The article says "the Chandler Eruv Project will be funded by donations", which is fine.
But I have a problem with this if ADOT gets involved and starts spending a bunch of our tax dollars on silly religious superstitions.
"the Chabad of the East Valley
must get permission from the
Arizona Department of Transportation
and Union Pacific Railroad to install
poles and lines."
I guess the question to ask is if a private non-religious group had a project like this would ADOT give them permission to do it???
Last I wonder if any tax dollars have been spend on the two "eruv" or "eruvin" projects in Scottsdale and Phoenix???
Southeast Valley Jews seek special Sabbath zone
Michelle Mitchell, The Republic | azcentral.com 11:30 a.m. MST May 15, 2014
Yaffa Lvova has been confined to her Chandler home one day a week since her twins were born nine months ago.
Although the boys are a wonderful blessing, Lvova said, "I was a big part of the community before I had them, and now, since I've had them, I'm at home."
The isolation stems from Jewish law that bars Jews from certain activities, such as carrying things, including infants, outside their homes on the Sabbath.
That will change if the Chabad of the East Valley is successful in creating something known in Hebrew as an eruv, a continuous, though symbolic, physical boundary that allows Jews within it to act as they would in their own homes on the Sabbath.
Eruvin (plural) are a long-standing tradition in Judaism. There are hundreds throughout the world.
Some entire cities once were surrounded by walls. Today, the modern eruv often takes advantage of existing power lines or other infrastructure to define boundaries.
Two other eruvin exist in the Valley, but passers-by likely never notice the nylon lines strung from poles or the small pieces of wood attached to power poles.
Jews who most strictly observe the Sabbath, which runs from Friday evening through Saturday evening, follow many restrictions. They do not work, watch television, spend money or use cellphones.
"It leaves you no other option but to focus on family, on sharing, on education, on prayer, on reflection," said Rabbi David Rebibo of Beth Joseph Congregation in Phoenix.
However, the restriction against carrying things in public on the Sabbath also means Jews can't carry a prayer book or a bottle of water on a hot summer day, or push a wheelchair.
The eruv would essentially allow all those activities within the boundaries.
About 15 percent of the Chabad of the East Valley's 350-member congregation follows the law of the Sabbath strictly enough to benefit from the eruv, Rabbi Mendy Deitsch said.
The Chandler Eruv Project would run along the approximately 20-mile boundary formed by Interstate 10, U.S. 60, Loop 101 and Loop 202.
An eruv consists of heavy gauge fishing line, poles, concrete canal banks, and other elements, in accordance to Jewish tradition. If the nylon string is broken, it must be fixed before Friday at sundown.
"It's freeing people, allowing them to enjoy the Sabbath even more," said Deitsch, of the Chabad of the East Valley.
Organizers are taking advantage of freeway walls to form the bulk of the eruv boundary in the Southeast Valley. Where the walls break for on-ramps or off-ramps, "doorways" are created. The Chandler Eruv Project proposes installing 20-foot poles at these intersections, with fishing line on top to connect the walls.
"It's strong enough to survive blowing winds," but weak enough to not cause damage if it breaks, said John Christakis, project manager for the Chandler Eruv Project. "You just don't see it, even if you were looking up."
The Southeast Valley eruv would be the third in the Valley. One was installed in north-central Phoenix about nine years ago. Another went up in Scottsdale last year.
Creating an eruv is an exacting process that requires coordination among several groups. Representatives from the Chabad of the East Valley must get permission from the Arizona Department of Transportation and Union Pacific Railroad to install poles and lines.
ADOT evaluates plans based on safety and impact on travel, spokesman Doug Nintzel said. Previous eruv projects were determined to not cause major issues, he said.
After the project obtains permits, a rabbi who is an expert on eruvin must examine the route to ensure it meets Jewish law.
If all this goes smoothly, installation of the Chandler eruv could begin in as few as three months, Christakis said.
The Scottsdale project took about five years to complete, including years of fundraising, said Dan Zupnick, executive director of the Valley Eruv Project.
At least once a week, Zupnick spends about two hours driving the 32-mile perimeter to inspect the Scottsdale eruv and ensure that none of the lines is damaged. Jews can call a hotline or even check the @PhoenixEruv Twitter account to ensure it is in place.
The Chandler Eruv Project will be funded by donations, said Deitsch, who expects it to cost about $60,000.
Valley eruv projects have not faced opposition, and permitting agencies have expressed willingness to work with the group.
Some have concerns with the eruv concept because it involves government entities and public property. Government cannot prefer, promote or advance religion, and that includes formal recognition of an eruv or attaching it on public property, said Patrick Elliott, staff attorney with the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.
"There is no secular purpose behind the creation of an eruv that would justify government involvement," Elliott said in an e-mail.
Three federal lawsuits were filed over a New York synagogue's efforts to create an eruv in a beach community there. There are about 50 eruvin in New York, according to an online directory at
Chandler's Yaffa Lvova is part of the group working to create the southeast Valley eruv and one of several new moms in the congregation who are confined during the Sabbath. Without an eruv, that isolation could last for years because she would be prohibited from carrying home a toddler who gets tired or has a tantrum.
Phoenix Eruv Project
Scottsdale Eruv Project
Chandler Eruv Project