LIPA and the <i>eruv</i>

Friday, August 27, 2010

LIPA and the eruv

Updated 08/27/2010 – 15:45 pm

The scenario in which the East End Eruv As­sociation could be seeking Long Island Power Authority approval in establishing the mostly symbolic religious boundary, took on greater credence as more information comes to light.

"Remember," a source familiar with the issue told OtBB, "all that is required of an entity to grant an eruv, is that it have the authority 'to close the roads,' which LIPA does."

That same source also suspects that out-going LIPA chief executive Kevin Law... his last day is this Tuesday... has already approved the E³A request and given the go-ahead to install the nearly invisible devices which would demarcate the boundaries.

"There's been a lot of LIPA trucks working of late along Montauk Highway between the former Pastor Chevrolet and just shy of Otis Ford in Quogue."

The source offers no substantiation for that speculation, but OtBB was allowed to inspect a facsimile of a LIPA-drawn map showing the extent of the eruv proposed by E³A.

On the West it cuts back from the LIRR crossing along Old Country Road, down along Seabreeze to South Road and then down Apaucuck Point Road to South Road, West to the creek which once irrigated C & R Duck Farm, then South again to Moriches Bay.

(That line seems to be the Western property line of the Medina estate.)

From there it goes East to the West Bay Bridge, down to the barrier beach, West to West Hampton{sic} Dunes, over to what appears to be the toe of the dunes, and East into Quogue.

The Eastern boundary of the proposed eruv is a bit murky, but it's well West of Jessup Avenue as it continues up to the LIRR easement.

As it "connects" to the Old Country Road cross­ing in Westhampton, there's a section exclud­ed in upper Westhampton Beach, the Bridle Path subdivision with its underground utilities, just as it had been in Hampton Synagogue's original application in February 2008.

If as one source speculated, a substantial part of the eruv is already in place, what better ar­gument could E³A make than "It's been here for some time now and no one felt a thing!?"

Some rational thinkers may accept such a brief, but as we learned with the temple's proposal two years ago, there's a lot of irra­tional sentiment surrounding this issue.

Suggested reading...

"What's The Point Of An Eruv?" by Abraham Wyner, Associate Professor of Statistics at University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business.


1. Champ 19 said...

Why not issue the map you inspected to the congregation of the synagogue for their guidance? I am sure I am not the first one who may have thought of this, and it may have been offered before and I missed it, but it seems too obvious.

What am I missing?

Never mind what you may be missing, what guidance would be required from Hampton Synagogue congregants?

I think most supported the earlier application because their Rabbi was on point and the Assistant Rabbi was a prime mover. But then Joel Cohen led that disastrous "informational meeting" two years ago which polarized a great many people against an eruv, and many members have been pleased that it seemed to die down and go away.

And, upon information and belief, while the latest move is not by the temple itself, most if not all of the members of E³A are also members of Hampton Synagogue.

2. Hunt Marckwald said...

Dean - are there three separate groups here? The Synagogue, a pro-ervu group and an anti-ervu group? If so, what's up with that, a house divided?

Don't know why you call the Hampton Synagogue a "group," Hunt... I think of them as a congregation.

Other players in this particular game are:
  • Jewish People Opposed to the Eruv, now trying to position themselves as "Jewish People For the Betterment of Westhampton Beach." (They have never gotten around to filing their Form 990 for FY '09.)
  • The Alliance for Separation of Church and State for the Greater Westhampton Area, Inc. (née Westhampton Beach Alliance for the Separation of Church and State), who are anti-ervu activists… and also missing their Form 990 for FY '09.
  • The East End Eruv Association, Inc., not directly affiliated with the Synagogue, who are pressing this latest initiative.
There's also the local chapter of the Caucasian Gentile Nation headquartered on lower Oak Street, but they're not very active at this point.

It's not so much a "house divided" as it was a Village divided for 16 months, but this latest eruv project has nothing to do with Westhampton Beach!

You may be getting some calls to the barricades from your neighbors in Quogue, however.

3. Hunt Marckwald said...

Thanks for the clarification. An outsider's view view of this (mine) tends to see the Rabbi getting what the Rabbi wanted without his name being attached. Would that be accurate?

True, but not accurate.

The eruv was not the Rabbi's idea in the first place, but a request of a very small number of his highly observant congregagants. He immediately went on point because, hey!, he's the Rabbi, #1, and, #2, he's Marc Schneier, a rising heavyweight in the Rabbinical universe in which his father sits at the highest echelon.

The failure of the last attempt, suspended in late May of 2008, is a blow to Schneier's personal prestige.

Of course, he has other distractions at the moment, but do not for a moment think that for anyone else to succeed where he didn't, does not burn.

4. Hunt Marckwald said...

Okay, so in your opinion, will this have a permanent them v. us effect for the Village or will this simply be accepted without retoric and "blame?"

