrying.]

Clearly the liability lies with those rabbanim in Williamsburg who allow the vicious campaign of harassment against those who make use of the eruv. It is high time that they publicly reprimand these rabble-rousers. Furthermore, those rabbanim who were imported from Flatbush (see here and here) to lend credibility to the campaign against the eruv have a responsibility to be mocheh, as well.

However, I will not hold my breath. These rabbanim are actually the supporters of these scoundrels and want the campaign to continue. I am hoping that this new low that the rabble-rousers reached demonstrates to all rational minded people that the anti-eruv cabal are vicious and mean spirited people and that their campaign definitely has nothing to do with our Torah but only with mi brosh.

Fuzzy Math: False Claims in the Name of Rav Moshe Feinstein zt"l


Part of an ongoing commentary on the bias against city eruvin.In the cover article of Mishpacha (May 25, 2011), More Than Math and Marathons: How Mathematician Dr. Leon Ehrenpreis Became a Follower of Rav Moshe Feinstein, Dr. Ehrenpreis’s wife is quoted as saying (page 52):Rav Feinstein knew he could consult with Dr. Ehrenpreis anytime a sh’eilah arose that involved mathematical calculations. Hence, when asked about the possibility of constructing an eiruv in Brooklyn, he sought his talmid’s input. As Ahava explains it, Rav Moshe said there can be no eiruv in a reshua harabbim, which is defined by the volume of people in an area. When her husband looked at the figures that had been given to Rav Moshe, he shook his head. “If these are true, then I’m the fastest runner in the world,” he said, referring to his daily ten-mile run between Prospect Park and Brighton Beach — the amount of traffic said to pass through, given the distance, just didn’t seem high enough.“So Eliezer and I went and stood on the corner of Avenue N and Ocean Parkway with a stopwatch, counting cars,” Ahava recalls. “The volume of cars was much higher than the initial estimates.” Their “research” contributed to Rav Moshe’s ultimate psak about the eiruv, contending that it’s not halachically permissible in Brooklyn.   As I mentioned in a previous post, Rav Shlomo Pearl shlita made a similar claim in reference to Dr. Ehrenpreis (without mentioning his name) in his shiur titled The New Eruv in Queens (Jan. 9, 2011):One of the earlier teshuvos in chelek aleph, Rav Moshe seems to indicate that maybe even Brooklyn was only a shema yitu. And he says later that he was informed by chaver of mine who happened to be a marathon runner who knew exactly how many miles it was from one end of Brooklyn to the other. Rav Moshe thought that Brooklyn was more than twelve mil, but the runners knew exactly the size of Brooklyn and the map will also show you the size of Brooklyn and it was less than twelve mil, and if you wanted to create twelve mil it would probably go into Manhattan and part of Queens.On Avodah (Volume 28, Number 76 — Wed, May 11, 2011 — see the thread Inviting Someone On Shabbos Who Uses the Eruv) there is a similar assertion about Dr. Ehrenpreis with some additional detail mentioned: Here is an historical footnote that I know you will enjoy, because it involves Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Ehrenpreis, Z"L. Leon, as he was known, told me proudly that he and his wife were responsible for Reb Moshe saying that one could not make an Eruv in Flatbush for two reasons.1.  Originally Reb Moshe was told that the distance from Prospect Park to Sheepshead Bay was 12 miles.  When Leon heard this, he said, "No it is not. I run this distance a few times a week and it is no more than 6 miles."2.  Secondly, Leon told me that he and his wife stood on Ocean Parkway at the height of traffic and counted the number of cars that went by.  According to their count more than 600,000 people traveled on Ocean Parkway at this time.         "I am responsible for Reb Moshe saying one cannot make an Eruv in Brooklyn," he told me more than once.While these accounts differ somewhat from each other, they are in essence presenting two arguments: 1) Dr Ehrenpreis corrected the estimates of the traffic tally of Ocean Parkway, and this was a cause for Rav Moshe zt”l’s objection to a Brooklyn eruv. 2) Dr Ehrenpreis proved that Brooklyn was less than twelve mil by twelve mil in area, and therefore, Rav Moshe argued that the entire population of Brooklyn would be i[...]

