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Prayers for man who damaged a ‘magic schlepping circle’

Prayers for man who damaged a ‘magic schlepping circle’

Following an appearance in court yesterday of Yerachmiel E Taube, inset, on charges related to the repeated vandalism of an eruv in Sharon, Massachusetts, Rabbi Noah Cheses said after the arraignment that he hopes that Taube – who once attended temple at Young Israel of Sharon – gets the help he needs. 

According to this report, Cheses, of Young Israel of Sharon, told reporters:

This is a difficult and delicate issue, as you imagine, for the Jewish community of Sharon. We are all praying that the perturbed individual who did this will be able to get better. We hope that he will be able to embrace the rehabilitation that he needs and will be able to heal from the anger that he has and that he will be able to accept the support that he deserves.

Police secretly photographed “Rocky” Taube as he allegedly used a stick and a blade to cut down part of an eruv that was erected by Orthodox Jews in Sharon.

Taube appeared in Stoughton District Court yesterday to face charges that include a civil rights violation for allegedly vandalizing the Jewish landmark.

He is due back in court on July 31, and bail was set at $2,500 cash. The judge said Taube would be required to wear a GPS monitoring device if bail is posted. He was also ordered by the court to stay away from the Young Israel of Sharon temple, the eruv line, and the Massapoag Trail.

Assistant District Attorney Laura McLaughlin said Taube’s mother is still an active member of the synagogue and that Taube understands the significance of the eruv.

The eruv had been vandalised repeatedly in recent months, triggering the investigation that led to Taube’s arrest.

According to police reports, Sharon police put up a camera near the section of the eruv line that runs along the Massapoag Trail on June 1. At 11:20 am the next day, police returned and got the memory card for the camera and reviewed the footage, which showed a man bending down and picking up a stick on the ground. He then took a knife or blade out of his pocket and tied it to the stick, and used the makeshift tool to cut the eruv line down.

Police recognized the suspect as Taube. The report stated that when police showed three images to Cheses to see if he recognized the suspect who cut down the lines, Cheses “sighed and said, ‘that’s Rocky.’”

Police also searched Taube’s home found pieces of the line in his bedroom.

On June 2 police encountered Taube while he was working at Cumberland Farms emptying trash bins and placed him under arrest.

He was charged with vandalising property, destruction to a religious organisation, disorderly conduct, and interfering with the civil rights of users of the eruv.

In a statement, the Anti-Defamation League responded to the vandalism and praised police for their efforts in investigating the case.

While we do not yet know what motivated this act, we are nevertheless deeply disturbed by the repeated desecration. We are grateful to Sharon police for investigating the incident and ensuring accountability and justice for violating the community’s right to religious practice.

An ultra-Orthodox Jew pictured working on an eruv

My Jewish Learning points out that public discussion over a religious issue such as an eruv tends to:

Bring up many fissures within Jewish communities, often leading to harsh battles between secular and observant Jews over Jewish practice in a modern, secular society.

It adds:

The eruv has been referred to as ‘an invisible wall of freedom’. It brings about social liberation and an increase in the potential for interaction within the public sphere. It has also been nicknamed – using the Yiddish word for carrying – ‘the magic schlepping circle’.

Since the social aspect of Shabbat is one of the most significant elements fostering community bonding, the eruv proves to be instrumental in enhancing the Shabbat experience, though disagreements and disputes surrounding its very nature and essence are likely to continue.

18 responses to “Prayers for man who damaged a ‘magic schlepping circle’”

  1. L.Long says:

    They are full of BS! “…most significant elements fostering community bonding,…” they are still captured by their BS beliefs. My question…was the string surrounding public property? Private property?? Private-then he is a vandal. Public-then what? it is now illegal to cut string on public property???

  2. Sayitasitis says:

    “We are all praying that the perturbed individual who did this will be able to get better”.

    Who is more perturbed and in need of getting better than the idiots that believe a strand of wire is enough to fool their god that they are not breaking an asinine dogmatic rule.

    Its as stupid as someone looping miles of string between their workplace and home, then on a work day sitting in their garden sunbathing and drinking beer, in the belief that their boss will consider them at work.

    “Err, sorry boss but this loop of string, sorry ERUV, means that I am still at work working even though I am getting pissed in my yard”. “Got it”?

  3. Stonyground says:

    This episode really does highlight the utter looping stupidity of religious thinking. Impose onerously inconvenient rules that serve no purpose whatsoever and as such are completely pointless. Then invent a ridiculous and utterly preposterous get out so that you don’t have to obey the pointless rules.

  4. Broga says:

    “Rabbi Weberman, who has a white beard and a gravelly voice with which he dispenses as many jokes as parables, says extending the eruv into the park isn’t a big deal.

    “It doesn’t hurt anybody,” he says. “It’s hardly visible unless somebody is looking for it. And the dogs certainly aren’t bothered by it.”

    I’m quite relaxed about eruvs now I know dogs aren’t “bothered by it.” I wondered if my hound, a black Labrador, wandered into an eruv he would be stricken by a bolt of divine lightening or one of many other fates visited on the non believers. Or perhaps shot by an enraged Rabbi?

    The pronouncement above is from the USA in 2014. Perhaps dogs welcome them? More places to pee.

  5. tonye says:

    @Broga It’s actually quite fun when people over complicate their own lives – such as (eruv) – in the name of religion.

    My last dog (a black Labrador) was too smart to be fooled by religion.

