Meeting held to find 'reconciliation' over Bushey eruv poles

Watford Observer: Meeting held to find 'reconciliation' over Bushey eruv poles Meeting held to find 'reconciliation' over Bushey eruv poles

More than 70 people attended a public meeting about the controversial eruv in Bushey.

Last August plans to erect a Jewish eruv, which will consist predominantly of 5.5 metre-high steel poles in 25 locations across Bushey, were approved by Hertsmere Borough Council.

However, the application, lodged on behalf of Bushey United Synagogue, met with opposition and a meeting was held at the synagogue on Thursday of last week to try to "bring the community together".

However, several residents did not attend due to the presence of security.

Gay Butler did not attend but spoke against the application in August.

The 67-year-old Chiltern Avenue resident said: "The meeting was perceived as offensive by some residents. To expose members of the community to a security search was hardly conducive to a community building meeting.

"To try and resolve the turmoil that the poles and wires have caused did not need a meeting in the synagogue, but on neutral ground."

The retired teacher continued: "While the Rabbi said the Eruv was on the agenda, it was clear that it was not to reconsider the proposed poles and wires or to discuss it in relation to the planning application that the majority of the community found so upsetting. This is why I did not attend and probably accounts for the poor attendance."

The religious boundary around Bushey will turn the town into an area where strict Sabbath rules are relaxed for orthodox Jews, such as carrying or transporting items like wheelchairs, pushchairs and handkerchiefs.

Councillor Carey Keates, a Conservative representative for the Bushey St James ward spoke against the application in August.

He attended the meeting along with other councillors and it was said it was "generally very good-natured".

He said: "While clearly some tensions remain between the communities, it was clear that those were considerably reduced by the meeting.

"The tensions are clearly not yet over for everybody, but I feel we may have turned a corner on the road to reconciliation."

James Haftel, a member of the synagogue who is in a wheelchair, said at the meeting: "I have been disabled all my life. This is not about exclusion, it is about inclusion.

"The laws of an eruv mean I can’t obligate someone to push me to a synagogue.

"That is why we need an eruv. It is not so that I can suddenly force my religion on people. It is so I can keep my religion and feel part of a community and not feel bad if someone wants to push me."

Resident Tony Breslin said he did not think the proposals should go ahead without "significantly more support from the community".

The 51-year-old who lives in Herkomer Road, said: "I thought the meeting was worthwhile and was conducted in good spirit, even though it came quite late.

"We need to find reconciliation between those who want the eruv and those who don’t.

"Bushey has always been a diverse community. A place where people get on well. What matters most is that the sense of community is retained.

"Silence is not an option. We are unfortunate to have got to where we are but there is a way forward if there is a sustained effort by the synagogue to win the hearts of the wider community."

Stephen Roston, chairman of Bushey United Synagogue, said: "The evening went very well. We aimed to bring the community together, and I think that has been achieved.

"Everyone from the Bushey area was invited so for those that didn’t come it was their choice not to attend, but we are always open for dialogue."

Mr Roston, who has been at the synagogue for almost 30 years, said in hindsight the meeting could have been held sooner.

He continued: "We probably could have had bigger discussions before the planning permission had been granted, to clear up misunderstandings. However, we have held the meeting now and we are not looking backwards only forwards."

With regards to security, Mr Roston added: "Security was necessary because of threats made everywhere around the world.

"We have security for the protection of our guests as if something was to happen and one was injured in any way then we would be accused of not worrying."

Comments (14)

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5:18pm Tue 13 May 14

Popeonarope says...

Religious extremists need to be opposed regardless of which flavour of sky fairy they follow. If a religion can be flexible enough to put up wires that allow a reinterpretation of the dogma than it should be flexible enough to allow people to carry, push, hop, skip and jump on the sabbath!
The eruv was passed by a group predisposed to its value and no conflict of interest was considered. No other group would be allowed to do this in a conservation area so neither should the synagogue be allowed to.
Religious extremists need to be opposed regardless of which flavour of sky fairy they follow. If a religion can be flexible enough to put up wires that allow a reinterpretation of the dogma than it should be flexible enough to allow people to carry, push, hop, skip and jump on the sabbath! The eruv was passed by a group predisposed to its value and no conflict of interest was considered. No other group would be allowed to do this in a conservation area so neither should the synagogue be allowed to. Popeonarope
  • Score: 14

5:39pm Tue 13 May 14

Robert Peel says...

