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Sep 18, 2008 5:08 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Legal opinion on eruv is likely a precursor to lawsuit

Sep 18, 2008 5:08 PM

“It’s considered an accommodation when the government lifts its own law” for people to practice their religion, Ms. Hamilton said. She went on to explain that no government is preventing Orthodox Jewish people from carrying items on their Sabbath.

“An eruv is not an accommodation because the burden created against pushing and carrying was created by Jewish law, so only Jewish individuals can release themselves from Jewish law, not the U.S. government,” Ms. Hamilton said.

Even though thousands of eruvs exist across America, Ms. Hamilton explained that they are not constitutional.

“It’s not unusual for there to be practices that are unconstitutional in communities,” Ms. Hamilton said. “It takes awhile for the reasons and explanations against [those practices] to develop.”

Ms. Hamilton is hedging her bets on village trustees preserving constitutional rights.

“I hope they will be vigilant of constitutional boundaries, meaning that they don’t endorse the invitation to become involved in validating religious law,” Ms. Hamilton said.

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I certainly hope Mr. Bishop was taken out of context. We would still have prayer in schools if that logic prevailed, after all thousands of schools had prayers said everyday for decades. Unless I'm mistaken or the copy of the memorandum that is on the internet is not the same as the one Bishop is reading... there is simply no compelling reason for the Village to even be involved in a factional Jewish law. There are Jews that can not enter the area of an eruv, as a religious practice... what about ...more
By Resident (42), Westhampton Beach on Oct 14, 08 12:31 PM
Ms. Hamilton's comments are interesting. Government is not preventing Orthodox Jews from performing any activity; Jewish Law is.
Why go to a civic government for relief of a law that is not government's doing?
Should the Village allow the eruv as defined, then it is in a de facto sense repressing activity in those areas that are outside the eruv.
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Oct 16, 08 8:09 AM
I do not understand why the proposed eruv will only be located to the east of the synaguogue. What about the residents living west of Sunset down MIll Rd toward Baycrest and Oneck? I think this intial application is just the start. They will want to expand the area next year, etc.
By Lefty46 (56), Westhampton on Oct 16, 08 5:01 PM
I'm sure someone will correct me if I am wrong but was their some discussion that the eruv initially was to be much bigger, from Remsenburg to Quogue? If that is true I am not sure why it was reduced in size - perhaps to have to deal with only one civic entity?( Westhampton Beach?)
By North of Highway (280), Westhampton Beach on Oct 16, 08 8:47 PM