Arichas Shulchan HaLevi: Rejoinder to HaGaon HaRav Belsky Shlita, Part 6


המשך עריכת שלחן הלויאו"ק ווזה לשון הגר"י בעלסקי שליט"א:הוצאה בשבת היא מהאיסורים היותר חמורים בכל התורה כולה. הוצאה ברשות הרבים היא איסור סקילה, ואילו איסורים אחרים המקובלים כחמורים שבחמורות הם איסור כרת שהוא יותר קל. ולכן תיקנו חכמינו ז"ל עירוב:כי מבלעדיו אי אפשר למנוע ממכשול איסור הוצאה היותר חמור. ומה שבא ללמדינו ד"הוצאה ברה"ר היא איסור סקילה", תמוה מה זה נוגע לענינינו בזמנינו? הרי אנן בתר חכמי אשכנז וצרפת גרירן, וכדפסק הרמ"א דהשתא לית רה"ר דאורייתא, וכל הרשויות שלנו אינם אלא כרמלית.   וזה לשון הגר"י בעלסקי שליט"א:צא ולמד כמה גזירות וחומרות קבעו לנו חז״ל בענין הוצאה, עד שבאו ובטלו מצות עשה דאורייתא - כלולב ושופר (וכן מגילה) - שמא ואולי יכשל איזה בר-ישראל ויעביר ד׳ אמות ברשות הרבים (ר״ה כט ע״ב; סוכה מב ע״ב; מגילה ד ע״ב ועוד). צא ולמד:"מה דקיימא לן שופר ולולב ומגילה דלא דחי שבת משום גזירה דשמא יעבירנה, והאידנא דלית לן ר"ה כדכתבו הפוסקים ואפילו הכי אסורין, והיינו משום כיון דהני שכיח אמרינן בי' אע"ג דבטל הטעם לא בטלה הגזירה" (מחנה ארן, ביצה לו). והובא בשו"ת מהרש"ם (או"ח חלק ח' סימן כה) וז"ל: "בעיקר חשש דשמא יעבירנו... יש לי לדון עוד, דהנה בשו"ת בשמים ראש סי' שמט העיר דלדידן דליכא רה"ר בזה"ז אין לגזור שמא יעבירנו, וצ"ל משום דכבר נגזר במנין" (ועי"ע בחלק ג' סימן קפח). ועיין בענין זה בארוכה בשו"ת שואל ומשיב (מהדו"ק סימן קיא).  וזה לשון הגר"י בעלסקי שליט"א:ואף איסור מוקצה הוא לפי רוב הראשונים מחמת הוצאה (עי׳ השגת הראב״ד על הרמב״ם הל׳ שבת פכ״ד הי״ב), והוא מהגמרא בשבת (קכד ע״ב) ש״לא אסרו טלטול אלא משום הוצאה״. פשיטא, מאי קמ"ל?ברם יש לזכור, שבאיסור טלטול עדיין השאירו חכמינו ז"ל היתר טלטול על כלים ואוכלים, כדי שלא לבטל עונג שבת, עי' רש"י (ביצה לז ע"א ד"ה אטו טלטול לאו צורך הוצאה הוא), וזהו אחד מהסיבות שחז"ל תיקנו מצות עירוב, כמבואר בפרישה (טור או"ח סימן שצ"ה ס"ק א) ד"ה מצוה לחזר בין אחר עירובי חצרות וכו' וז"ל: "לצורך הנאתו כדי לטייל או להביא צרכי אכילתו, וזה מצוה כמ"ש וקראת לשבת עונג". וזה לשון הגר"י בעלסקי שליט"א:כל מה שתיקן שלמה המלך עירוב, הכל היה לסייג ושמירה שלא יעברו על איסור הוצאה, עד שהסכימו עמו מן שמיא, וקרא עליו הפסוק (משלי כג, טו) ״בני אם חכם לבך ישמח לבי גם אני״ (עירובין כא ע״ב).צא ולמד מהו חכמת שלמה בתיקו[...]

