Friday, April 29, 2005

Who knew? Not me, at any rate...

I must be oblivious or something, but until Sam told me what an eruv was, I had no idea that there's a string around the Upper East Side, the neighborhood I grew up in, that permits various things to be done on the Sabbath that usually can't be done. A Google search reveals that, regardless, the one on the UES might not even count. Frankly, to me this sounds a bit like cheating, having a string that makes you exempt from religious laws, but I clearly don't understand the concept.

Another, unrelated, query: I am not keeping kosher for Passover, but if I were, would the definite traces of non-kosher-for-Passover bread products in my keyboard cause problems?

Clearly I am cut out for a secular life.

6 comments:

john_m_burt said...

Sometimes, keeping to the contract of Jewish law seems like a complex computer game, complete with rules hacks that allow you to evade the strictures.

Personally, I'm in sympathy with the Jews I've met who say hygienically-raised and humanely-slaughtered pork is kosher in spirit, and GMO corn chips made with Olestra are treyf.

Alex B. said...

There's an erouv in the Montréal neighbourhood where I was born, Outremont. It doesn't make much sense to me, though. It seems as if the faithful are making pirouettes to escape the rules they impose upon themselves.

Jacob said...

but if I were, would the definite traces of non-kosher-for-Passover bread products in my keyboard cause problems?

Yep, at least if you were Orthodox. Traditional pre-Passover spring cleaning, bedikat chametz, aims to get every little crumb out of every nook, cranny, and crevice.

Phoebe said...

But that which enters a keyboard cannot necessarily exit. Does that mean that, if you're Orthodox, no snacking while you type unless the snack in question is matzo?

jf said...

2 points.
(1) An eruv in this context allows sabbath observers to carry in public places. Halachicly, carrying is only permitted in a private domain (reshut ha'yachid) and not a public domain (reshut ha'rabim). Such spaces are defined primarily by how they are enclosed. An eruv is one type of enclisure that defines the space within it as a private domain, thereby allowing people to carry objects within it (food, baby carriages, etc.). The laws are much more complex than this, but this is the idea.

(2) The prohibition for chometz on passover is that it cannot be eaten, benefitted from, or seen. The question specifically related to keyboards is whether the crumbs constitute chometz and to what effect. In terms of eating any small piece of chometz falls under the prohibition. Therefore, if one's keyboard has crumbs in it it is probably not a good udea to have it near food (so that the crumbs don't fall in). With regards to seeing, the crumbs probably are not significant enough to constitute a violation, same to with benefitting (also no one really benfits from crumbs in the laptop). Therefore, if one chooses to eat over one's laptop during the year the only issue would be not to do so on passover.

Anonymous said...

2 points.
(1) An eruv in this context allows sabbath observers to carry in public places. Halachicly, carrying is only permitted in a private domain (reshut ha'yachid) and not a public domain (reshut ha'rabim). Such spaces are defined primarily by how they are enclosed. An eruv is one type of enclisure that defines the space within it as a private domain, thereby allowing people to carry objects within it (food, baby carriages, etc.). The laws are much more complex than this, but this is the idea.

(2) The prohibition for chometz on passover is that it cannot be eaten, benefitted from, or se