Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Eruv Proposal Moves Forward, As Verizon And LIPA Give Initial Approvals 

A non-profit organization has cleared two major hurdles on the path to establishing a symbolic Jewish religious boundary, known as an eruv, that would encompass Westhampton Beach Village and the hamlet of Quiogue, the head of the organization said on Wednesday.

Marvin Tenzer, the Westhampton Beach resident who heads the East End Eruv Association, said he received word from Verizon on Tuesday evening that the company intends to allow his organization to attach markings, known as “lechis,” to utility poles in order to delineate an eruv that would encompass Westhampton Beach and Quiogue, and also include parts of Quogue and Westhampton. The Long Island Power Authority, which owns other utility poles in the area, agreed to allow the organization to mark its poles this summer but is currently reviewing that agreement, according to a spokeswoman.

The eruv is a symbolic enclosure; the lechis replace walls in public places. The religious boundary, if created, would allow Orthodox Jews to carry and push objects on the Sabbath, activities that are normally prohibited out of doors on their day of rest.

“We don’t have the license yet from Verizon, we haven’t heard from LIPA, so the time horizon ... is still up in the air,” he said regarding when the boundary would be established.

But Westhampton Beach Village Mayor Conrad Teller disagrees with that assessment, stating that his municipality must still sign off on the proposed religious boundary for it to become a reality. “We will be speaking with our attorney,” said Mr. Teller, adding that, as of Wednesday morning, he was not aware of the letter from Verizon or the agreement with LIPA.


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