Arichas Shulchan HaLevi: Rejoinder to HaGaon HaRav Belsky Shlita, Part 5


המשך עריכת שלחן הלויאו"ק הוזה לשון הגר"י בעלסקי שליט"א: דעת גדולי הדור הקודם: עובדא היא שכל גדולי הדור הקודם - ובהם מנהיגי וראשי עדות בני ספרד ובני אשכנז, החסידים והליטאים, מכל חוג ומכל מוצא - פסקו שאין לעשות עירוב בברוקלין. אין לך היפך האמת הגדול מה"עובדא היא":עובדא היא: עדותו של הגאון הגדול רבי יוסף אלי' הענקין זצ"ל (במכתבו מיום כ"ח תמוז תשכ"א) וז"ל: "גלוי הוא שיש יסוד גדול ודעת גדולים, לתקן עירובין במנהטן, שלא גריעה בזה מכמה כרכים בעולם שתקנו שם עירוב, ועדיפא מזה. הועד לתיקון עירובין מנהטן כולל מספר רבנים חשובים, אדמורי"ם, ובע"ב חשובים וכו', והם משתדלים לקבל הסכמת עוד רבנים מובהקים ואח"כ לקרוא לאסיפת רבנים גדולה להחליט על התיקון, לאחר שיעשו כל התיקונים הצריכים. לדעתי לא ימתינו עד שיתקבץ כינוס רבנים בגלל זה, כי מנסיון יודעים אנו שזה יקח הרבה זמן, וחבל על הזמן שבינתיים, אלא יעשו תיכף מה שאפשר ומה שנחוץ לעשות, ואחר התיקון יפרסמו שהתיקון נעשה ושממונים עליו רבנים משגיחים... הועד צריך להשיג קרן קבוע כדי שיוכלו לשלם שכר של שני משגיחים ת"ח מפורסמים שישגיחו על העירוב, ולזרז רבנים שיעשו מחיצות כדי לעשות עירובי חצרות בהבאראס ברוקלין, בראנקס וקווינס וכו' שאין שם עירוב כללי" (כתבי הגרי"א הענקין, סימן כ"ה).עובדא היא: שהשתדל מאד הגאון הגדול רבי יונתן שטייף זצ"ל וז"ל (בתשובותיו סימן ס"ח), "ולפי"ז באופן זה אפשר לערב... וביחוד העיר ברוקלין אפשר לתקן שכונות שכונות דהיינו אותם השווקים שדרים בהם לרוב מהיראים, בקל יש לתקן אותם בצורת הפתח" (ועי"ע בקונטרס תיקון עירובין הנדפס בקובץ "אור ישראל" סיון תשס"ג שנה ח גליון ד - לב). [ומעולם לא חזר בו מזה כמוכח מהסכמתו לספר "תיקון עירובין במאנהעטען" שכתב עשרה חדשים אחר דרשתו הידועה בליל כל נדרי בהאי שתא.]   עובדא היא: שהשתדל מאד הגאון הגדול רבי מיכאל דוב ווייסמאנדל זצ"ל ע"ד תיקון עירובין בברוקלין כמוכח מתשובותיו תורת חמ"ד (סימן א - ה) וכעדות זקני תלמידיו המובהקים. [ואין להתחשב כלל בדברי הסילוף שכתבו בשמו בני הדור הצעיר (בילקוט המכזבים) שבסוף ימיו חזר בו וכו' וכו'. א) משום דלדבריהם חזרתו היתה לכל המאוחר בשנת תש"י, והרי בשלהי שנת תשי"א עוד המשיך לכתוב "להתיר איזה פרצות במקום שיש ג' מחיצות שלמות" (תורת חמד סי' ד'). ב) המעשה המסופר (שם בילקוט המכזבים) שהאדמו"ר מסאטמאר לא הס[...]