The most virulently opposed will yell, hold-their-breath-'til-their-face-turns-cyanotic and rattle whatever sabres they can muster. But who will give them heed? It's not on the Village or even the Town, so Irene Barrett, Bob Dillmeier and Ralph Neubauer can goose-step around Village Hall and Town Hall 'til the first blizzard of 2011 for all the good it will do them.

If LIPA says "fine," they'd better prepare for a battle in Hicksville.

And any way this plays out, there will be an them v. us sensibility within the Village. The results of the 2009 Village elections weren't because Steve Arrasate was a horrendous candidate... that was incidental to the fact that Joan Levan and Hank Tucker played the eruv card for all its worth, and positioned themselves as the final barricade between "us" and hordes of hirsute Hassidim.

If that putz "Lineman" really wants to mix it up with someone, after tracking down Joel Cohen and throttle him in his sleep, he should do battle with Levan, Tucker and J.P.O.E.'s Arnie Scheiffer.

5. Scarlett said...

Gee, Joan's still in office - how is she allowing this travesty to continue?! I thought we were counting on her and Hank as our only hope....

Careful, Linemen will interpret that as " save Westhampton Beach from hordes of black-garbed, payes-dangling Orthodox who want to mate with our women and close our shops on Saturdays!" He sees bigoted goyim behind every hedge.

6. Lineman said...

What should be apparent to anyone who reads my blog is that I am not a resident of West Hampton{sic} Beach. The only agenda that I have is to further and assist in the establishment of eruvin the world over. I would debate anyone who has issues with the erection of an eruv.

No, Lineman, you don't "debate" so much as get in people's faces if you think they might have an issue with an eruv. You don't even bother to find out.

7. Scarlett said...

Lineman: Who even READS your blog?! Copycat wannabeeee....

He's not even a "wannabeeee," as that would imply there's some of his own, albeit derivative, work product involved.

There is none beyond his editorializing headline on someone else's work which he excerpts significant chunks of, barely skirting the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 by providing a link to his source material. But he tortures the "fair use" provision, as he did with Will James' story, by creating a headline for it on his blog which is nowhere supported by any part of James' report.

And yes, I was guilty of a similar offense back in 1971 with a "Fags Run Amok" headline, but I was new to journalism and didn't understand my transgression until an irate gay pointed it out to me and I had an "Ah!" moment.

Lineman can't care less... he's convinced he's scurrying about doing G-d's work and furthering the cause of Orthodox Jews around the world while refusing to acknowledge that people who spell it "God" are not automatically bigots.

8. Jeanne Speir said...

We have certainly have had time to reflect on the religious issues tumescently resurrecting in tandem with the local Rabbi's randy reputation.

Lineman's line about "erections" is positively seething with crazy old Freudian promise....

[sigh] Little did I realize when we exchanged vows, that I was marrying the girl in the Freudian slip.

But... yes, dear.

9. Tugboat Bertha said...

I picked up on that line too about "the erection of an eruv." Such an event would cause these supposedly innocuous eruvs to be more obvious than expected and they might stop traffic. Just sayin'....

10. EastEnd68 said...

Serious question. Is my understanding correct that a eruv places no restrictions on me as a resident, it only effects what Jewish people can or can not do? The streets still remain open to all, correct? Thanks.

Correct! After all this time and debate, how could that not have been crystal clear to you? I can only surmise that you've recently heard otherwise.

11. EastEnd68 said...

The opposition to the eruv make incredible statements. Bakery closed on Saturday is the best.

Heard it all 27 months ago when WCBS-TV was in the area to elicit man-on-the-street sound-bytes, and Tim Dahlen Senior somehow wound up representing the Village.

12. Bruce A. McAllister said...

You may have seen that rancid letter shamefully published by The Southampton Press on Sept. 13th re the eruv. I won't quote it for obvious reasons, but here's my reply which may not get printed - again, for obvious reasons:

Dear Sir/Madam:

I do not know the author of the letter which compared an eruv with the territorial sprinkles of our "mammalian cousins," but I know something of the standards of journalism and of The Southampton Press. And you have let your standard down, very badly. I am a Roman Catholic become an atheist, and I have opposed the eruv with all my energy since it was first proposed by Rabbi Schneier. But I have never seen or countenanced such an ignorant and blatantly prejudicial description of an eruv as you deemed publishable last week.

Whatever else it is, and however controversial even among Orthodox Jews, the eruv is and has been a sincere attempt (albeit, based on a misunderstanding of our secular Constitution) by some of our fellow human beings to deal with life in the Diaspora, and its basis is a traditional belief in God's sacred commandments as they see those commandments.

I don't expect the author will apologize, because I expect nothing intelligent from him. But everyone in this community is owed an apology by The Southampton Press.

Betcha, Bruce... betcha betcha betcha they publish your reaction to Len Lustgarten's letter!

Email address is not published
Remember Me

Write the characters in the image above