Friday, May 31, 2013

SHABBAT: Carrying on Shabbat. Walls vs. Wires

Previously, we explained the debate between the rabbis on the mater of the definition of a public domain. If a public domain is an area where 600,000 people circulate or an area with wide streets ( see here) . 

Today, we should examine another related matter . 
As we know the whole principle of this type of 'erub is that by enclosing a public domain (reshut harabbim) that domain becomes a private domain (reshut hayahid) allowing us then to carry in that area during Shabbat.  The question is what kind of enclosing will turn a public domain into a private domain?  In order to to turn a public neighborhood into a private one you have to have a real fence around it. Think about a private gated neighborhoods or gated communities very common in South america (and Florida). These neighborhoods, according to Wikipedia, are enclosed  with " a closed perimeter of walls and fences". Similarly, when we have an area which is Halakhically considered a public domain either because it has wide streets or because it has an actual circulation of 600,000 people, if that area is enclosed with an 'erub made of "walls and gates", then it will be permitted to carry in that area.   (To clarify: The definitions of reshut harabbim and reshut hayahid have to do not with who owns the property but with some topographic and architectural features. A forest owned by one single individual but which has no walls or fence surrounding it would be a public domain.  On the other hand, even an entire city, if surrounded by walls with gates that close at night, would be a private domain).

Now, there are areas which are not considered a public domain. For example: a village with very narrow streets and a small population.  These areas are viewed like a semi-public domain (in Hebrew karmelit). We still cannot carry on Shabbat in semi-public domains, but the requirements for turning these areas into private domains are more flexible. 

(To be continued...)

Shabbat Shalom.

Candle Lighting in NYC:    8:00 pm
Shabbat Ends in NYC:      9:01 pm

Sephardic food at its best.