Arichas Shulchan HaLevi: Rejoinder to HaGaon HaRav Belsky Shlita, Part 4


המשך עריכת שלחן הלויאו"ק ד וזה לשון הגר"י בעלסקי שליט"א: אם צריכים שישים רבוא ברחוב או בעיר: והנה יש שבאו לדקדק בלשון המחבר (או״ח סי׳ שמה סעי׳ ז), שכתב שם ״שכל שאין ששים רבוא עוברים בו בכל יום, אינו רה״ר״, והיינו שצריכים שיעברו בכל יום באותו רחוב ס״ר, וכזה רחוב לא יימצא בזמנינו, וע״כ אין לחוש אם בכל העיר גרים ס״ר. במחילת כ"ת דבריו אינם נכונים: כי פשטות דברי השו"ע הם כדברי כ"ת על ה"יש שבאו לדקדק" נכונה בלשון המחבר "שצריכים שיעברו באותו רחוב ס' רבוא", כדכתב האג"מ (או"ח א' סימן קל"ט ענף ה) שזהו פשטות השו"ע (ואכן עד כתיבת תשובתו זו סבר האג"מ דהתנאי של ס"ר תליא ברחוב עי' שם סימן ק"ט). וע"כ אלו שאינם מדקדקים כן בלשון המחבר והבינו שהתנאי של ס"ר תליא בעיר, זהו דבר חדש, כדכתב האג"מ עצמו (שם סי' קלט) וז"ל: "בענין הס"ר נראה לענ"ד דבר חדש... ולכן אני אומר שודאי סגי בזה שישנם בעיר".  וזה לשון הגר"י בעלסקי שליט"א: ולא ידעו ולא ראו שכבר כתב המשנ״ב שם (ס״ק כד, ועי״ש בשעה״צ אות כה) ״חיפשתי בכל הראשונים העומדים בשיטה זו ולא מצאתי נזכר בדבריהם תנאי זה, רק שיהיו מצויים שם ששים רבוא״.מבהיל על הרעיון!:תצילנה אוזן כל שומעת, לחשוד על אלו "שיש שבאו לדקדק" שהמה לא ידעו ולא ראו דברי המשנ"ב (שם) דבעינן שיהיו מצויין שם ס"ר, בו בזמן שכ"ת עצמו לא ראה את "דיבור המתחיל" (בס"ק כ"ד): "בכל יום", שהרי ע"ז כתב המשנ"ב שחיפש בכל הראשונים כו' ולא מצא נזכר בדבריהם התנאי שיהיו מצויים ס' רבוא "בכל יום".ומה שציין כ"ת לעיין בשעה"צ אות כה, לא רק דכאמור שאין משם ראיה לדברי כ"ת, אלא ראיה ברורה להיפך, שהס"ר תליא ברחוב דוקא ולא בעיר, מדכתב בשעה"צ ד"אין הכרח שיהיה צריך להס"ר שיעברו בכל יום דרך המבוי המפולש". הרי מבואר במשנ"ב דלא סגי אם רק יהיו מצויין ס"ר בעיר. [אגב, יש לתמוה דהרי כמה וכמה ראשונים שהזכיר המ"ב (בביאו"ה ד"ה שאין ס' רבוא) דלא קיימי בשיטת רש"י, עכ"ז כשהזכירו שיטתו כתבו מפורש דהס"ר עוברים "בכל יום", ה"ה הרמב"ן, הריטב"א, הר"ן והמאירי. וביותר פלא שהמ"ב כאשר מונה את הראשונים דקיימי בשיטת רש"י,  וביניהם את רבינו ירוחם, והלא רבינו ירוחם כותב מפורש דבעינן שהס"ר יעברו  "בכל יום" דייקא. ועתה לאחר שנתגלה בתקופתינו כת"י אספמיא של הבה"ג, שהוא המקור של שיטת ס"ר, הרי זה לשון הבה"ג: "רשות הרבים, דוכתא דדשין בה שית מאה אלפי גברין בכל יומא כדגלי מדבר". וכה[...]

