I was reading Newsday this afternoon, and this article caught my attention.
A synagogue in Westhampton Beach on the east end of Long Island is seeking permission to construct an eruv.
Morris Tuchman, the synagogue's president, formally requested permission from the village last month to erect the eruv, which creates an area within which Orthodox Jews can push or carry things without breaking religious law that bans work on the Sabbath outside of one's home.
"We have more and more traditional families that have moved to Westhampton Beach," Schneier said. "According to Jewish law, one can carry items outdoors on the Sabbath only when the act occurs within a proper enclosure. We have a number of younger traditional families who are not able to wheel their babies to services on Saturday morning."
Of course, as an atheist, I think Sabbath laws are stupid. Imposing such onerous hardships on oneself to appease a non-existent deity is bizarre. However, judging from what I read in the article, it does not seem to be much in the way of an imposition on the town.
An eruv usually is made by putting wooden or plastic sticks on utility poles, sometimes with string or cord connecting the poles. In Westhampton Beach, however, thin plastic poles would be placed just beneath the lowest wire on existing utility poles at the boundaries of the eruv. The utility wires would constitute the symbolic fence.
The town will likely grant the request, and as irrational as it seems to me, I say, let them have it.