The Rambam in MT Shabbat 14:1 defines a Reshut HaRabbim as including not only roads and market squares but also wildernesses and forests. Commentators clarify the inclusion of wildernesses and forests, to mean such places if traversed by multitudes such as caravan routes in the desert and paths in the forest. The Rambam agrees that if an area is walled off with actual walls that the enclosed area no matter how large will no longer be a Reshut HaRabbim.

The Rambam does not accept the need for a roadway being at least 17 amot or that there be 600,000 person traversing but only that the area be traversed by the public; and that only an enclosure made up of actual walls can remove remove the Reshut HaRabbim designation (although gates at the walls are only required by him to be able to be closed but not actually periodically closed).

Could there be an eruv in a major town or city accordance with the plain meaning of Rambam's pesak?

  • Sure. Build walls. What exactly is your question?
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 19:56
  • Most gated communities are acceptable according to the Rambam
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 20:19
  • Double AA: My question should have been better phrased. I was asking if any modern town or city could now has an eriv or could have one that satisfied the Rambam’s requirements as to being sufficiently and thus not be a reshut harrabim de-oreita by his definition (and with his one “kulla” that gates only must be closesable and need not be regularly closed).
    – Eliyahu
    Commented Sep 1, 2021 at 22:30
  • They say that the Los Angeles eiruv uses freeway walls for enough of its eiruv to satisfy this opinion.
    – N.T.
    Commented Sep 2, 2021 at 9:54
  • Forests may not have been as wild as you're perhaps imagining.
    – TRiG
    Commented Jun 20, 2023 at 11:35

1 Answer 1


According to the Chazon Ish, even the Rambam would let you establish an eruv, see O.C 74:10 where he claims that as long as the reshus harabim isn't straight it's not a reshus harabim because it's "omed merubah".


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