New agreement extends unique eruv of Venice for five years

The eruv, the abbreviation by which the “eruv chazerot” generally goes, is the ritual halakhic enclosure made for the purpose of allowing activities which are normally prohibited on Shabbat.

It integrates symbolically private properties and public spaces, such as streets, squares, and fields into one larger private domain. In that area, the prohibition of carrying objects on Shabbat that applies to Jews in public places is lifted.

Through a recent agreement, the eruv has been renewed in Venice for five years drawing again attention to a unique custom. Unlike in Manhattan or Jerusalem, a physical boundary is impracticable in such a city built on the waters. So, the task is devolved to the canals that ideally delimit the area.

With a further peculiarity. With “acqua alta”, the peak tides that periodically flood Venice, the visible boundaries between foundations, streets and canals are eliminated, thus temporarily canceling the eruv.

The agreement about the eruv was signed by the mayor Luigi Brugnaro and the chief rabbi Daniel Touitou, accompanied by the president of the Venetian Jewish community Dario Calimani, by the vice president Paolo Navarro Dina and by the superintendent of the Levantine synagogue Mario Gesuà Salvadori.

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