Tuesday night, the Jackson Town Council voted unanimously to make it illegal to place an Eruv on township right of ways.

The official dictionary of of Eruv is: an urban area enclosed by a wire boundary that symbolically extends the private domain of Jewish households into public areas, permitting activities within it that are normally forbidden in public on the Sabbath.

Is it possible to not want your town to change drastically and rapidly before your eyes and not be a bigot or racist? Is it ok to want to preserve the climate or culture of your town? Can you still like Jews, or other people different from you for that matter, but oppose your town undergoing a massive transformation?

Most reasonable people, I think, would answer yes to each of these questions. There is a tendency in our society today to throw the words racist or anti-Semite whenever someone opposes an idea or movement from a larger group.

I have many dear friends and acquaintances in the Orthodox Jewish community and have great respect for their faith and their respective cultures. But I can detach myself emotionally from the disagreement and see both sides.

An Eruv is nothing intrusive. It's a string of fishing line. It's not going to distract anyone or cause any problem. This is why the township will probably lose in court.

What it will do is allow more religious people to comfortably move in and live in new neighborhoods. Neighborhoods that are not used to the customs and practices they may not be familiar or comfortable with.

But calling the opposition horrible hateful names will not serve anyone in either community looking to integrate into any town.

There will be a resolution to this issue and it will more than likely fall in favor of the Orthodox Jewish community, but labeling everyone who opposes the Eruv an anti-Semite is wrong and counterproductive!

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