Religion is a mental illness.
Religion is a mental illness. Robert Peel
  • Score: 2

5:54pm Tue 13 May 14

LSC says...

The article mentions tension a fair bit. There was no tension a year ago. We were just 'Bushey', with all sorts making up the community and generally getting along just fine.
I walked up the High Street just today, and as I walked, I counted as I passed the shops. I know most of the owners and many of the customers. There were Pakistanis, Indians and people from Hong Cong. There were Poles, Sri Lankans, Chinese and Afghans. Bangladeshies, Latvians, Scottish, English, and Thai.

None of these people want a rope putting around the area declaring it 'Jewish'.
That is not anti semitic, anyone can believe what they like. But as long as it does not affect others. The eruv affects others.

As put above Bushey is not, and never should be, an area of special interest to a certain section of mankind. It is Bushey. Our town. Rich in it's diversity and stronger for it. It is a wonderful place and it has no label, because it is open to everybody to enjoy.
The article mentions tension a fair bit. There was no tension a year ago. We were just 'Bushey', with all sorts making up the community and generally getting along just fine. I walked up the High Street just today, and as I walked, I counted as I passed the shops. I know most of the owners and many of the customers. There were Pakistanis, Indians and people from Hong Cong. There were Poles, Sri Lankans, Chinese and Afghans. Bangladeshies, Latvians, Scottish, English, and Thai. None of these people want a rope putting around the area declaring it 'Jewish'. That is not anti semitic, anyone can believe what they like. But as long as it does not affect others. The eruv affects others. As put above Bushey is not, and never should be, an area of special interest to a certain section of mankind. It is Bushey. Our town. Rich in it's diversity and stronger for it. It is a wonderful place and it has no label, because it is open to everybody to enjoy. LSC
  • Score: 22

7:57am Wed 14 May 14

bishopofwatford says...

Popeonarope wrote:
Religious extremists need to be opposed regardless of which flavour of sky fairy they follow. If a religion can be flexible enough to put up wires that allow a reinterpretation of the dogma than it should be flexible enough to allow people to carry, push, hop, skip and jump on the sabbath!
The eruv was passed by a group predisposed to its value and no conflict of interest was considered. No other group would be allowed to do this in a conservation area so neither should the synagogue be allowed to.
What could possibly go wrong with living your life by following ancient laws written by anonymous authors in dead languages by ignorant, racist, sexist, genocidal, superstitious goat herding primitives who believed everything they couldn't explain in the world was magic?
[quote][p][bold]Popeonarope[/bold] wrote: Religious extremists need to be opposed regardless of which flavour of sky fairy they follow. If a religion can be flexible enough to put up wires that allow a reinterpretation of the dogma than it should be flexible enough to allow people to carry, push, hop, skip and jump on the sabbath! The eruv was passed by a group predisposed to its value and no conflict of interest was considered. No other group would be allowed to do this in a conservation area so neither should the synagogue be allowed to.[/p][/quote]What could possibly go wrong with living your life by following ancient laws written by anonymous authors in dead languages by ignorant, racist, sexist, genocidal, superstitious goat herding primitives who believed everything they couldn't explain in the world was magic? bishopofwatford
  • Score: 6

10:54am Wed 14 May 14

LocalBoy1 says...

I found this article interesting:

The North West London Eruv has transformed Shabbat. There are more families going to Shul than ever before and there has been an unparalleled boom in the number of Jewish schools.

There really has never been a better time to be Jewish in London and at the heart of this change was the establishment of the Eruv in February 2003.

For this enhancement to Jewish life to continue, the North West London Eruv needs your ongoing support.

The North West London Eruv is inspected each week. It is important to check each and every week that the Eruv is intact. At no stage should the Eruv be taken for granted, especially when planning an activity dependent on carrying.
I found this article interesting: The North West London Eruv has transformed Shabbat. There are more families going to Shul than ever before and there has been an unparalleled boom in the number of Jewish schools. There really has never been a better time to be Jewish in London and at the heart of this change was the establishment of the Eruv in February 2003. For this enhancement to Jewish life to continue, the North West London Eruv needs your ongoing support. The North West London Eruv is inspected each week. It is important to check each and every week that the Eruv is intact. At no stage should the Eruv be taken for granted, especially when planning an activity dependent on carrying. LocalBoy1
  • Score: -2

12:29pm Wed 14 May 14

garston tony says...

