Westhampton Beach, Mayor Conrad Teller, JPOE poobah Arnie Sheiffer, a smattering of local business persons and even the uncommonly-quiet-of-late Rabbi Marc Schneier, are part of a New York Times story (A17) this morning:
Aside from correspondent Sharon Otterman's confusion about Southampton Town vís Southampton Village, it's a decent report... if a bit on the lower lip quivering side of poor observant Orthodox forced to walk to and from Hampton Synagogue in all manner of inclement weather conditions.
Some points of interest:
"...if Westhampton Beach would finally permit a series of narrow plastic strips, known in Hebrew as lechis, to be placed on the village's utility poles."
Actually, they are not "the village's utility poles;" they belong to Verizon and the Long Island Power Authority, and are placed here under a century old franchise agreement that predates Westhampton Beach, an important distinction.
"The eruv would consist of about 60 10-to-15-foot-long, five-eighths-of-an-inch-wide PVC strips affixed to utility poles, and painted to blend in with them."
If this is reported accurately, it is at variance with how a lechi was described in the initial application before the Village Board in 2008.
The contentious local eruv matter came back up on the Times' radar when United States District Court Judge Leonard D. Wexler dismissed a lawsuit brought by JPOE.
- To reporter Otterman who fully reported the issue without once referring to Westhampton Beach as "tony."
- To Hampton Synagogue member Ellen Indursky who "gets" it with her apposite observation:
"It's created an us and a them; you are either on one side or the other. There's more feelings of anti-Semitism here now than there has ever been."
And a big "Boo! Hiss!" is in order as well... to Rabbi Schneier quoted as saying:
"I find it despicable that in the 21st century, some opponents of the eruv have publicly pronounced that we do not want Orthodox Jews living in our community."
Assuming, arguendo, that the Rabbi is able to document that, he has only himself to blame for any such sentiments.
Did he actually think the commmunity in which he long ago created such disharmony solely in service to his own notorious ego, would embrace him when he first brought forth his eruv proposal?
I agree the article was a decent effort. As for the poor fellow walking in rain to the Synagogue, well I'm sure he knew it might occasionally rain before he rented or bought his house so I have no sympathy there.
The Rabbi continues to show his contempt for all of us; I remember the remarks about comparing the community to 1930's Germany and the sorry display of bringing in then Governor Patterson as the "new sheriff in town."
Ms Indursky has it right.
Your child bride refuses to accept that characterization as yet.