Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Gregory A. Robbins, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Alison Schofield

Third Advisor

Sarah Pessin


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.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Liza Stoltz Hanson


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

46 p.


Religion, Judaic studies