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Episode 445

2017–18 Bergen County eruv controversy
Tue, 2018-Jul-24 00:07 UTC
Length - 2:57

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Tuesday, 24 July 2018 is 2017–18 Bergen County eruv controversy.

In July 2017, a controversy started when the municipalities of Mahwah, Upper Saddle River and Montvale in Bergen County, New Jersey, in the United States, began efforts to prevent the extension of an eruv within the municipalities’ borders. An eruv is a land area surrounded by a symbolic religious boundary, which is often denoted by small plastic pipes (called lechis) attached to utility poles. This area permits Orthodox Jews to carry or transport items (like prayer books or baby strollers) within the eruv on the Jewish Sabbath in a way normally forbidden.

The three municipalities ordered that the borders of the eruv be taken down within their limits, as their permission had not been obtained. But the boundary remained during the pendency of federal lawsuits filed in response and the settlements of the lawsuits allowed the remaining construction to proceed. During the controversy, many Mahwah residents angrily protested against the prospect of Orthodox Jews from Rockland County, New York using local parks or seeking to buy homes there.

After no agreement could be reached short of litigation, the eruv association brought suit against each of the municipalities. Mahwah's actions in passing a township ordinance to bar nonresidents of New Jersey from its parks, and the hostility of some residents and council members towards those who supported the eruv led to accusations of anti-Semitism, including by the successful Democratic candidate for Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy. The presiding judge in the lawsuits, John Michael Vazquez, in January 2018 made it clear he felt the municipalities did not have a strong case, and urged them to settle. The three municipalities have settled with the eruv association, allowing the eruv borders to remain in New Jersey with some of the route details yet to be resolved. Mahwah still faces a lawsuit from the New Jersey Attorney General accusing it of discrimination.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:07 UTC on Tuesday, 24 July 2018.

For the full current version of the article, search Wikipedia for 2017–18 Bergen County eruv controversy.

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Abulsme Productions also produces Curmudgeon's Corner, a current events podcast.

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