An eruv is a wire that is strung on utility poles that designates a geographic zone where often observant Jews live. There are eruvs around Chicagoland and around the world. They help observant Jews on Shabbat. A traditional Shabbat practice would prohibit carrying items outside your home. However, if you live under an eruv, it creates an extension of your home and you are able to carry a baby or push a stroller or carry an umbrella so that you can get to synagogue and to a friend’s home over Saturday.
I’ve been interested in creating a spiritual eruv. We aren’t setting a line and making sure it’s intact and fixed. My job as an eruv Rabbi is to make lines of connection between people seeking Judaism in their lives. I also aim to string lines of connection between people who are meant to know each other and who can support each other.
With this map, you will see how many families live in which towns. There are so many families seeking new ways and new models for Jewish affiliation. We are doing Judaism in our homes, in our spaces, and on our time. Our Jewish practice is based on family learning. We aim to embody Jewish values in our everyday lives. A spiritual eruv creates a kind of community because we gain strength and inspiration from just knowing that there are other people all around us who are also in their kitchens with their kids committing to Jewish learning and being in relationship with a Rabbi.