By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Yosef Heller, one of the most prominent rabbis in Crown Heights who heads the local kollel, had sharp words about the new Greater Crown Heights Eruv and those who use it.
Speaking on Sunday at the kollel on Kingston Avenue, Rabbi Heller was clearly troubled over the construction of the Eruv by the neighboring Kol Israel community in Prospect Heights last week.
“It is not possible to make an Eruv in Crown Heights according to halacha. Period,” said Rabbi Heller, who served on the Crown Heights Beis Din (Badatz) alongside Rabbi Yehuda Kalmen Marlow OBM and Rabbi Avraham Osdoba.
“In Boro Park, there is a machlokes between rabbinim whether an Eruv is allowed. But in Crown Heights, it is not arguable since Eastern Parkway is a public domain according to Torah (רשות הרבים דאורייתא),” he said, according to an account by a participant.
“Eruvin is from the three most difficult sugiyos (subjects) in halacha,” he added. “To make an eruv in a city –which is a different scenario than a bungalow colony, for example–is extremely complicated. There are few individuals in our generation that know how to do it properly.”
The rabbi went on to compare the process to open heart surgery. “You can’t just be a regular doctor. You have to be a regular doctor who also specializes in hearts.”
As reported on COLlive.com, Kol Israel’s Rabbi Elkana Schwartz withdrew his “endorsement” of his community’s Eruv since Crown Heights Rabbis protested its creation without their consultation.
But Rabbi Schwartz himself admitted that he wasn’t the one certifying the Eruv. Instead, he said it was a lay-leadership initiative being consulted by an Eruv expert they aren’t naming.
In his remarks on Sunday, Rabbi Heller stated: “Until there is a name of the rav who is doing it, there is nothing to talk about. There needs to be a name of who is going to check it each and every week. I’d like to find a rav that will say it’s possible to make an Eruv here.”
A resident of Crown Heights, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue, told that 2 men using the Eruv this past Shabbos were met with scorn at their shul. A woman, who came to another shul with a stroller, was greeted similarly.
“Messing with Shabbos is very dangerous,” Rabbi Heller stated. “If a person was educated in our institutions and still uses this Eruv (to carry on Shabbos), is a mechalel Shabbos b’meizid (intentionally desecrating Shabbos).”
According to a second person present, Rabbi Heller said that a Chassidic resident must be careful where they eat and that eating in the home of a local that uses the Eruv can pose a problem, adding that it might also disqualify him from bearing witness according to halacha (like for a wedding).
+ Shul Rabbi Retracts Eruv Support
+ Crown Heights Eruv Is Officially Up
+ Rav Osdoba Clarifies; Forbids Eruv
+ I Have an Eruv, But Don’t Use It
+ Rabbi Osdoba Doesn’t Rule Out Eruv
+ Rabbi Groner: Rebbe Opposed Eruv
+ Rabbi Levin: No Basis For Eruv
+ Why No Eruv in Crown Heights?