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Drama Surrounding 'Invisible' Religious Boundary Ends in Lawsuit

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Since 2008, a group of Orthodox Jews in the Westhampton to Southampton area have been fighting to "create an invisible boundary [called an eruv] that allows observant Jews within the eruv to perform manual labor ... on the Sabbath or religious holidays." An invisible boundary—sounds harmless! But a recently filed lawsuit and this story in the WSJ say otherwise! Even though creating an eruv is just a matter of installing "small wooden strips" on electrical poles and stuff, there's been a lot of opposition to the religious symbol. Most opposition comes from an organization called Jewish People Opposed to the eruv, which thinks the religious "divisions" will harm the community. But local town boards have also indirectly fought the eruv, which is where the lawsuit comes in.

Most of the affected town boards argue that "they have local laws banning people from placing signs on utility poles," which is why the eruv won't fly. But those in favor of the eruv point out that "signs for yard sales and other announcements have appeared on poles with impunity." In other words, the town boards' arguments are really discrimination in disguise! But it'll ultimately be up to the courts to decide if the move is kosher.
· Lawsuit filed in Hamptons religious symbol fight [WSJ]