Jewish Journal

Massive 405 Freeway project respects the boundaries of a Jewish tradition

Metro and Caltrans are working with Orthodox Jews to maintain the thin 'walls' of a vast Westside eruv during work on the 405 Freeway.

Posted on Jul. 5, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Metro and Caltrans are working with Orthodox Jews to ensure that the upcoming “Carmageddon” will not affect their eruz, latimes.com reports.

Like just about everybody else, Orthodox Jews in Los Angeles have their issues with the 405 Freeway widening project. Unlike most people, however, their primary concern is not necessarily the impending closure of a stretch of the freeway on the July 16-17 weekend.

Their problem is that the 405 construction project keeps messing up their eruv.

Some explanation is probably in order.

An eruv is a ritual enclosure surrounding a neighborhood. It can be a fence, a wall, a piece of string — or a freeway. And it must be unbroken.

Its purpose is legalistic, a loophole, some might say. It allows observant Jews to perform certain actions on the Sabbath — carry a tray of food or push a baby stroller, for example — that Jewish law prohibits in public on that day.

Read more at latimes.com.

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