So many people getting their knickers in a twist about nothing. I think you just have to look at Pope's comment about religious extremists to see how ridiculous this all is.

The way people are reacting its like you believe if this eruv goes up you'll be forced to speak only in Hebrew, wear a skull cap and keep the Sabbath before long.

LSC you point out the diversity in the town, i'm pretty confident that there was a point when there was opposition be it public or not to them coming into the area (or any area in the country for that matter). Yet they came and the face of Bushey and many other places has changed. You see thats the natural way of things, 70 years ago only white people lived in Bushey, 150 years ago there was a smaller population and fewer houses, 250 years ago the place was mostly fields. The Bushey you are so wanting to 'protect' is itself a product of massive change (change far far greater than this eruv will bring) and you're all being hypocrits basically!

Unless you are a Jew whose chosen to follow a set of rules then an eruv doesnt impact you at all and this is all very very pathetic
So many people getting their knickers in a twist about nothing. I think you just have to look at Pope's comment about religious extremists to see how ridiculous this all is. The way people are reacting its like you believe if this eruv goes up you'll be forced to speak only in Hebrew, wear a skull cap and keep the Sabbath before long. LSC you point out the diversity in the town, i'm pretty confident that there was a point when there was opposition be it public or not to them coming into the area (or any area in the country for that matter). Yet they came and the face of Bushey and many other places has changed. You see thats the natural way of things, 70 years ago only white people lived in Bushey, 150 years ago there was a smaller population and fewer houses, 250 years ago the place was mostly fields. The Bushey you are so wanting to 'protect' is itself a product of massive change (change far far greater than this eruv will bring) and you're all being hypocrits basically! Unless you are a Jew whose chosen to follow a set of rules then an eruv doesnt impact you at all and this is all very very pathetic garston tony
  • Score: -3

1:01pm Wed 14 May 14

LSC says...

You are wrong Tony. Yes Bushey has grown, one might even say flourished, over the years. There might well have been opposition to non-white-born-Engli
sh settlers in the past, (and maybe there still is) but not any that I have witnessed in my lifetime, and not an attitude I would welcome or indeed tolerate.
Bushey is the sum of its parts. A fine balance. The eruv makes one of those parts more important than the others. I didn't object in the slightest when the synagogue was built. Fine by me; it's not my bag but carry on.

But to ring the town with string and label it as an area of importance to one specific religion is just wrong. Yes, I apparently already live in a 'parish', (possibly two if you count the catholics?) but I don't know where that starts and ends and can ignore it.
This is a PHYSICAL BOUNDARY, defining and labeling my town. No-one has the right to do that.

Yes I mentioned the diversity. I like it. How attractive is Bushey going to be to a young muslim family in 10 years?
You are wrong Tony. Yes Bushey has grown, one might even say flourished, over the years. There might well have been opposition to non-white-born-Engli sh settlers in the past, (and maybe there still is) but not any that I have witnessed in my lifetime, and not an attitude I would welcome or indeed tolerate. Bushey is the sum of its parts. A fine balance. The eruv makes one of those parts more important than the others. I didn't object in the slightest when the synagogue was built. Fine by me; it's not my bag but carry on. But to ring the town with string and label it as an area of importance to one specific religion is just wrong. Yes, I apparently already live in a 'parish', (possibly two if you count the catholics?) but I don't know where that starts and ends and can ignore it. This is a PHYSICAL BOUNDARY, defining and labeling my town. No-one has the right to do that. Yes I mentioned the diversity. I like it. How attractive is Bushey going to be to a young muslim family in 10 years? LSC
  • Score: 6

1:26pm Wed 14 May 14

garston tony says...

It isnt any more a physical boundary than the parish one, its not physically going to stop you going anywhere or doing anything.

