Archive for the ‘Jewish eruv in Boulder’ Category

My Camera Editorial Advisory Board comment published on Dec. 22, 2007, in response to the Camera’s question: Should the city allow the construction of a religious boundary for Jews?

What was the Boulder City Council thinking when it put the proposal to grant a lease to Congregation Aish Kidesh for an eruv as a consent agenda item on its Dec. 18 meeting agenda?

Mind you, this proposal has been in the works for more than two years. Mind you, too, some would raise First Amendment issues, and others would cry religious intrusion onto public lands. Did the City Council really think no one would want to comment before the proposal was approved 5-2? The high number of online comments following the Camera’s story clearly shows more needed to comment!

Though the council brought the proposal forward poorly, the proposal itself was fine. The eruv is simply a string or wire to be strung from poles to connect other wires from Iris Avenue and 19th Street, then west to Ninth Street and over to 28th Street and Canyon Boulevard. It means freedom for practicing Orthodox Jews to move about more freely on their Sabbath, and it is nearly invisible for the rest of us.

Law isn’t well-developed regarding eruvin, but I see no “slippery slope” heading to unconstitutional mingling of church and state. These wires or strings are not expressive speech protected by the First Amendment. Furthermore, by making sure it is not prohibiting members from practicing their religion, Boulder City Council is not promoting one religion over another. The council has not endorsed Jewish beliefs. Instead, it has only made possible for Orthodox Jews to more easily practice their own beliefs. The eruv is new ground for Boulder but not for other communities, including New York, Boston, Los Angeles and Denver.

I wish the Jewish congregation well. We all should practice our own religion or practice no religion at all as we see fit and allow others to do the same.

*This title not part of the original Camera publication.

Source: Daily Camera

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