Arichas Shulchan HaLevi: Rejoinder to HaGaon HaRav Belsky Shlita, Part 3


המשך עריכת שלחן הלויוזה לשון הגר"י בעלסקי שליט"א:זאת ועוד, שכל צירוף מחיצות שרואים בכל הש״ס ובספרי הקדמונים והאחרונים, כולם מיירי בהגדרה המשמשת למקום שהוגדר באיזה אופן ככל הנ״ל.במחילה מכ"ת אין זה נכון:ולהלן נפרט כמה וכמה מקומות בש"ס ופוסקים דהמחיצות אינם צריכים כלל לשמש למקום שהוגדר.וזה לשון הגר"י בעלסקי שליט"א:פוק חזי מדין פסי ביראות, שאמרו חז״ל שאף בשמונה חתיכות הרחבות כל אחת אמה, אפשר לבטל דין רה״ר למקום הנגדר על ידן ואף בלי באר מים חיים כבר אזדא ליה דין רה״ר, ואף הנעשות ע״י חקיקה מאילן וחיצת קנים הנעשה ממנו דיומד (עירובין יט ע"ב), יצאת דין פסי ביראות, האם תאמר שבכל מקום בעולם רואין כאילו נחקקו לזויות איזה ריבוע מדומה ונעשה לו לזויות פסין המבטלין מן המקום דין רה״ר אף במקום אוכלוסיא גדולה למ״ד לא אתי רבים ומבטלי מחיצות, דברי כ"ת תמוהין מאד: הלא בעצמו מביא את הברייתא (שם) המוכיחה שא"צ שגדריו ישמשו להגבלת המקום. דהרי בגמ' שם מפורש דהיה שם אילן או גדר נידון משום דיומד. והרי אילן זה אין לו שום שייכות למקום שלהלאה ממנו ואינו סביב איזה מקום מסויים ולא נעשה לשם זה (כמו שהגמ' מפרש הברייתא הנ"ל בדף ט"ו ע"א) דהוי מחיצה העומד מאליו, ואפ"ה נידון משום דיומד. ואיך יוכל כ"ת לומר דלא מצינו בגמ' אלא כשיש לה שייכות לאיזה היקף, נגד גמ' מפורשת. וזה לשון הגר"י בעלסקי שליט"א:א״כ אזדא ליה דין רה״ר מן העולם לגמרי. ובכן, מה כל הרעש שנתבטל רה"ר מן העולם בזה"ז:הרי כל הראשונים דקיימי דבעינן ס"ר, פסקו דהשתא לית לן רה"ר בזה"ז, וכטענת החכם צבי (בתשובתו סי' ל"ז) להרב השואל שטען ואם תאמר כך, בטלה תורת רה"ר מאינגלטריא: והשיב הח"צ "ואני אומר, אם התורה אמרה כך, תיבטל. ומה בכך?".ולהלן יתברר שכל קושייתו דאזדא לי' דין רה"ר מן העולם לגמרי, לא קשה מידי, כי הרי אין יכולים לומר חוקקין בכל גווני, וא"כ לא אזדא דין רה"ר מן העולם לגמרי.   וזה לשון הגר"י בעלסקי שליט"א:אלא ברור כחמה שכל דין פסי ביראות וכל דין גדר מקום שעומדו מרובה על פירוצו, מיירי במקום שגדריו משמשין לו להגבלות המקום ומשתייכים זה לזה באיזה מצב, אז יש להן דין צירוף ודין גדר שלם לפי הכלל הגדול בתורה שהרוב מתאר וקובע להכל והמיעוט נגרר בתר הרוב ונעשה כדבר אחד שלם המתואר כפי רובו. כבר הוכחנו לעיל ראיה ברורה מן הברייתא שפסי ביראות א"צ שישמשו לה[...]

Gezeiros and More: HaRav Shlomo Pearl Shlita on the Brooklyn and Queens Eruvin, Part 4


