On Monday, Patch reported that Jewish groups clashed over the East End Eruv Association's proposal to instal a religious boundry, called an eruv, on 48 poles in the Village of Quogue. While the East End Eruv Association claims it is within their First Amendment rights to install it, the Jewish People for the Betterment of Westhampton Beach say the eruv is against their First Amendment rights because if an eruv is installed they "would feel that their own interpretation of Jewish law had been belittled and demeaned by their own government."
Patch readers had a lot to say on the subject. The following is a round-up of our reader's comments. Add to the conversation by posting your thoughts in the comment section below.
wrote, "So These are people that want something to allow them to break a religious tradition so that they don't have to break their religious traditions. Huh?"
responded, "The religious tradition is (oversimplifying a bit) not to carry things in a public area that is not demarcated by the symbolic boundary called an eruv. What’s confusing you?"
wrote to Mr. Salomon, "I do not think Mr. DeLesia is confused in the least. Perhaps the Huh? in his comment invoked your response. I can not speak for Mr. DeLesia. I, Tricia Murphy, want to know why many religions have thrived together in the Hamptons for decades with/without visible/invisible symbols and why has the installation of an ERUV all of the sudden become a topic of debate. Education without opinion is the best resource for understanding. Mr. Salomon, perhaps you can enlighten me."
asked, "Why do people, who have given up practicing the religion of their forefathers, get so offended that there still are people who adhere to the practice of these traditions???"
posed, "Will other religions be able put up crosses,whatever on poles?"
said, "I want to hang my dirty underwear from telephone poles, will i be allowed to do that now? God told me I should do this in memory of Him."
responded to Jim,asking, "Will they be invisible?"
said, "Anyone who has ever seen such an eruv (and they're *not* easy to spot, believe me) knows that they are completely unremarkable and generally unnoticed by the Jewish and non-Jewish population alike. An eruv isn't a billboard, it's a thin wire high above the street level, and says no more about the religious (or nonreligious) views of a passerby than a overhead telephone wire 3 blocks from a home says about the homeowner's choice of Verizon vs. Cablevision for phone service. I am certain that most or all of Patch's readers have driven through numerous communities with eruvs without ever realizing it."
wrote, "The argument is that by seeing an eruv, they will be reminded that they are disregarding the laws G-d commanded them to keep, causing them anguish. By that logic, seeing an obviously religious person in the street should also cause them that anguish. If that suffering trumps first amendment rights, it will be forbidden for any obviously religious person to walk the streets."