Date of Award
Gregory A. Robbins, Ph.D.
Eruvin, Sabbath, Jewish community, Rabbinic innovation
Eruvin are an innovative solution to the logistical “problem” of carrying on the weekly Sabbath. Boundaries that symbolically extend the walls of private homes into the public sphere, eruvin allow Orthodox Jews to carry objects outside of their homes on the Sabbath, a seemingly simple act that would otherwise be prohibited. Constructed according to intricate Rabbinic specifications, eruvin use existing architectural elements such as walls, train tracks, roadways and telephone wires, as well as natural features like rivers to create a continuous boundary. This paper will examine the theoretical significance of creating such a space. My argument maintains that beyond the functional application for observant Jews, eruvin strengthen the bonds of Jewish communities while subsequently allowing for the full integration of the same Jewish community into the majority “mainstream” culture. Further, they represent a challenge to western notions of space, most emphatically the concept that physical space can hold more than a singular meaning; the result is that the eruv becomes a model for “territoriality without sovereignty,” or a microcosm of symbolic Jewish geography while simultaneously being a part of the American cultural landscape.
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Hanson, Liza Stoltz, "The Theoretical Symbolism of Eruvin: A Model of Dual-Identity and Sacred Space" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 268.
Received from ProQuest
Liza Stoltz Hanson
Religion, Judaic studies