  6. phhht says:

    “Rabbi Noah Cheses said after the arraignment that he hopes that Taube… gets the help he needs. ”

    And I hope that I get the help I need, too, because as far as I can see, this an attempt to spread delusional illness through theothuggery.

    All the help I need would be just a smidge of testable evidence for the reality Noah Cheses professes.

    But of course there is none.

  7. RussellW says:

    tonye,

    Agreed, however the religiots complicate other people’s lives as well. This farce wasted the time of the police and the secular courts as well.

  8. Cali Ron says:

    tonye: Religion =smile on a dog.

    Funny how man thinks he is the most intelligent animal on earth yet only mankind is gullible enough to believe in god or religion.

  9. Johan says:

    This eruv has its own webshite.
    https://nwlondoneruv.org

  10. Johan says:

    But even within the eruv you are forbidden to carry an umbrella on the Shabbat. Shitbbat crazy

  11. barriejohn says:

    I don’t think it matters whether this structure was erected on private or public land, if it was there legally he had no right to damage it. If it had been a case of moral outrage – as with, for example, “Whites Only” notices of the apartheid era – then that would be different, but I’m not sure from what has been reported that he even had any objection to the lines in principle. I think we need to know much more about the case before second-guessing his motives. And, ridiculous though the eruvs etc. may be, it’s not quite as simple as “pulling the wool over God’s eyes”. To many Jews, God does not have – as in the Christian sense – his own separate personality and identity. Nor do they believe that he is constantly watching them ready to reward or punish them, either in “this life” or “eternity” (which concept many of them also don’t believe in). It’s more a case of living according to their own rules and traditions, and defending their community and identity, which is why they see these actions as such an affront. One might object to all this on the grounds that it reinforces tribalism and dead tradition, but it’s not necessarily what it appears to be. I’d like to know much more about Taube – and he did cause considerable damage, for reasons best known to himself at this stage:

    https://whdh.com/news/sharon-man-facing-civil-rights-charge-in-connection-with-destruction-of-jewish-landmark/

  12. tonye says:

    @RussellW, Cali Ron,

    Agreed.

  13. Broga says:

    @Cali Ron: Dogs, and I assume other animals apart from humans, live in the here and now. (Mindfulness is now being taught and gets better results from depression than drugs.) No worries about tomorrow, illness, death. We, so precious to God, are cursed with a brain which allows us to create endless future problems, catastrophe thinking, and most of them never happen.

    We lose the pleasure of today by worrying about the future. We take drugs to escape the reality; live vicariously through celebrities, sacrifice today for the promise of a paradise after death. And, of course, we are destroying ourselves and wrecking the planet.

    Hedonic adaptation is another problem. Whatever we get becomes routine and we want something more: bigger house; bigger car; more money. We react to trivial risks the way we have evolved to react to being attacked by a tiger or whatever.

    And we think we are superior and the select of God.

  14. RussellW says:

    Broga,

    In my opinion, one of the attractions of religion is that it keeps people too busy to think about the delusion that envelops their lives.

    Of course there those individuals who adopt the camouflage of religion.
    There was an interesting article in Aeon magazine. The author claims that some apparently Orthodox Jews are, in fact, atheists. They continue to behave as believers because the consequences of ‘outing’ themselves would be devastating.This situation is not confined to Jews of course. In a survey Daniel Dennett et al, discovered some atheists amongst Protestant clergy. Even though they had lost their faith, they had families to support and what good is a theology degree in the real world.

    How many sincere believers are there really?

  15. Bernarde says:

    There is of course a more sinister purpose of the eruv. Often enclosed or trapped in an eruv are many properties not owned by jews. Erection of an eruv around a zone with properties owned mostly by gentiles attract in more jews. So when a gentile property goes up for sale the buyer will frequently be a jew who wants to live enclosed inside an eruv. Soon gentiles living in the eruv become outnumbered and made to feel very uncomfortable. So they move out. The eruv is a tool of ghettoisation … for laying claim whole to areas of real estate. Also it keeps out the muslims.

    I wonder what outrage would happen if say a muslim organisation erected a powerful WiFi transmitter inside an eruv and declared that the zone within the range of transmitted WiFi signal has special koranic empowerment that neutralises the eruvnic power.

  16. Broga says:

    @RussellW; I met a vicar a long time ago – I think he was a “Rural Dean” – through my work at the time. We started having a coffee after meetings and that developed into discussions. I enjoyed his company and our discussions. I said one time that I was surprised that he could believe what was in the bible and what he preached.

    He said that he didn’t believe it and that if he preached what was discussed in bible college he would be hauled out of the pulpit by a furious congregation. He, and many other vicars, preach superstition because they have no other career.

    My wife had a boyfriend who was a curate who wanted to become engaged to her. She was already an atheist. He tried to convert her by getting her to read Teilhard de Chardin and similar writers. She wasn’t convinced.

    The internet has provide a useful means of atheist parsons in the USA keeping in touch and sustaining each other. They preach to earn a living, they know that their families abandon them if they declare unbelief and they admit to the stress of preaching what they know is incredible.

  17. Broga says:

    @RussellW: ” How many sincere believers are there really?”

    As I have mentioned here before I have a relative in the USA who says that if he were to say he was an atheist his business would have no customers, his children would be denied many opportunities and he would be ostracised in his small town.

  18. Cali Ron says:

    In my experience many christians were Sunday christians, who attended church on Sunday and sinned the other 6 days of the week. Likewise many RCC. Unfortunately the politically deluded evangelicals are hardcore christians.