Mar 21 2013 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
ORTHODOX Jewish families left housebound by their strict religious observance could be given the complete freedom to properly enjoy their rest days.
Jewish law forbids people to undertake everyday tasks, such as pushing wheelchairs and prams, using any form of transport, and carrying keys, glasses, hankerchiefs and books, in public on the Sabbath, which runs from sunset on Friday to nightfall on Saturday,
Belmont United Synagogue in Vermont Drive, Stanmore wants therefore to construct an eruv - an area bounded by a high thin unbroken wire on a series of poles within which these activities are permitted and therefore makes it more practical for observant households to go about their weekend business.
The synagogue, which has a membership of 1,100, seeks planning permission from Harrow Council for 16 pole and wire 'gateways' stretching from Woodlands Drive, Stanmore, to Kenton Lane, Harrow, and Whitchurch Lane, Edgware, to define the eruv.
John and Linda Simmonds, of Ash Close, Stanmore, wrote a letter of support to the council to say: “The works detailed in the application will, in the context of the overall streetscape, be all but invisible as can be seen in other Eruv installations, nor will they constitute loss of visual amenity or hazard.
“An Eruv enables all sections of the Jewish community, including very young children and the wheelchair-bound and their carers, to enjoy the Sabbath fully.
“It is thus of importance to the community for these minor works to be implemented.”
n See the Observer's Eruv map at http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF&msa=0&msid=200193805123436348894.0004d86d21b5d907c369c