Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF) and Yeshiva University Museum will be hosting a special lecture for all audiences by YU Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Hershel Schachter to mark the beginning of Masechet Eruvin in the daf yomi study cycle. The lecture, titled “Eruvin: the Streets, the Strings, and the Shabbat,” will be presented in cooperation with the Orthodox Union on March 13 at the YU Museum in Manhattan.
The lecture complements the YU Museum’s exhibition “It’s a Thin Line: The Eruv and Jewish Community in New York and Beyond” (on view through June 30). A curatorial tour and viewing of the exhibition will begin at 6:00 p.m., followed by the lecture at 7:00 p.m. The YU Museum is located at the Center for Jewish History (15 W 16th Street), near Union Square.
The first of its kind, the exhibition features 130 artifacts spanning over five centuries, including rare manuscripts, early printed books, tools, artifacts, and artworks, which bring to life the process through which the ancient rabbinic precept of the eruv has been interpreted and applied–as well as challenged–in New York and its surrounding communities.
“We’re excited to engage a topic of such practical importance for the Jewish community, one that has such an interesting material character and longstanding history,” said Dr. Jacob Wisse, director of Yeshiva University Museum. “We think the exhibition and its related programming have the potential to spark great interest and to illuminate a key example of the dynamics of religious culture in the public sphere.”
Rabbi Schachter’s lecture will serve to add halachic context to the extraordinary exhibition and will be of interest for all audiences–especially those embarking on daily study of Masechet Eruvin. Together, the shiur and exhibition will provide a vibrant participatory learning experience, exploring the eruv from the pages of the Talmud through to its meaning and impact in modern Jewish life.
With its main focus on New York City, New Jersey, and the surrounding communities, the exhibition also provides a vivid picture of local urban history through the stories of individual communities, religious figures, and debates.
The local elements of the exhibition include light poles and an aluminum gate from the current Manhattan eruv; a 1986 guide to the Kew Gardens, Queens eruv with foreword by then-borough president Donald Manes; printed objects and photographs of the 3rd Avenue elevated train, one of the eruv boundaries for the first half of the 20th century; a film on the surprising technical history of eruvs in the region; and a museum-produced interactive experience that allows visitors to investigate a host of issues associated with New York-area eruv formations.
For more information about the exhibition, please visit yumuseum.tumblr.com/ItsAThinLine. v