Continued from here. Rav Pearl shlita:But the emes is the Rambam had a different shita also that even without samach ribo. There was no samach ribo in too many places in the world in those days, but the road was sixteen amos, twenty-eight feet. All our streets are twenty-eight feet from one end of the sidewalk to the other. There was no roof over the street, it was mefulash, there was no obstruction, so this is reshus harabbim according to shitas HaRambam and a dozen other gedolei haposkim. It was more than a dozen — eighteen, twenty-two, it depends how you figure. So a dozen poskim held you didn’t need samach ribo. Sixteen amos, it was not mikora, it was mefulash, so this is a reshus harabbim. Shitas Rashi and a dozen other gidolei Rishonim all brought down by the Bi’ur Halachah, 345, that you need samach ribo. The rebuttal:Actually, we know today that the count is forty-two Rishonim who accept shishim ribo as a criterion of a reshus harabbim and eleven who do not (Part 12: Meoz U’Mekedem – Exploring the Historical Roots of the Machlokas Regarding Eruvin). Hence, there is no reason why we do not accept shishim ribo as a fundament of a reshus harabbim l’chatchilah. Rav Pearl shlita:So Rav Moshe held samach ribo in the street. So the whole sha’alah was, Paris had an eruv, Chazon Ish was matir the eruv. Amsterdam, Vienna, Antwerp and all these places had an eruv. In Europe before World War II gedolei Yisroel lived there. So Rav Moshe said you know how they lived there, because there was no samach ribo. The population in any of these places was 1.3, 1.5 million. No one had 2.4 million. So there was never 600,000 in the street. So that was the heter. The rebuttal:To begin with, Rav Moshe is only answering why one cannot ask on his shitos since eruvin were allowed in these cities. However, Rav Moshe admitted that his shita is a chiddush (Igros Moshe, O.C. 1:139:5). Hence, we can ask why did all the other gedolim allow eruvin in their cities? The answer is that either they upheld that shishim ribo is conditional of a street (Divrei Malkiel, 4:3) or it was because the streets were not mefulash u’mechavanim m’shaar l’shaar (ibid., and Divrei Menachem, O.C. vol. 2, pp. 42-43). Consequentially, according to these gedolim, there is no reason why an eruv cannot be erected in Brooklyn, as well.In a handout of a shiur (number 333) that Rav Pearl gave on January 9, 2000, he wrote that Paris was approximately forty-one square miles, which is considerably less in area than twelve mil by twelve mil and contained a population of close to three million (at the time that they were going to establish an eruv in 1938). Rav Pearl argues that since they were going to establish the eruv by relying on the Chazon Ish’s chiddush of mechitzos habatim, Rav Moshe would not have agreed to this eruv. However, Rav Pearl is mistaken; the Paris eruv was going to rely on mechitzos by its waterfront and not mechitzos habatim at all (Achiezer, 4:8). Therefore, it is possible that Rav Moshe would have agreed to this eruv — unless he would have had an issue with it because he considered Paris similar to Yerushalayim (of course Rav Moshe would have required that the tzuras hapesach that was going to be used to close the pirtzos should be included in the mechitzos). However, there is no doubt that Paris is proof that no one thought of Rav Moshe’s chiddushim at the time, and no doubt these poskim would have allowed Brooklyn eruvin, as well. Rav Pearl shlita:But a dozen ge[...]

Gezeiros and More: HaRav Shlomo Pearl Shlita on the Brooklyn and Queens Eruvin, Part 3


