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Quogue Says 'No' to Eruv

After five months, the Village of Quogue has rendered a decision on the controversial application.

The has denied an application submitted by the East End Eruv Association to install a religious boundary, known as an Eruv on telephone poles within the village.

A five-page decision was posted on the village's website Friday afternoon following the meeting, including an introduction to the matter, citing previous court cases, and ultimately explaining why the village voted against accepting the application.

"We despair of identifying any principled distinction between both the device and the message imparted by the lechis and many other types of signs and other things that imaginative people have sought and could seek to place in our rights of way," the statement reads.

"We do not wish to be in a position of having to make distinctions without a clear basis for doing so or to expose the Village to claims of discriminatory treatment, expensive litigation and potential liability for allowing one type of device and message and not another. On that basis denial of the application is appropriate."

A full explanation of the village's decision, which was posted on the village's website , is attached to this post as a PDF.

The decision comes after the East End Eruv  as per a under the village's sign ordinance in January. It specifically asked for permission to install lechis, or a

The lechies represent the eruv, which allows Orthodox Jews to carry items they are not normally allowed to on the Sabbath, such as keys. 

Arnold Sheiffer, head of the Jewish People for the Betterment of Westhampton Beach, an organization that has been fighting the eruv on the grounds that it goes against their religious beliefs, was pleased with the decision.

Sheiffer said, "This was a decision for the people. It is in line with the laws of the village and the Constitution of the United States. It is nice to see those being followed."

He added, "Most eruv applications are approved because of apathy, but not here, people care."

Of the decision, Hank Sheinkopf, spokesman for the East End Eruv Association said, "The fight for religious freedom continues. We will move forward."

While the Village of Quogue has taken action on this matter, the Eruv East End Association is still awaiting a decision regarding a discrimination it filed against the Villages of Quogue and Westhampton Beach and the Town of Southampton.  In addition, involving the eruv that asks the courts for clarification on if they have the power to grant approval for an eruv.

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Keith May 19, 2012 at 07:14 PM
The Village of Quogue's decision was nicely packaged, making the basis of its decision content and affiliation neutral, so it should hold up nicely without invoking "freedom of religion". Nothing about Quogue's decision impinges on the exercise of religion, only the convenience of those of a subset of a faith. The restrictions imposed upon that group by its own beliefs are what cause the "hardship", not restrictions by municipal subdivisions as to erection of structures and signs. Of more interest will be the decision forthcoming in the pending WHB and Town court cases---whether a "public" for profit utility has the right (authority) to affirmatively allow its structures and rights of way for general public communication ("transmission") to be used by specific subgroups for religious purposes, for no or nominal consideration and without any discernible standards for other groups to seek similar uses regardless of purpose. How a Court can reconcile this result within the limited purpose by which Verizon and LIPA enjoy those governmentally provided benefits---if the court were to so hold---will make interesting reading.
cbg May 20, 2012 at 02:55 PM
THANK YOU QUOGUE! Finally the Majority rules. They will be back, they are worse than bed bugs. They should put a ring around themselves, this way they can pull and push all they want.
Benyamin Solomon October 14, 2012 at 05:20 PM
What's wrong with an Eruv? It's a string, which is barely noticeable, that allows Jews to carry on Shabbos. Rejecting the application to construct an Eruv in unconstitutional, since the Constitution allows for freedom of religion.
Benyamin Solomon October 14, 2012 at 05:21 PM
The US is a Constitutional Republic, not a direct democracy, moron. regardless of how the majority feels, they have a right to build that Eruv. The only difference is that with an Eruv, more Jews carry on Shabbos.
Tom C January 02, 2013 at 10:31 PM
Ben ...i have a question that i can't seem to get an answer on. Maybe you could explain....My question is ..Why not establish an an Eruv that covers ALL of Nassau and Suffolk counties...that way these smaller /individual applications and discussions wont need to happen because all of Long Island will be covered....I understand that NYC, LA, CHI, Las Vegas are all covered under one Eruv

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