It IS going to be a visible boundary and if the objections stuck to how it was potentially going to affect the look of the area then that would be fair enough, ditto wether the planning process was correctly followed at the council to give the permission. The fact that those two points are almost totally never mentioned and the concentration is almost purely on the religion itself is where I have the problem and why the anti lot havent actually got leg to stand on.

But apart from how you'll be able to see some poles and lines the eruv is not going to have any effect on anyone who doesnt subscribe to the beliefs behind it. That is a fact. Just as you can ignore the parish boundaries you can equally ignore the eruv ones, it really is that straight forward.

Just as in other areas that already have an eruv you're still going to have a diverse population, i'm not going to dig out the details again (what is the point you're so entrenched in your view that you ignore actual facts that dont fit with it) but there a mosques and muslim centres and schools and therefore by extention a Muslim community within the boundaries of the other eruvs. The only problem is in your own head, and the heads of everyone else that is against it and its wrong that something is oppossed because of some fanciful fear
It isnt any more a physical boundary than the parish one, its not physically going to stop you going anywhere or doing anything. It IS going to be a visible boundary and if the objections stuck to how it was potentially going to affect the look of the area then that would be fair enough, ditto wether the planning process was correctly followed at the council to give the permission. The fact that those two points are almost totally never mentioned and the concentration is almost purely on the religion itself is where I have the problem and why the anti lot havent actually got leg to stand on. But apart from how you'll be able to see some poles and lines the eruv is not going to have any effect on anyone who doesnt subscribe to the beliefs behind it. That is a fact. Just as you can ignore the parish boundaries you can equally ignore the eruv ones, it really is that straight forward. Just as in other areas that already have an eruv you're still going to have a diverse population, i'm not going to dig out the details again (what is the point you're so entrenched in your view that you ignore actual facts that dont fit with it) but there a mosques and muslim centres and schools and therefore by extention a Muslim community within the boundaries of the other eruvs. The only problem is in your own head, and the heads of everyone else that is against it and its wrong that something is oppossed because of some fanciful fear garston tony
  • Score: -4

4:02pm Wed 14 May 14

Popeonarope says...

garston tony wrote:
So many people getting their knickers in a twist about nothing. I think you just have to look at Pope's comment about religious extremists to see how ridiculous this all is.

The way people are reacting its like you believe if this eruv goes up you'll be forced to speak only in Hebrew, wear a skull cap and keep the Sabbath before long.

LSC you point out the diversity in the town, i'm pretty confident that there was a point when there was opposition be it public or not to them coming into the area (or any area in the country for that matter). Yet they came and the face of Bushey and many other places has changed. You see thats the natural way of things, 70 years ago only white people lived in Bushey, 150 years ago there was a smaller population and fewer houses, 250 years ago the place was mostly fields. The Bushey you are so wanting to 'protect' is itself a product of massive change (change far far greater than this eruv will bring) and you're all being hypocrits basically!

Unless you are a Jew whose chosen to follow a set of rules then an eruv doesnt impact you at all and this is all very very pathetic
I consider putting up a wire on poles so you can carry and push items for one day a week extreme. Therefore they are extremists.
Orthodox Jews, including Orthodox Jewish scientists, condemn the theory of evolution, and strongly believe that the world was created 5,771 years ago.
Their belief that the revelation at Sinai makes them the chosen people and are based in the horrors taught in the old testament makes them extreme.
The fact that in Israel they flout human rights, openly break international laws, oppress other racial groups and murder dissenters makes them extreme.

These extremists, along with all other groups who consider themselves superior because a book written by superstitious primitives says so should not be allowed to do as they please without objection and censure.

No-one has an issue with the changing populations in a town or city over time; this is considered natural when based on normal migration or immigration but to literally ring fence an area to make it 'designed' for your faith regardless of the laws is ethically and morally suspicious. -
"The North West London Eruv has transformed Shabbat. There are more families going to Shul than ever before and there has been an unparalleled boom in the number of Jewish schools." - LocalBoy1

