Anti-religious vandals cut Jerusalem eruv

Anti-religious activists cut Jerusalem eruv in battle of city's character.

Contact Editor
Arutz Sheva Staff,

Erecting an Eruv (archive)
Erecting an Eruv (archive)
Flash 90

Anti-religious vandals cut Jerusalem's Eruv before Shabbat in numerous places as a protest against the growing haredi population in Israel's capital city. A number of anti-religious stickers were applied to each cut in the Eruv.

An Eruv, usually a string or fabric piping stretched around a neighborhood to create a single 'domain', allows observant Jews to carry objects and push strollers outside of their homes on the Sabbath - acts they would otherwise be barred from performing in the public domain during the day of rest.

Residents of Jerusalem's Bayit Vegan and Kiryat Hayovel neighborhoods have also been experiencing similar vandalism in recent months. In each instance, the vandalism occurred shortly before Shabbat, leaving no time to repair the Eruv. This past Friday, the Eruv was ripped in six different places, preventing religious residents from carrying items outside of their homes.

After the recent acts of vandalism, Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Dov Kalmanovich penned a letter to Jerusalem District Police Commander Yoram Halevi and demanded that police intervene.

"In recent weeks there have been many complaints of malicious sabotage of the Eruv which surrounds the neighborhoods of Kiryat Yovel and Beit Vegan," wrote Kalmanovitch.

Kalmanovitch pointed at the growing tensions between haredi and secular residents of Kiryat Hyovel as the reason behind the vandalism. "There have recently been difficult confrontations between the religious residents of Kiryat Yovel and extremist elements in the neighborhood who are trying to inflame religious hatred and strife," he wrote.

Recently, the influx of haredim into previously secular Kiryat Yovel has caused many harsh disagreements between the two communities, where previously Religious Zionist and secular Jerusalemites had lived in peace for decades.

A non-elected community management committee appointed by the municipality has exacerbated the conflict, according to the neighborhood's Religious Zionist rabbi. Last year, haredi protests forced the cancellation of a community event and in response, the secular community called to "choke the haredim" out of the neighborhood.