ChabadInfo has previously reported on a response from the Rebbe to R’ Yosef Yitzchok Gordon who was a member of a committee tasked with erecting an Eruv that would cover a section of a residential area in Australia.
Here we present additional responses regarding erecting an Eruv in various communities. A common thread can be observed throughout that reveals the Rebbe’s deep concerns about any such proposal.
A letter to R’ Pinchos Weberman, Miami, 3 Tammuz 5722:
…with regard to his writing about an Eruv in the city, being that there are many Halachos — therefore without the participation of a Rav erudite in these Halachos specifically, [they should] not involve themselves in this.
(Igros Kodesh, vol. 22, letter 8,457)
A letter to R’ Yosef Dovid Maskowitz, author of Kuntres Tikun Eruvin, who wrote to the Rebbe that a proposal (about an Eruv) from his Kuntres has been acted upon (Rosh Chodesh Adar, 5718):
It’s clear in my firm and absolute opinion — not to print, and not to publicize in any other way, that he completed the endeavor and corrected the Eruv (even in his opinion).
And that he writes in conclusion of the Kuntres the benefit of publicizing — in order to absolve those that intend to transgress, pursuant to Shas (tractate Nazir, 23a), certainly also you can surmise how many of these purposeful transgressors study or even are aware of such Seforim and Kuntresim,
By contrast, with regard to those who practice Torah and Mitzvos, of whom specifically our sages said that they assume permissibility for themselves (if they only find some sort of basis or excuse), that publicizing this [completion of the supposed Eruv] will bring to breaches [in Halacha], etc. and after publicizing [the Eruv’s supposed completion] he won’t be able to correct it, even if he so wishes.
– The great warning at the beginning of the Kuntres – we’ve already clearly seen that it doesn’t lessen the impact of that which is printed and publicized, being that in our lowly state the attitude of “everything is permitted” is pervasive. Especially in our country, where the “Ra-bbonim” [lit. ‘evil-sons’] stand guard at their posts—the guard of that which is against G-d and his Torah— to breach the walls of religion and Judaism.
(Igros Kodesh, vol. 16, letter 6084)
Letter to Rabbi Gavrial Zinner (Elul 5742):
With regard to Eruvin, the two factors are known: 1) it’s a Mitzvah to seek, etc. and to make a blessing on it, and in contrast — even in a righteous generation, obviously — there must be enough ‘left over’ that it’s not forgotten, etc. and in this generation – many times over.
— Therefore, in my humble opinion, it rests upon the Rabbonim who know the conditions in the local community to decide what should hold sway in that place — to erect one or not. Obviously, in a place where there is one, effort must be taken to ensure it is Halachically proper.
And blessed are those who bring merit the multitudes, and if Jews would only keep one Shabbos etc.
But a request and pronouncement from my part must be only after the preliminaries (according to the aforementioned concerns) that the Eruv be done according to and with the wishes of Chachomim etc. — (because this country isn’t like Poland in the old days etc.) and for multiple reasons there remains a concern that the benefit is [outweighed by the loss] etc. v’kal.
An Answer explicitly regarding Crown Heights:
Family members of R’ Hirshel Chitrik A”H relate, that when R’ Hirshel served as a member of the Vaad Hakahal in Crown Heights, he entered into Yechidus and suggested to the Rebbe that an Eruv be erected in the neighborhood, and the Rebbe strongly rejected the idea.