Federal judge’s ruling advances Hamptons eruv

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A federal judge has ruled that markers creating an eruv, or religious legal enclosure for use on the Sabbath, can be placed on telephone poles in a community in the Hamptons.

The East End Eruv Association is seeking to erect an eruv in the Long Island town of West Hampton Beach.

An eruv allows Orthodox Jews to carry items and push strollers on Shabbat.

The ruling was handed down Tuesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The markers, called lechis, would be placed on about 50 telephone poles, out of some 15,000 telephone poles located in the area.

Opponents of the eruv, including many non-Orthodox Jews, had argued that it would change the character of the neighborhood. Similar arguments are being made in the Quogue and Southampton municipalities, where groups also are seeking to erect eruvs.

Proponents of the eruv in West Hampton Beach, N.Y., are affiliated with the Orthodox Hampton Synagogue, which has had repeated run-ins with local residents who reportedly fearing an influx of Orthodox Jews to the seaside community.

The judge must still rule on whether putting up an eruv would violate the establishment clause of the Constitution, which provides for separation of church and state, according to the Forward.