Mahwah residents pack council meeting over Jewish markers
Dozens of Mahwah residents packed a town council meeting Thursday night to express their concern over eruv that have appeared on utility poles in the town.
Eruv define a boundary for the Orthodox Jewish community. On one side of the border, religious laws are strictly enforced. On the other, the laws are a bit relaxed.
The Orthodox community says the eruv allow them to do things like carry items on the Sabbath.
But Mahwah residents are questioned the eruv, which in this case are white PVC pipes attached to Rockland Electric utility poles. The eruvim seem to be a deal between Rockland Electric and the Orthodox community in Rockland County, New York.
Residents had hoped to express their concerns to city council members in the council meeting Thursday, but they were told that any references to religion or the religious border were not allowed at the meeting.
“I can’t even put a garage sale sign up on a telephone pole,” says Mahwah resident Deborah Kostroun. “No one really should be able to put an attachment on a pole.”
Residents say the border war begins in Rockland County, where the orthodox population is very high and spills into their community.
“The eruv is only 75 percent complete so it’s really not an eruv,” Kostroun says. “I think a lot of the citizens here what they’re concerned about is if you live in Mahwah or if you don’t people who come here need to abide by the law.”
Other Mahwah residents say other issues are at hand with Rockland County visitors knocking on their doors asking them to sell their homes.
“This is a secular country. Everybody has the right to believe what they wish to believe and not infringe on anybody else,” said one resident during the meeting.
The township engineer says that he is looking into zoning violations on utility poles where the eruv are posted.