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The Downtown Eruv

Rabbi Stephen Belsky attaches the eruv line

Check this page every Friday
for the current status of
The Downtown Eruv

If you have any questions about
The Downtown Eruv
write to the office at or call 410.732.5454.

The eruv team on Day 1: (left to right)
Rabbi Etan Mintz, Rabbi Stephen Belsky, Richard Gwynallen


The Newest Addition to Jewish Downtown Baltimore

With the support of the City and many private and non-profit property owners, B'nai Israel made the long-dreamed-of Downtown Eruv a reality in April 2020  

Read about it
in the Baltimore Sun - Baltimore officials declare downtown eruv
and in Jmore:  Baltimore’s Downtown Eruv Project Completed in 10 Months

What is an eruv?

An eruv is a demarcation using a combination of thin but strong wires strung high above the ground between utility poles and existing structures such as public buildings or walls.  The eruv creates a symbolic boundary of connected space around a neighborhood. With the lines high and nearly invisible, or a part of the boundary created by existing structures, the average person moving about within the eruv will not even realize they are within any special boundary.  

However, for the observant Jew, this nearly invisible boundary allows a family to perform activities that Jewish law otherwise restricts on Shabbat.  At the core of Shabbat is the obligation to rest from all work. The most challenging aspect of that need in the modern world is the act of carrying in public areas, whether that be keys, food, a bag, or a baby stroller.  Adapting Jewish tradition to remove that concern gave rise to the concept of the eruv nearly 1,800 years ago. It allows parents of children who must be carried or pushed in a stroller to travel to a synagogue or a neighbor’s home. It allows people to meet with friends throughout the neighborhood, to spend Shabbat outdoors, and bring food or other items to share. It allows the elderly a richer community life since their canes and wheelchairs are no longer problematic.  

In this way the eruv transforms a space in such a manner as to encourage interaction and facilitate bonds of community.

Wed, November 25 2020 9 Kislev 5781