Rabbi Levin on the Alter Rebbe’s Eruv

In a series of shiurim, Rabbi Sholom Ber Levin, head of the Lubavitch library and author of numerous seforim, explained why according to the Alter Rebbe an eruv in Crown Heights would not be kosher .

The halachos of eruvin are very complex. A series of shiurim on this topic was recently given at Empire Shtiebel by Rabbi Sholom Ber Levin, chief librarian of the Lubavitch library and author of numerous seforim.

The halacha is that one cannot enclose a reshus harabim (public domain) using a tzuras hapesach (a string eruv), as it requires actual walls. Rabbi Levin explained why, according to the Alter Rebbe’s opinion, large cities with a population of 600,000 inhabitants or more are considered a reshus harabim. Based on this, a tzuras hapesach would not permit carrying in Crown Heights, a neighborhood in Brooklyn. 

We bring you seven shiurim on the topic given over by Rabbi Levin along with a pamphlet he recently published on this topic. Each shiur comes along with a handout.

It should be noted that the Rebbe himself expressed opposition on a number of occasions to building city eruvin. Here are two examples:

  1. In the year 5742/1982, the Rebbe wrote to Rabbonim in Melbourne, Australia:

“My opinion is well known that in this generation a recognized man or organization which makes an eruv and knows that it will eventually become publicized – this is a dreadful stumbling block. For it is impossible that there won’t be one Shabbos when the eruv will be possul – and having become used to carrying on Shabbos all announcements and notices that the eruv is possul and that it is forbidden to carry will not help to stop people from carrying. An eruv should therefore only be made in secrecy.”

2. Another response was given in 5745/1985 to Rabbi Mordechai Zev Gutnick of Melbourne, who asked whether to build an eruv in Doncaster, Melbourne. The Rebbe’s response was copied and relayed by the secretary R’ Binyomin Klein a”h:

“To build an eruv – It is well known the complex discussions in this. And what is forcing him to enter into all of this?!”

For Rabbi Levin’s recently released teshura on this topic, click here.

Rabbi Levin on Alter Rebbe’s Eruv- Part 1
Click here for the accompanying handout.
Rabbi Levin on Alter Rebbe’s Eruv- Part 2
Click here for the accompanying handout.
Rabbi Levin on the Alter Rebbe’s Eruv- Part 3
Click here for the accompanying handout.
Rabbi Levin on the Alter Rebbe’s Eruv- Part 4
Click here for the accompanying handout.
Rabbi Levin on the Alter Rebbe’s Eruv- Part 5
Click here for accompanying handout.
Rabbi Levin on the Alter Rebbe’s Eruv- Part 6
For the accompanying teshura, click here.
Rabbi Levin on the Alter Rebbe’s Eruv- Part 7
Click here for accompanying handout.

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