February 1, 2007
After Agoura eruv dismantled, residents ask ‘What’s up with that?’
(Page 2 - Previous Page)But not everyone agrees that eruvs are required for Jews to lead an observant lifestyle.
"An eruv, in my opinion, is not a necessity for Jewish people," said Eisenberg, pointing out that the large Chabad Lubavitch communities of Crown Heights and Flatbush do not have one.
Bryski agreed, saying, "We've grown our community beautifully for two decades without an eruv. We can continue to do so."
He estimates that about 150 families in the Conejo Valley daven weekly at Chabad centers, but that thousands of others are involved in study and other Chabad activities.
At this point, the Eruv Committee is taking a breather. For Block, it's been "all eruv, all the time" for more than a month, leaving no time for his real estate job. And while $25,000 of the $35,000 he raised has been spent, he's relieved that eruv supporters aren't requesting their money be returned. "No one's too upset," Block said.
Block and Shapiro have already discussed an alternate path for the eruv, one much less obtrusive, but they understand the need to proceed slowly, obtain all the necessary permits and elicit strong community support.
For Carol Rosenberg, a 25-year resident of Agoura Hills and a member of the Westside Jewish Renewal congregation B'nai Horin, that would be a tough sell. Rosenberg sees the eruv as a threat to wildlife as well as an un-neighborly imposition of religious rituals on a community.
"The eruv is disrespectful to all life," she said. "There is no way that this would work."
Abate, on the other hand, a non-Jewish Oak Park resident who called attention to the injured red-tailed hawks, has asked to join the Eruv Committee in an attempt to encourage the use of more natural barriers and protect wildlife, perhaps even developing a model for future eruvs.
"Any time anybody can share their culture with other people, I think it's a blessing for the whole community," she said.
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