This would make a convincing argument that this does indeed have an effect on an area within an eruv, making your observation that it will not effect Bushey redundant; your apologist tendency's are as transparent as your blind faith which is actually more pathetic than objecting to an extremists groups seditious and advantageous requirements in my home town.
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: So many people getting their knickers in a twist about nothing. I think you just have to look at Pope's comment about religious extremists to see how ridiculous this all is. The way people are reacting its like you believe if this eruv goes up you'll be forced to speak only in Hebrew, wear a skull cap and keep the Sabbath before long. LSC you point out the diversity in the town, i'm pretty confident that there was a point when there was opposition be it public or not to them coming into the area (or any area in the country for that matter). Yet they came and the face of Bushey and many other places has changed. You see thats the natural way of things, 70 years ago only white people lived in Bushey, 150 years ago there was a smaller population and fewer houses, 250 years ago the place was mostly fields. The Bushey you are so wanting to 'protect' is itself a product of massive change (change far far greater than this eruv will bring) and you're all being hypocrits basically! Unless you are a Jew whose chosen to follow a set of rules then an eruv doesnt impact you at all and this is all very very pathetic[/p][/quote]I consider putting up a wire on poles so you can carry and push items for one day a week extreme. Therefore they are extremists. Orthodox Jews, including Orthodox Jewish scientists, condemn the theory of evolution, and strongly believe that the world was created 5,771 years ago. Their belief that the revelation at Sinai makes them the chosen people and are based in the horrors taught in the old testament makes them extreme. The fact that in Israel they flout human rights, openly break international laws, oppress other racial groups and murder dissenters makes them extreme. These extremists, along with all other groups who consider themselves superior because a book written by superstitious primitives says so should not be allowed to do as they please without objection and censure. No-one has an issue with the changing populations in a town or city over time; this is considered natural when based on normal migration or immigration but to literally ring fence an area to make it 'designed' for your faith regardless of the laws is ethically and morally suspicious. - "The North West London Eruv has transformed Shabbat. There are more families going to Shul than ever before and there has been an unparalleled boom in the number of Jewish schools." - LocalBoy1 This would make a convincing argument that this does indeed have an effect on an area within an eruv, making your observation that it will not effect Bushey redundant; your apologist tendency's are as transparent as your blind faith which is actually more pathetic than objecting to an extremists groups seditious and advantageous requirements in my home town. Popeonarope
  • Score: 8

11:29am Thu 15 May 14

garston tony says...

Pope if you consider putting up poles and lines extreme then you live a very sheltered life and need to get out more!

And pot and kettle, you say believing in young earth is extreme but are happy to believe in Big bang which science admits is totally made up. Well done you
Pope if you consider putting up poles and lines extreme then you live a very sheltered life and need to get out more! And pot and kettle, you say believing in young earth is extreme but are happy to believe in Big bang which science admits is totally made up. Well done you garston tony
  • Score: -2

10:10pm Thu 15 May 14

Popeonarope says...

Tony, i would like to agree with you but then we would both be wrong.
Being deliberately vacant in seeing whats before your eyes is a known trait among believers in sky fairies.... yet again you miss the entire point.
Tony, i would like to agree with you but then we would both be wrong. Being deliberately vacant in seeing whats before your eyes is a known trait among believers in sky fairies.... yet again you miss the entire point. Popeonarope
  • Score: 2

1:10am Fri 16 May 14

LSC says...

garston tony wrote:
Pope if you consider putting up poles and lines extreme then you live a very sheltered life and need to get out more!

And pot and kettle, you say believing in young earth is extreme but are happy to believe in Big bang which science admits is totally made up. Well done you
Tony, the idea behind them is extreme, no question about it! And here is a physical manifestation of that extremism, on my street, outside my house.

These people invented, or interpreted a rather odd rule that deliberately made life difficult for themselves.
When that got too hard, they invented one to counter it. And they want to dig up the pavements to suit that purpose. That is daft in anyone's book.
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: Pope if you consider putting up poles and lines extreme then you live a very sheltered life and need to get out more! And pot and kettle, you say believing in young earth is extreme but are happy to believe in Big bang which science admits is totally made up. Well done you[/p][/quote]Tony, the idea behind them is extreme, no question about it! And here is a physical manifestation of that extremism, on my street, outside my house. These people invented, or interpreted a rather odd rule that deliberately made life difficult for themselves. When that got too hard, they invented one to counter it. And they want to dig up the pavements to suit that purpose. That is daft in anyone's book. LSC
  • Score: 2

9:25am Fri 16 May 14

garston tony says...

