How the Mayor of New York Helped Brooklyn’s Jews to Observe the Sabbath

At city hall on Monday, New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams signed a Jewish legal contract, along with an official proclamation, that will make Sabbath observance significantly easier for the hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Jews who live in Brooklyn, New York—and especially the ḥasidic enclave of Borough Park. The documents establish an eruv, an elaborate legal fiction consisting of a “wall” that gives the area it encloses the status of a private courtyard in which carrying out of doors, normally prohibited on Shabbat, is permitted. Yehudit Garmaise writes:

A new eruv surrounds all of Borough Park, and most of Brooklyn. . . . While the first part of completing an eruv is building and repairing the eruv’s “doors” and “virtual walls” the second part is that the city’s mayor or police commissioner must rent the eruv to the Jewish community, Rabbi Eli Uminer, [a member of the committee that oversees the eruv], explained.

While in the past, the city had given the Jewish community a verbal agreement, today at City Hall, Mayor Eric Adams completed the project by signing a 99-year lease for one dollar, “to allow carrying in the boundaries of the eruv in accordance with Jewish law,” the mayor’s signed proclamation said.

“It was very nice that the mayor took the time to host us and to make the eruv for us,” said Rabbi Uminer, who was at City Hall today along with other Brooklyn Eruv Vaad [council] members.

Read more at BoroPark24

More about: American Jewry, Brooklyn, Halakhah, Shabbat

Universities Are in Thrall to a Constituency That Sees Israel as an Affront to Its Identity

Commenting on the hearings of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on Tuesday about anti-Semitism on college campuses, and the dismaying testimony of three university presidents, Jonah Goldberg writes:

If some retrograde poltroon called for lynching black people or, heck, if they simply used the wrong adjective to describe black people, the all-seeing panopticon would spot it and deploy whatever resources were required to deal with the problem. If the spark of intolerance flickered even for a moment and offended the transgendered, the Muslim, the neurodivergent, or whomever, the fire-suppression systems would rain down the retardant foams of justice and enlightenment. But calls for liquidating the Jews? Those reside outside the sensory spectrum of the system.

It’s ironic that the term colorblind is “problematic” for these institutions such that the monitoring systems will spot any hint of it, in or out of the classroom (or admissions!). But actual intolerance for Jews is lathered with a kind of stealth paint that renders the same systems Jew-blind.

I can understand the predicament. The receptors on the Islamophobia sensors have been set to 11 for so long, a constituency has built up around it. This constituency—which is multi-ethnic, non-denominational, and well entrenched among students, administrators, and faculty alike—sees Israel and the non-Israeli Jews who tolerate its existence as an affront to their worldview and Muslim “identity.” . . . Blaming the Jews for all manner of evils, including the shortcomings of the people who scapegoat Jews, is protected because, at minimum, it’s a “personal truth,” and for some just the plain truth. But taking offense at such things is evidence of a mulish inability to understand the “context.”

Shocking as all that is, Goldberg goes on to argue, the anti-Semitism is merely a “symptom” of the insidious ideology that has taken over much of the universities as well as an important segment of the hard left. And Jews make the easiest targets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus, University