[1:55 pm] Update: According to an email sent by the LA Community Eruv, the eruv is up and will be functioning for Shabbat this week.
[12 pm] Hold those strollers.
A community-wide email sent out Thursday evening by Howard Witkin, the lead organizer of the Los Angeles Community Eruv, indicated “that there is some possibility that the eruv will not be up for this upcoming Shabbos.”
An eruv defines a specific area by use of a fence, string or wire, and allows observant Jews to carry items within its boundaries on Shabbat, in accordance with halacha (Jewish law). This includes synagogue-goers carrying books and prayer shawls, as well as parents wheeling strollers.
A few hours after the email was sent, though, Witkin indicated to the Journal that the eruv will likely be functional for Shabbat.
The soundness of the eruv, which has been disrupted numerous times by the construction on the 405 freeway that has been ongoing for years, was put in question this time when construction workers had to move some of its poles on Thursday.
In all likelihood, Witkin said, those poles will be replaced before Friday evening, ensuring that Shabbat observant Jews will be able to benefit from the eruv this Shabbat, beginning Friday night.
“The rabbis like to give people a warning,” Witkin said, explaining why he sent out the notice. “If you’ve got food waiting, you don’t want to find out Friday morning it’s a problem, and I knew Thursday morning it’s a possibility.”
In June, when the eruv was last down, in the Orthodox Pico-Robertson neighborhood some synagogues were noticeably emptier, and strollers were few and far between, as many mothers did not go to synagogue, instead staying home with their young children.
Stay tuned to JewishJournal.com throughout the day for updates on the eruv.