Borehamwood eruv granted planning permission
By NATIONAL SECULAR SOCIETY
Added: Thu, 12 Jul 2007 23:00:00 UTC
Thanks to Martin Gill for the link.
Orthodox Jews in Hertfordshire have been granted permission to erect a religious boundary despite claims it would create "a Jewish state".
Hertsmere Council has approved the erection of an "eruv" around the whole town of Borehamwood. The eruv is supposed to "allow" Jews to perform tasks otherwise prohibited on the "Sabbath". The plan will see 76 six-metre high poles, joined by wire, put up at 34 points around the town. However, the scheme was questioned by the National Secular Society.
NSS President Terry Sanderson, said: "This is another example of excessive religious correctness. Whatever the religious want, they get, however foolish and potentially dangerous it might be. This eruv is supposed to relieve orthodox Jews from the need to observe self-imposed restrictions. Many don't allow themselves to carry keys, for instance, or push babies in prams or even use walking sticks on the supposed Sabbath. But they believe that if they are within this special wire boundary they can be excused the need to observe such rules — rules which make no sense in the first place. "
Mr Sanderson said the eruv had a more serious implication. "While other boroughs and towns are trying to reduce the number of roadside distractions and impediments, Hertsmere has added to them quite unnecessarily. These poles are a nuisance and a danger. Personally I can't get my head round how anyone can think that the acceptability of behaviour can be determined by the erection of a few poles and wires."
A petition signed by 250 local people objected to the eruv, but this was ignored by the council. This will be the third such boundary in the London area after eruvs in Golders Green and Edgware were erected. The late Elizabeth Segall, a secular Jew who worked hard with the NSS to oppose the first of these eruvs in Golders Green had come to a much more cynical view about eruvs as a result of observing the proponents at close quarters. Especially their dealings with the local council. She was convinced that the motivation was for the religious to make a symbolic statement as to how powerful they were and who was really in charge."
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