Friday, October 27, 2006

Weird Jewish stuff

Catherine Philp:

IT IS a battle between environmentalists and an Orthodox Jewish community, pitting freedom of worship against the survival of an endangered bird. And it is taking place on the beach.

The 70 or so Orthodox Jewish families who attend a synagogue on the boardwalk at Venice Beach are seeking permission to string a fishing line around several miles of southern California’s more popular stretches of sand to create a symbolic religious enclosure.

The enclosure, known as an eruv, defines the boundaries of an area within which observant Jews can treat public spaces, shared by all the community, in the same way as private space at home. In practice it gives them the freedom to do many things they cannot otherwise do in public on the Sabbath, such as carry food and push baby buggies and wheelchairs.

But while eruvs run through many cities around the world, including London, nobody in California has attempted to run one along the beach. And so the law laid down in the Torah has come up against an equally immutable edict in the form of the state’s strict environmental code.

Californian law requires the protection of public views to the ocean and the habitats of nesting shore birds, both of which the Coastal Commission has argued would be compromised by the eruv. It fears that endangered Californian least terns that nest along the shore could fly into the fishing line and be killed. They also argue that the 20ft (6m) steel poles carrying the fishing line would obstruct public views. The commission turned down the request for an eruv but the community is not giving up.

Synagogue leaders and coastal officials will sit down this week to try to hammer out a deal. The request for the eruv has caused a clash between two of California’s most dearly held principles: the right to religious freedom and the protection of the environment. And it takes place in a city with America’s second-largest Jewish population and in a state with the toughest environment al laws.

Orthodox Jews spark Venice Beach battle

Jewish eruv set for London


At 9:37 PM, Anonymous Jeffrey Levine said...

Ever been to Venice Beach. it's a dumping ground for grafitti artists and the homeless. Who did a study on these eyesores?

Instead of fishing line use a larger line that the birds can see and use, like an electrical line.

Humans need to live as well, find a working compromise!

At 11:27 PM, Anonymous Sam the Sham said...

Well, Jeff, it's not enough to string fishing line. God knows they could string all the fishing line they want.

Unfortunately, they also need the local Bull Gentile, the local Lord and Master (mayor, whatever) to bless the eruv and give them an official certificate of ownership of everything inside.

You see, God says the Jews are supposed to hang out at home on the Sabbath, but they want to wander. They just don't want to do what God wants them to.

So they have to pull a scam on God. They have to fool God into believing that all of Venice beach, its transvestites and weight lifters, itsw surfers and skaters, are actually a Jewish home.

So the God scam works like this: "we put a fishing line around the beach, get the mayor to sign a paper saying that Venice Beach is a nice Jewish home -- poof and voila! -- God (that goyishekopt putz) gets fooled and believes us! We don't have to stay home and follow the law, and get to party with the bikini girls, surfers, weightlifters and roller skaters!"

Frankly, the "working compromise" is to call them on their dopey silliness, tell them that any God worthy of the name is not a stupid putz, and since they know they really are supposed to stay at home on the Sabbath, maybe they really ought to do it, instead of working out some Sabbath-busting scam.

Either that, or just give up on observing the Sabbath, since they clearly don't want to. The Reform have and no longer need the mental gyrations and foolishness the Orthodox engage in.

And as far as the Bull Gentile who has to sign off on this scam is concerned, he really doesn't have the right to sell Venice Beach to a handful of Jews either literally or symbolically. Does the mayor really think he is fooling God? And further, what about the separation of church and state? Is it the mayor's job as Bull Gentile to "give" Venice Beach to the

Let them and the adherents of their daughter religion, Islam, grow up and join those of us already in the 21st Century.

At 12:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"70 or so Orthodox Jewish families" don't need "several miles" of beachfront property, blighted or not, handed to them on religious grounds.


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