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There are two ways one could build an Eiruv on an island:

  1. One build walls, Tzuras Hapesachs, etc.
  2. One relies on the "natural" walls. This hetter applies only if
    1. The ocean does not bring up sediment.
    2. One could see the whole island in one shot from one location (which is 15 mil).

If one build real walls, they can be as big as one wants as long there are no farms bigger than a beis-saasaim.

Some poskim say there are real walls around Manhattan. If so, why is the Manhattan Eiruv not around the whole Manhattan?

Moreover, why do some poskim still bring up the issue of "The ocean does not bring up sediment"?

what does "The ocean would does not bring up sediment" mean? I would have thought its a typo because you rewrote the sentence and phrased it differently, but you wrote it twice. –  HodofHod Sep 16 '11 at 1:19
@hodofhod it is a typo. I just copied it. –  Shmuel Brin Sep 16 '11 at 1:40
oooh.... copy/paste. the faster horse can get you in the wrong direction faster.... –  HodofHod Sep 16 '11 at 1:51
can you elaborate a little on "the ocean does not bring up sediment"? What are the halachic ramifications if it does or doesn't? Why shouldn't they still bring it up? –  Menachem Sep 16 '11 at 8:43
Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer wrote the book on the modern metropolitan eruv. amazon.com/Contemporary-Eruv-Eruvin-Modern-Metropolitan/dp/… Here is a link to the book (I think) available online: aishdas.org/rygb/eruvp1.htm . Here is a link to a shiur he gave on the subject. rygb.blogspot.com/2011/02/… . I haven't read or listened to these, but they may answer your question. - here is a two part shiur on the same subject: torahlectures.com/s-Rabbi-Yosef-Bechhofer.aspx –  Menachem Sep 21 '11 at 22:49

1 Answer 1

A wall must drop/have a slope down of 10 tefachim within 4 amot to be a wall. For example, a seashore may take a large distance until you are standing at a point 10 tefachim lower. A table or pier will be a very short space to drop (at least) 10 tefachim.

If the entire coast of Manhattan fits this criterion then it would be a wall. The Manhattan eruv is under the rabbis who give it its kashrut/maintenance. If other rabbis hold that Manhattan has walls and they don't, then this eruv won't extend for the whole island.

There are 2 general factors in Eruv. 1) Is it a good structure/good walls etc? 2) Is the area inside an eruv an area that can have an area around it? I.e., if you put an eruv around a reshut harabim it doesn't do anything — still can't carry.

If you can prove that Manhattan has halachic walls then it could well be point 2 that stops Manhattan having an eruv under those rabbis. A rabbi that was involved in the Manhattan eruv told me that even the (smaller) Manhattan eruv may have problem 2.


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