Continued from here.Rav Pearl shlita:Rav Moshe brings a rayah from Yerushalayim, in the days when they were oleh regel there was no eruv. Why was there no eruv when the oleh regalim went? Because they were afraid if people coming would see them carrying in Yerushalayim, they would go home and say the frum Jews in Yerushalayim carry on Shabbos — you want us not to carry? So shema yitu, there was no eruv there bezman of oleh regalim. So you can ask, today there is an eruv in Yerushalayim, why are we not concerned that shema yitu? Like everything else, not everybody is somech on the eruv in Yerushalayim. Rav Moshe would probably hold that you shouldn’t carry there. The rebuttal:This argument of Rav Moshe is hard to comprehend. Rav Moshe questions why, if it is a chiyuv to erect an eruv, didn’t they establish one for Yerushalayim? Rav Moshe answers that since people came to Yerushalayim from all over the world they would learn that carrying is permitted and they would mistakenly carry in places where it was not possible to establish an eruv; therefore, Rav Moshe declared they did not establish an eruv for the city of Yerushalayim (Igros Moshe, O.C. 1:139:5). However, there really is no chiyuv to establish an eruv for an entire city only for the chatzeiros and the mevo'os of the city. Later, when the layout of our cities changed and our streets took on the form and the halachos of chatzeiros and mevo'os, it became a chiyuv to establish eruvin for the entire city, as well (this is the meaning of the Chasam Sofer, in O.C. 99). As a matter of fact, the Rishonim state that they did establish eruvin for the mevo'os of Yerushalayim (Ravyah, Eruvin p. 398 and Haslamah, Eruvin 6a). So I don’t understand how Rav Moshe can glean anything from the fact that no eruv was established for the entire city of Yerushalayim. [It is of interest to note the Noda B’Yehudah, Mahadura Tinyana Kuntres Achron (siman 21) and the Tiferes Yisroel (Eruvin, 10:57) maintain that an eruv was allowed in Yerushalayim; however, it was not possible to establish an eruv at the time.] Furthermore, this is a perfect example of the irrationality practiced when the inyan is eruvin. Rav Pearl states that Rav Moshe would probably not allow carrying in Yerushalayim today. Why not? First of all, Yerushalayim has nowhere near a population of three million. Additionally, Rav Moshe admitted that if the rabbanim had already established an eruv (in Manhattan) the precedent of Yerushalayim would not pose an obstacle (HaPardes, 33rd year, vol. 9). The current (original) eruv in Yerushalayim is in existence from way back, prior to Rav Moshe writing his teshuvos regarding this matter, so no doubt Rav Moshe would agree to an established eruv such as this. Moreover, regarding Brooklyn, Rav Moshe was not even sure that it can be compared to Yerushalayim of old at all (Igros Moshe, O.C. 1:139:6, 5:28:15) so how do we know if he would include Yerushalayim of today in this gezeirah? I would argue that today with modern communication everyone would be informed about the possibility or the impossibility of establishing an eruv (and let us not forget the enormous dissemination of information by the anti-eruv cabal). Consequentially, this gezeirah is superseded as no one would carry in places where it is not permitted. [It is interesting to note, according to Rav Pearl, the fact that the overwhelming majority of people make use of the eruv in Yerushalayim today just proves that many do not [...]

Gezeiros and More: HaRav Shlomo Pearl Shlita on the Brooklyn and Queens Eruvin, Part 2


Continued from here. Rav Pearl shlita: Does it mean even the dead end streets? Rav Dovid Feinstein says yes, that’s what his father held. But it’s a mavoy she’eino mefulash? But it’s reshus harabbim d’ir. But the gamara talks about mavoy she’eino mefulash you could be ma’ariv? But this is the reshus harabbim d’sratya the derachim, if there was a derech and on the side of that derech there was a mavoy which wasn’t mefulash, so there already you can make an eruv. But reshus harabbim d’ir every street is part of reshus harabbim d’ir. The rebuttal:What? Bemechilas kevod Toraso, this is simply incorrect, and I don’t believe that Rav Moshe maintained as such. According to Rav Moshe, if a twelve mil by twelve mil area contains a population of three million people, the area is classified as a reshus harabbim d’ir. On the other hand, in order to classify a sratya [intercity road] as a reshus harabbim, the shishim ribo would need to traverse the sratya itself. Consequently, Rav Pearl is arguing that, according to Rav Moshe, a mavoy she’eino mefulash in a city could not be removed from the reshus harabbim d’ir, but when a dead end street runs perpendicular to a srtaya, it can be separated. This is a shockingly erroneous understanding of the halachos of a mavoy she’eino mefulash. Since a dead end street (one that runs perpendicular to a thoroughfare) is literately not mefulash — one is totally obstructed from continuing further and cannot turn off the street — it is not classified as a reshus harabbim and can always be separated with a tzuras hapesach (even if there is shishim ribo traversing therein). Even Rav Moshe maintains that to be classified as a reshus harabbim the street would need to be, at the minimum, open so that one can turn off the street (Igros Moshe, O.C. 5:28:7). Therefore, a mavoy she’eino mefulash would not be classified as a reshus harabbim even according to Rav Moshe and it could be demarcated with a tzuras hapesach. In a handout of a shiur (number 333) that Rav Pearl gave on January 9, 2000, he wrote that Rav Moshe detailed his motives to allow an eruv for Seagate such as the fact that there were small entrances that were manned by guards to allow people or vehicles to enter. Rav Pearl argues that since Seagate was like a mavoy she’eino mefulash because its third side was the ocean, Rav Moshe would only have given these particulars if a tzuras hapesach would not have been sufficient. However, this is incorrect. The fact that Rav Moshe did not insist on actual delasos to close these small pirtzos demonstrates that he maintained that [although it would be an issue of asu rabbim] even a tzuras hapesach would be adequate (or, as the case was, there was no need to close the pirtzah at all). The delasos that Rav Moshe mentions are stop bars that are not halachiclly sufficient. [It is important to note that Rav Moshe does not mention that there were delasos in the Seagate teshuvos (ibid., 2:89-90). He no doubt knew about this firsthand as he had established the eruv himself (ibid., 5:28:19).] In any case, as we see from his teshuvos (ibid., 2:89-90), the issue that Rav Moshe had to be concerned with in Seagate was that the area should be entirely enclosed so that there be a heter tiltul, and the issue of reshus harabbim was not mentioned at all. The entire premise of citing these diyukim as proof is inane. It is imprudent to add more chiddushim to Rav Moshe’s[...]

