As plans are revived for a 12-mile eruv around Hale and Hale Barns, former local councillor Neil Taylor, who lives in Hale, travelled to Salford this week to see one of the other 11 UK eruvs up close. Here are his reflections.
I went this week to see for myself what an Eruv looks like. An Eruv is a religiously symbolic area. Some say it’s a religious fence to create an enclave, allowing members of the orthodox Jewish community to observe their laws and customs associated with the Sabbath, while carrying or pushing certain items outside of their homes.
I visited the Manchester Community Eruv to see one first-hand. I had been told that the poles and wires would be barely noticeable, so I was astonished to see the size and the scale of the poles, and these are most definitely not discreet, nor barely noticeable.
Granted, I was looking out for them, but they stood out like a sore thumb. In my opinion they are street clutter, and represent a religious symbol.
Here where we live, we have a fully integrated multi-cultural society where all faiths, and those of no faith, live side by side. Segregation does not exist here. In the world we are living in, fences and boundaries should be coming down and not being built up.
I believe that creating a religious enclave is wrong, and seeing first-hand what an Eruv looks like, I feel it’s going to be totally out of character for the Hale, Hale Barns and Altrincham areas of South Trafford.
A twelve mile route with a whopping 95 galvanised steel poles, connected by wires, will look out of place and out of keeping with the area, where we live very harmoniously at present.
Watch Neil’s video about his trip to the Salford eruv: