Shabbat is a day set apart by Jewish law from the working week. Family time and spiritual pursuits are emphasised and weekday activities associated with work are prohibited.
Our Jewish religious code spells out the shabbat restrictions. For example, carrying and pushing wheelchairs, prams and baby buggies are only permitted in homes, private gardens and community areas. An eruv is a boundary recognised by Jewish law, within which these activities are permitted.
There are well over 200 eruvim in communities throughout the world and many more in Israel. Most major Jewish communities in North America have one, as do the communities in Antwerp, Gibraltar, Strasbourg, Venice, Johannesburg, Melbourne and Sydney.
Why an Eruv?
An eruv makes Shabbat observance more pleasant in many ways. The Stanmore and Canons Park Eruv enables the whole community living in the area to enjoy Shabbat to the full.
Eruvim are especially helpful to families with young children who want to use a pram or baby buggy outside their home on Shabbat and to people who use a wheelchair or walking frame. Others will find it useful to be able to carry house keys, reading glasses or books to a shiur.
Before the eruv, families with young children were home-bound each Shabbat. Many couples with children too young to walk to synagogue could not attend a shabbat service together, nor a kiddush or simcha. Grandparents are now able to host their younger grandchildren on Shabbat. Shabbat events are now available to all families - young and old, the mobile and less mobile. Everyone can now join in the Shabbat religious and social life of the community.
Since the Stanmore & Canons Park Eruv shares boundaries with both the Belmont and Edgware Eruvim, it is possible, for those who wish to make use of this facility, to carry across from Stanmore to Belmont, or from Stanmore to Edgware, and vice-versa. This is subject each week to the respective Eruvim having been checked and declared operative.
The Eruv enriches the lives of our community both young and old. Encourages families, especially younger families, to move into the area, maintaining Stanmore's pre-eminence as a most attractive community for people to join.