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Aug 14, 2008 10:37 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Crowd storms out of meeting at synagogue

Aug 14, 2008 10:37 AM

Mr. Tuchman added to the rabbi’s statement, saying that the First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of religion. He also explained that permission from a public official who can open or close the street symbolically allows Orthodox Jews to carry articles on the streets on Saturday—what is normally forbidden by Jewish law.

Carolyn Cassidy, a resident of Westhampton Beach who has expressed opposition to the eruv, addressed the rabbi about his letter to the community when he withdrew the application for the eruv. “In your May 23 letter, you said you were suspending the ... petition,” Ms. Cassidy said.

She said the rabbi stated in the letter that although he didn’t “wish to win a Pyrrhic victory,” she suggested that if he ignored the community, and bypassed village officials, and chose to file a lawsuit, it would be the “Pyrrhic victory” he didn’t want.

The rabbi responded that he has met with ministers and clergy in the village who have expressed their support in seeing the eruv erected in the village. This support, in addition to other support expressed by other members of the community, prove that the eruv would not be a Pyrrhic victory, he said.

Throughout the meeting, Rabbi Schneier emphasized that the synagogue is committed to the eruv, and expressed confidence that it will be established in the village. He disclosed later on in the meeting that he had met with County Executive Steve Levy about soliciting permission from his office to construct an eruv if the village balks.

Two days before the meeting, however, Mark Smith, a spokesperson for Mr. Levy, said that “the county does not have any authority to decide what goes on a utility company pole or what the signage regulations are in the village. It’s out of our hands.”

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I just think that if the Jewish are allowed to erect an eruv on public property year-round then the Christians should be allowed to erect Crosses and Mangers on PUBLIC PROPERTY year-round. And the Chinese to erect symbols (again on public property) during their Chinese new year, and so on and so on. Fair is fair. Whats wrong with that??
By Sam (252), Westhampton Beach on Aug 25, 08 1:30 PM
Unfortunately though, the Eruv actually runs on PRIVATE property. Telephone poles & power lines are owned & operated by Verizon & LIPA respectively. Last time I checked they were private companies & they have consented long ago. They don't have any anti semetic agenda thankfully.
By Michael A. (3), NYC on Aug 26, 08 10:14 AM
Here's what I don't get:
An eruv permits people to get around the restrictions of their religion? Is that right?
It sounds like a loophole.
Or, like in the old days, a Catholic might get around the meatless Friday rule by chewing meat but not swallowing?
Why would a religious person be looking for ways to legitimize a loophole in his/her religious
Can someone please explain this to me?
By Maire (1), westhampton on Aug 28, 08 3:43 PM
Stop pandering to to Marc Schneier by copying the press release in which women can't push their prams! The Village of Westhampton Beach has NEVER inhibited anyone from the free exercise of their religious rights and if their religion does, they should petition that religion and not the Village of Westhampton Beach.Marc Schneier was NOT invited to speak to the congregation at St Marks... he lied... he was invited to speak at the coffee hour after services. He said in public he was invited to speak ...more
By Resident (42), Westhampton Beach on Aug 29, 08 10:03 PM