Gezeiros and More: HaRav Shlomo Pearl Shlita on the Brooklyn and Queens Eruvin, Part 1


Part of an ongoing commentary on the bias against city eruvin.After reviewing Rav Shlomo Pearl shlita’s shiur (Jan. 9, 2011) titled The New Eruv in Queens, I came away duly impressed as he knows Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l’s shitos in eruvin better than most rabbanim. However, because of his inaccurate application of these shitos, I feel there is a need for clarification and confutation. Rav Pearl omits and conflates some important issues regarding Rav Moshe’s shitos especially as they pertain to Brooklyn eruvin. While Rav Pearl formed a fascinating narrative that connects many of Rav Moshe’s teshuvos, it is at times factually incorrect. I should note Rav Pearl made some remarkable statements regarding Rav Moshe and eruvin that validate positions that I have upheld for years. Furthermore, Rav Pearl has also contributed an important statement in the name of Rav Dovid Feinstein shlita in the past (shiur number 325, Nov. 14, 1999). Rav Pearl stated that he had spoken with Rav Dovid Feinstein about being mocheh against the eruv (in Boro Park). Rav Dovid made it clear that no one should be mocheh. Additionally, Rav Dovid was unequivocal in his declaration that even if a gadol, in order to negate the eruvei chatzeiros, was to declare that he is mocheh against the eruv, he “must be crazy.”The following is a rebuttal of his shiur. Please note that this is not a word for word transcription of the shiur as it has been edited for clarity (see here for the shiur).Rav Pearl shlita:Regarding the eruv itself, there seems to be an extended new eruv in Queens. Someone called it to my attention and showed me a little blurb in the Jewish Press about a new eruv in Queens. It’s not actually a new eruv, it’s an extension of the Kew Garden Hills eruv. It now includes Holliswood, Briarwood, and Hillcrest, Jamaica Estates, and the Jewish Press says now this is the biggest eruv in NYC. That sounds like a maileh, the biggest eruv in NYC. Normally that is not considered in my book a maileh but efsher gur a chisoron. My rebuttal: In fact, some poskim such as the Chazon Ish (O.C. 107:4-7) Rav Shlomo Dovid Kahane (Divrei Menachem, O.C. vol. 2 pp.42-43) and the Divrei Malkiel (4:3) notate that large cities are less likely to be a reshus harabbim than small cities. Since in large cities the streets are more likely to be curved [eino mefulash] or be encompassed by mechitzos, consequentially an eruv in a large city, even the, “biggest eruv in NYC,” could be gur a maileh. Rav Pearl shlita:So, b’emes, we have to understand what they had before, in Kew Garden Hills. The eruv there and it was written up in Igros Moshe chelek daled, siman 86 and Rav Moshe was quite happy with that eruv. He says there are normally 4 or 5 requirements for an eruv there to have been put up l’heter, and all 4 or 5 requirements were met namely 1) That all rabbanim were in favor of the eruv. Do we ever find a place where all the rabbanim are in favor of anything? You know that’s something out of the ordinary to begin with. It’s not a normal place if all the rabbanim agreed on anything. Shelo k’derech hateva. 2) The eruv didn’t cross a highway. 3) The eruv was easy to check to see if there was anything that would go wrong. The chances of anything going wrong was rochuk meod, wasn’t really probably something ever happening. 4) There was someone checking it every erev Shabbos. So it seems like there was no pro[...]