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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 22 Feb 2019 07:52 PM and ends Sat 23 Feb 2019 08:50 PM
י"ג ניסן ה' אלפים תשס"ט
Melbourne’s Eruv Chatzeirot [commonly known as the 'Melbourne Eruv'] was renewed last night as it is every Erev Pesach. An Eruv is an halachically approved enclosure of a district that serves the sole purpose of relieving the prohibition of carrying outside of one’s home on Shabbat, on Yom Kippur and any Festival that occurs on Shabbat. Carrying from domain to domain is one of the 39 primary activities that it is forbidden on Shabbat.
In the absence of an eruv, observant Jews would not push baby carriages, strollers, or carry a house key on a Shabbat or Yom Kippur. Mothers of infants would be unable to attend the synagogue and families unable to visit each other’s home for Shabbat sociability. The Eruv makes all of these permissible. Community welfare and harmony are enhanced.
The sages were concerned that if one is permitted to carry in a courtyard or a city enclosed by partitions, he might think that it is always permissible to carry from a Reshut HaYachid to a Reshut HaRabbim even if the Reshut HaRabbim is not enclosed. Therefore, the sages enacted that an Eruv Chatzeirot be made. This is done by transferring ownership of a quantity of matzah to all the residents within the Eruv perimeter. Last year a box of matzah was retained for this purpose by Rabbi Sprung, the Mara De’Atra (Chief Rabbi of the Mizrachi Community). This year, Adass Yisroel Rabbi Beck will retain the box of matzah. Since a person’s main dwelling is where he eats, it is as if all the Jews of the city have one joint eating area and in effect, the distinctions between individual domains have been removed. Because the city in some sense appears as one domain, people will not err and think it is permissible to carry from a private domain to an unenclosed public thoroughfare.
In addition to the Eruv ceremony the physical boundaries must be checked on a weekly basis to ensure the ongoing Kashrut of the Eruv. The Kashrut of the Eruv is under the supervision (Hechsher) of Rabbi Sprung.
The checking of the Eruv is undertaken jointly by Melbourne Eruv and Adass Yisroel. Adass Yisroel and the Council of Orthodox Synagogues of Victoria fund the costs of the weekly inspection.