Rabbi Etan Mintz and his wife, Tammy, with their children, Shlomo, 10 months and Ilana, 2. They are walking from, on right, B'nai Israel, where Rabbi Mintz is the spiritual leader. Established in 1873, B'nai Israel is the oldest continuously operating congregation in the state. The congregation has grown with the revitalization of downtown. Mintz is interested in establishing an eruv, creating an enclosure where Orthodox can carry things outside their homes, like pushing a stroller, into public spaces on the Sabbath. The eruv is often made using telephone poles and wires. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun /January 16, 2014)
An eruv is a ritual zone typically marked by wire or string that makes certain activities otherwise forbidden on the Sabbath possible for Orthodox Jews. There are numerous restrictions on activities on the Sabbath, which runs from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, related to a prohibition on working on what's supposed to be a day of rest. For example, carrying keys, money or even babies — even pushing children in a stroller — is prohibited. But an eruv expands the private walls of the home, relaxing those restrictions.
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