You're both still making my point, you're still focusing on the belief behind what they are wanting and not on what they are actually asking for. You're proving my point that your objection is due to your own inner prejudice and not on the actual impact on the area, which will be nil for you as you well know

I especially love your hypocritical comments Pope, you still dont get that what you yourself believe takes as much faith to believe in as what I believe.

If you believe in big bang then you believe that way back when space was totally devoid of anything yet somehow the elements that the universe is made up of came into being out of nowhere. And to believe in the theory of evolution you have to believe that on a planet where no life existed life suddenly came into being also.

Just two examples of the many leaps of faith you have to make, how is this any less 'fanciful' than what I believe please?

Science itself admits that much of what it says happened regards big bang and evolutionary theory is made up, yet you laugh at my beliefs because you claim they are man made! What a joke you are
You're both still making my point, you're still focusing on the belief behind what they are wanting and not on what they are actually asking for. You're proving my point that your objection is due to your own inner prejudice and not on the actual impact on the area, which will be nil for you as you well know I especially love your hypocritical comments Pope, you still dont get that what you yourself believe takes as much faith to believe in as what I believe. If you believe in big bang then you believe that way back when space was totally devoid of anything yet somehow the elements that the universe is made up of came into being out of nowhere. And to believe in the theory of evolution you have to believe that on a planet where no life existed life suddenly came into being also. Just two examples of the many leaps of faith you have to make, how is this any less 'fanciful' than what I believe please? Science itself admits that much of what it says happened regards big bang and evolutionary theory is made up, yet you laugh at my beliefs because you claim they are man made! What a joke you are garston tony
  • Score: 2

8:46pm Fri 16 May 14

Popeonarope says...

garston tony wrote:
You're both still making my point, you're still focusing on the belief behind what they are wanting and not on what they are actually asking for. You're proving my point that your objection is due to your own inner prejudice and not on the actual impact on the area, which will be nil for you as you well know

I especially love your hypocritical comments Pope, you still dont get that what you yourself believe takes as much faith to believe in as what I believe.

If you believe in big bang then you believe that way back when space was totally devoid of anything yet somehow the elements that the universe is made up of came into being out of nowhere. And to believe in the theory of evolution you have to believe that on a planet where no life existed life suddenly came into being also.

Just two examples of the many leaps of faith you have to make, how is this any less 'fanciful' than what I believe please?

Science itself admits that much of what it says happened regards big bang and evolutionary theory is made up, yet you laugh at my beliefs because you claim they are man made! What a joke you are
Yawn... here we go again.
The action and the belief are linked by the same irrational faith that somehow it will make a difference if they carry stuff on the sabbath.
A belief that they have a god given right to ignore the rules that everyone else has to abide by is morally and ethically wrong and extremely dangerous. This is the same for any group that thinks in the same way.

In line with your taking everything out of context i see that you love me... im made up. Your not bad yourself despite a rather sad blindness when it comes to rational understanding of evidence.
[quote][p][bold]garston tony[/bold] wrote: You're both still making my point, you're still focusing on the belief behind what they are wanting and not on what they are actually asking for. You're proving my point that your objection is due to your own inner prejudice and not on the actual impact on the area, which will be nil for you as you well know I especially love your hypocritical comments Pope, you still dont get that what you yourself believe takes as much faith to believe in as what I believe. If you believe in big bang then you believe that way back when space was totally devoid of anything yet somehow the elements that the universe is made up of came into being out of nowhere. And to believe in the theory of evolution you have to believe that on a planet where no life existed life suddenly came into being also. Just two examples of the many leaps of faith you have to make, how is this any less 'fanciful' than what I believe please? Science itself admits that much of what it says happened regards big bang and evolutionary theory is made up, yet you laugh at my beliefs because you claim they are man made! What a joke you are[/p][/quote]Yawn... here we go again. The action and the belief are linked by the same irrational faith that somehow it will make a difference if they carry stuff on the sabbath. A belief that they have a god given right to ignore the rules that everyone else has to abide by is morally and ethically wrong and extremely dangerous. This is the same for any group that thinks in the same way. In line with your taking everything out of context i see that you love me... im made up. Your not bad yourself despite a rather sad blindness when it comes to rational understanding of evidence. Popeonarope
  • Score: 3

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