North Shore Eruv heading for Land and Environment Court

August 24, 2011 by J-Wire Staff
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A packed meeting of Sydney’s Ku-Ring-Gai Council last night witnessed two motions needed to establish an Eruv in St. Ives defeated.

With locals standing in the stairwell outside the meeting attended by more than 300 attended, the Eruv, on the drawing board since 2004, first was rejected

Eruv committee member David Guth said: “Of cours we are disappointed with the result. I have no idea how long the process to bring the matter to the Lddand and Environment Courtthis will take…but this will need additional funds to mount. The community is disappointed. They were aware of the effort that had gone into the establishment of the Eruv but remain confident of future success. These meetings are always difficult  given the passionate nature of the matter.”

The motion dealing the Roads Act and relating to the 36 poles which had too be installed was recommended for refusal and was upheld 6-2.

The development application which was recommended for approval was defeated with three councillors in favour and five against.

Over 1200 residents of the leafy Sydney Sydney suburb had signed a petition against the Eruv believing it would create a “religious enclave”.

President of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Yair Miller, sits on the Eruv committee. He told J-Wire: “The tone of the meeting was unpleasant and there is no doubt in my mind that unease exists with the multicultural  aspect of the application.”

Rabbi Nochum Schapiro of the Chabad House of the North Shore said: “I believe every setback is for the sake of a better result. However, some of the statements made last night were clearly bigoted against orthodox Jews.”

Eruvs exist in both Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and in Melbourne.



2 Responses to “North Shore Eruv heading for Land and Environment Court”
  1. Otto Waldmann says:

    To Brian Bolton
    With due respect,the issues you are addressing have been historically of the greatest significance in Jewish ethics. The essential determinant in Jewish continuity over millennia, in the face of the most tremendous historical adversities, has been PRECISELY the constant adaptation of Judaic philosophy to times and places. What you are proposing, however, is a modulation of a tested ethic, Judaism, in accordance with imperatives based on pure prejudice. As we are witnessing the local St.Yves debates, voices of local populace resonate with disturbing “tonality” with what the better informed Jews would at once recognise as…anti Semitism. You may be tired and perhaps imune to such considerations, but, for those at the traditional centre of it, hyper sensitivity to clear objections to Jewish presence ( the very tenet of anti Semitism !) can never be under estimated. The constant incongruities contained in the objections to the eruv and, I must painfully admit, some have come from Jewish residents ostensively “disturbed” by the presence of Orthodox brethern, betray nothing but prejudice, ill spirited objections, devoid of any acceptable principles of tollerance, civilised co-existence, mob hatred and implicit satisfaction at denying Jews, again, basic rights as contained in a religion which they, and you as well, do not know well enough and, sbsequently, cannot fathom. Legal considerations, with their, at times, completely irrelevant analogies, would come into it, but only once the ethical, moral civic issue in general, are satisfied.
    It is immoral to demand of a distinct group to ammend its ways without knowing the ethical fundamentals of the said “way”.Mind you, there is NOTHING secret, hidden, conspiratorial about Judaic tenets. There is NO caballa of subversive plots and conspiracies. The local Jews who requested this totally un-intrusive virtual perimetre of legitimate practices, have been more than transparent not just in asmuch as the geometric profile, but in terms of its religious necessities. Nothing hidden, nothing conspitatorial. What is clear, though, is that a certain number of local non Jews do not seem comfortable with “observing” outwardly Jews being comfortable with exercising their democratically, civilised, rights !! That is also an expression of the same anti Semitism.
    How would you feel if the Jews of Israel would vote overwhelimngly that the entire procession of the passion should no be allowed to proceeed along the Via Dolorosa at the time of a religious occasion totally foreign ( and highly contentious ) to the majority I mentioned, and a procession which, judging by its age, could be regarded also as being outdated, un-adjusted to contemporary impositions etc….. for let me tell you, there is no joy at all for us Jews to see one of the epitomes of ( the same ) anti Semitism parading its virtues on, would you believe, OUR very land !!

    On a more personal note, I lived once for some 4 years in Killara and there were times when I thought I would have been more welcome in Gaza….

  2. brian bolton says:

    Dear Editor,
    Given that the world is full of people prejudiced against one thing or another, it is not at all surprising that the Northern Eruv issue has produced bigoted statements. These are unacceptable but are a fact of life. The best method of dealing with them ,in my view, is to ignore them and concentrate on the real issues.
    Following rejection of the DAs by Council, there are reports that some young mothers will be unable to attend religious ceremonies due to the requirements of their faith..And that is the real issue here.
    It is not Council who is prohibiting them from attending their religious ceremonies, it is the religion’s rules and their adherence to those rules.
    As is the case with many religions, the ‘rules’ do not appear to have kept pace with developments in societies.
    From what I have read on the subject, eruvs have been altered/ redefined over the years to meet the changing circumstances.
    The real solution to permitting young mothers etc. to attend religious ceremonies is to change the eruv once again. E.g. street maps, simple directions, GPS guidance, leaflets, etc.- all could be utilised to guide followers in lieu of poles and wires.
    In doing so, the elders would acknowledge the reality that life has changed and they and their religion is able to adapt to meet those changes.
    Not to do so risks further alienation of their followers.
    Finally, I note that the decision has been referred to the Land & Environment Court.That is the right of the applicants but , supporters/ funders need to be aware that the Court has already made a determination in the Ashlar Golf Club case that I believe goes to the heart of the applicants’ position-that is that that the Court will not provide a remedy if the applicant can effect the remedy itself/themselves.
    The end result should be a religion that is seen as relevant to today’s society and its followers and thereby minimise its loss of follwoers on the basis of continued irrelevance.

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