People choose where they want to live for many reasons. For many Orthodox Jews, living in an eruv is important to them.
What is an Eruv?
Every Friday night at sundown thousands of Jews in St. Louis and millions throughout the world begin celebrating the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a time of communal prayer, rest, study, and relaxation with family and friends.
One of the Sabbath laws derived from the Bible is a prohibition, as observed by traditional Jews, against performing work on the Sabbath. This prohibition includes the carrying of objects. The recognized exception to the prohibition against carrying is carrying within a private area‑‑defined as an area with set borders surrounded by a wall. In the ancient past, cities and neighborhoods were enclosed by walls, and the entire city or neighborhood was considered as one large private area. Accordingly, carrying was allowed on the Sabbath within these cities or neighborhoods. In the absence of a walled city or neighborhood, many communities throughout the world have established, pursuant to Jewish law, a symbolic wall called an “eruv” to surround the community for the sole purpose of permitting, within the eruv, carrying on the Sabbath.
An eruv is a symbolic enclosure that surrounds the Jewish community. Under Jewish law, carrying on the Sabbath is allowed within the eruv because the entire area within the eruv is considered as if a single property. An eruv may consist of natural boundaries such as a river bank or of walls, fences, buildings, or hedges. It can also consist of designated utility poles and wires (electric, telephone and/or cable) or strings, as long as the perimeter of the community eruv is uninterrupted.
Description above obtained by Chabad on Campus’ website.
St. Louis Eruvs:
The St. Louis region has two eruv’s to serve the Orthodox Jewish community. One of them includes the majority of University City. It also includes portions of Clayton, Olivette, Richmond Heights and Ladue. While the size of the eruv allows Orthodox Jews to live comfortably in many different neighborhoods, many families will want to be in walking distance of their synagogue or shul since they can’t drive during the Sabbath and many other holidays.
The 2nd St. Louis eruv is located in Chesterfield.
While there is no public website that allows you to save a run a home search to find just the properties located in the eruvs, I can set up a search and have you emailed home listings that are in the eruv.
Contact me if you are interested in purchasing a property in either eruv.
Photo Credit (Star of David): Dariusz Bargiel