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Mar 15, 2016 3:46 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

East End Eruv Association Plans To Install Lechis In Quogue Within Two Months

Mar 16, 2016 12:18 PM

Fresh off their latest legal victory, representatives of the East End Eruv Association said this week that their plan is to have the religious boundary in place in Quogue Village within the next two months.

Established in neighboring Westhampton Beach Village in the summer of 2014, the eruv can now officially be expanded to Quogue after officials there reached a settlement with the East End Eruv Association, or EEEA, which has been pushing for the boundary’s creation for several years. As part of that settlement, reached on March 7, Quogue agreed to drop all objections to the expansion of the eruv in exchange for not having to pay the legal fees—which could have totaled several million dollars—accrued by attorneys representing the EEEA.

As part of that ongoing effort, the boundary will also be expanded to the hamlet of Quiogue, which falls within Southampton Town, within the next two months, the same officials said. Though they reached a similar agreement in the fall with the town, permitting the eruv’s expansion to Quiogue and the hamlet of Westhampton, EEEA officials said they have not yet installed the necessary markers, called lechis, on utility poles in that area. That work will be done, they said, when the markers go up in Quogue Village.

“We are anxious to move it along,” Morris Tuchman, a member of EEEA and the former president of the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, the only house of worship that is benefiting from the eruv, said in an email. However, the expert rabbi doing it is very busy with many eruvin all over the world.”

Rabbi Moshe Yosef Undorfer is expected to officially bless the lechis, which will be mounted to utility poles owned by LIPA and Verizon and be the same color to blend in, before the start of summer, according to Mr. Tuchman. It is unclear which poles the markers will be affixed to though, last week, EEEA officials said the proposed boundary would include the stretch of Montauk Highway between Old Main Road and Jessup Avenue, as well as along Scrub, Old Depot and Old Country roads.

An eruv is a special zone that allows adherent Orthodox Jews to push and carry objects that would otherwise be forbidden on the Sabbath. Established in the summer of 2014 in the Village of Westhampton Beach, the eruv effectively turns outside space within its boundaries to inside space under Orthodox law, permitting the normally banned activities that include the pushing of strollers and the carrying of house keys.

Quogue’s decision to settle most likely saved the village millions of dollars in legal fees, according to Yehudah Buchweitz, a partner at the Manhattan law firm of Weil, Gotshal and Manges, which has been representing the EEEA pro bono for several years. He also noted that related litigation is still ongoing with Westhampton Beach Village, and that there have been no advancements in that case since the middle of last year.

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The Ruling is a formality that provides the Jewish community a religious symbol that cannot be seen by anyone. It does establish a precedent that any and all religions will and must be provided public access and rights to their personal artifacts to facilitate their religious beliefs. And Now Quogue can proudly say with much dismay , that it will be allowed in their symbolic, recently HISTORIC DISTRICT. Just maybe they might reestablish their Historic District Boundarys again to keep the religious ...more
By 1percent (52), Quogue on Mar 22, 16 8:37 AM