Monsey, NY has an eiruv that most Ashkenazim that live in the area hold by. I have heard that sefardim cannot hold by the eiruv in Monsey, NY. Is this true and if so why?

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    There are lots of variations among Sefardim as there are among Ashkenazim. It's hard to see how anyone could address them all in an answer.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 22:23
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    @DoubleAA, and yet we have lots of questions about the practices of either group, and indeed about the practices of Judaism even though it's even more varied.
    – msh210
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 23:01
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    I don't think as written this is a RFP. It is asking to confirm a reason for Sefardi Psak to be more strict based on something the asker heard.
    – Yishai
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 23:59
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    Anyway, all you need for an answer is here: askrabbihassan.blogspot.com/2014/01/…. Side point, if you read the Mechaber leniently, then why hold of the rule at all of a stam with a lenient Yesh Omrim Halacha K'Stam?
    – Yishai
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 0:01
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    I'm inferring from the latest comments that there is some stringency regarding eiruvin that Sefardim practice that Ashkenazim don't. As you have not explained what this is, and you have narrowed the focus to Monsey, I recommend that you - 1) Generalize the question and / or 2) explain how the Monsey Eruv, specifically fails to accommodate Sephardic practice. For now, I VTC.
    – DanF
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


Rabbi Hassan describes the problem here:

Now is there a problem for Sephardim? This is a complicated area of halakha but I will try and write as short and as clear as possible.

Rav Yosef Caro (Shulkhan Arukh O.H. 345:7) wrote that the definition of a public domain is a street that is 16 amot wide (32 feet) or more that are not enclosed. Some say that if there are not 600,000 people passing through the street every day it is not considered a public domain.

There is a general rule that whenever Rav Caro writes two laws and begins one plainly and begins the other with the words “some say” we always rule according to the plain law rather than the one introduced with “some say”. However he wrote elsewhere (O.H. 303.18) that We don’t have actual halachic public domains today, all our public domains are halachically considered as a carmelit - another domain which does not have the strict laws of a public domain.

Some Sephardic halachic decisors such as the Hida and Ben Ish Hai, rule that our main roads are considered a public domain and therefore we cannot use poles and wires to make an eruv and we need proper walls to enclose the area which would be impossible to do today. However, Hacham Ovadiah rules that Sephardim can use an eruv made of wires and poles for those who need and he is the basis for my practice of using the eruv.

Hacham Ovadiah Yosef zt"l wrote (Yabia Omer O.H. 9:33) "Those that carry on Shabbat in a public domain by an eruv made with door frames (which means wires and poles), have basis to do so, and according to many authorities it is allowed even according to Maran. The sages of Jerusalem also wrote that we have no true public domain today and an eruv of doorways therefore is sufficient to carry in these days. Nevertheless he who trembles at the word of God and completely refrains from carrying will be blessed...

In contrast the Ashkenazi custom is to generally rely on those opinions that require 600,000 people to walk through the street, with some opinions (such as the Shulchan Aruch HaRav) advocating stringency when there isn't a need.

In the modern era probably every big-city eruv is relying on that 600,000 people requirement, and Sefardim have more reason to be strict about it than Ashkenazim.

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    Many big cities rely on the Chazon Ish.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 18:30
  • How do you know this is the issue with the Monsey Eruv, and not some other issue about the Lechis, for example?
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 18:33
  • @DoubleAA, relatives in Monsey.
    – Yishai
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 19:29
  • meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/a/3684/759 You should always include your sources as best you can
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 19:34

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