Yerachmiel E Taube, 28, of Sharon, Massachusetts, is due in court today (Monday) following his arrest at the weekend for destroying what local police have called ‘a critical piece of Jewish infrastructure’ – an eruv.
An eruv is an artificial boundary usually made up of poles and string that, according to Jewish law, allows Jews to push and carry objects outside their homes on the Sabbath and holy days.
In a Facebook post, Sharon Police reported on Friday that the eruv:
Has been the subject of extensive vandalism over the last few weeks.
The post included photos of downed poles and special markers.
The Sharon eruv was constructed in 1990. According to the police post:
It has served as a critical piece of infrastructure for the Jewish community by creating a sense of togetherness for hundreds of households in the Town of Sharon.
Some 40 volunteers for the Sharon Eruv Society help maintain the eruv on a weekly basis. The society had offered a reward for information about the vandalism.
Police on Saturday arrested Taube 28 on charges of malicious destruction of property, destruction to a religious organization, interference with civil rights, and disorderly conduct.
According to this report, Rabbi Noah Cheses of the Young Israel of Sharon, said he was thankful for the officers who helped to catch the suspect.
We are incredibly grateful to the Sharon police for their quick and rapid work to bring a suspect into custody. We really have incredible appreciation for their diligence, and all the good work they’ve done to ensure the well being of the Sharon community, and the Jewish community in particular.
Rabbi Karen Silberman said the suspect knew what he was doing when he destroyed the structure.
You would have to, because how many people know that? Even people who are Jewish don’t know what an eruv is.
Silberman added that the lines could easily go unnoticed, but their significance is huge for practicing Orthodox Jews on the Sabbath.
By making that the definition of a household, you then allow them to carry things from one place to another without violating the rules of the Sabbath.
Silberman said it’s against Orthodox Jews’ religion to carry anything from their homes during the Sabbath if those boundaries are torn down.
It renders them unable to really function on a Sabbath the way they would normally be able to celebrate and function.