Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Halakhah in America: The History of City Eruvin, 1894-1962
by Mintz, Adam, Ph.D., New York University, 2011, 433; 3486798
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation explores the historical and cultural background of the rabbanic eruv. Eruv, a word that signifies 'mixture', 'combination' or 'fusion' will be used in this dissertation to refer to an eruv hatzerot, the joining of the residents of a limited area or space for the sake of establishing a localized neighborhood in which carrying objects is allowed on the Sabbath. The eruv has been a focus of concern for rabbis from the Mishnaic period to the modern age. The ability to transform an area in which carrying on the Sabbath had been prohibited into an area in which carrying on the Sabbath is permitted created both challenges and opportunities for the rabbis in each generation. The concept of an eruv was introduced in the Mishnaic period in Roman Palestine in order to allow Jews to carry their possessions into the hazer, the semi-private courtyards around which several Jewish families lived, on the Sabbath. Since the courtyard was utilized as a shared space for many activities including eating and sleeping, there was a need to create a procedure to allow the residents of the hazer to carry their articles in and out of the hazer on the Sabbath. As the Jewish community expanded to include multiple adjacent courtyards, the rules of the creation of an eruv were adjusted to reflect the changing reality of these new Jewish "neighborhoods." Over time, as the Jews moved to Babylonia and subsequently expanded their communities in European and other Eastern countries to include larger neighborhoods throughout numerous cities, the rabbinic definition of an eruv was adapted to these changing realities. The varied rabbinic approaches toward and disputes concerning the creation of the first eruvin in America (1894-1962) will be explored in detail.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schiffman, Lawrence H.
Commitee: Chazan, Robert, Engel, David, Gottlieb, Michah, Rubenstein, Jeffrey L.
School: New York University
Department: Hebrew and Judaic Studies and History
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 73/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: American history, History, Judaic studies
Keywords: City eruvin, Eruv, Halakhah, Orthodox, Rabbinate
Publication Number: 3486798
ISBN: 978-1-267-04953-7
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