skip to Main Content

Important Numbers

Mr. Feivel Gallard: 303-825-5811
Eruv Hotline: 303-767-ERUV (767-3788)
Eruv Inspectors
Rabbi Yisroel Rosskamm 303-534-2947
Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz 303-999-8746

What is An Eruv?
The word “Eruv” means “mixture.” In our application it has the implication of “unification,” specifically unifying many houses, courtyards and streets into a single domain. This is accomplished by doing three things: one- surrounding the area in question with an unbroken border, two- setting aside commonly owned foodstuff, usually matzoh, for the benefit of all those in the area, with the appropriate Brocha and three- securing the rights to use public areas for our private purposes from the authorities who have jurisdiction over those areas, in our case the Mayor of Denver.

The common use of the word “Eruv” has come to be applied to the actual border around the neighborhood. That border may consist of:

(1) existing architectural boundaries,
(2) existing geographical boundaries and,
(3) existing and newly constructed boundaries which are made of two posts with a wire stretched over them to create a halachicly approved tzuras hapesach, or doorway.

The West Side Eruv consists of all three. Existing fences and the exterior walls of houses and garages are being utilized. The steep hillsides and precipices cut by the stream which runs through the Lakewood Gulch Park (which is south of 12th Avenue) are being utilized. The electrical wires which run directly on top of the utility poles are being utilized. And special wires and posts have been installed where none of the three former details existed. Once the Eruv was completed, permission was granted for our special use of the area within the Eruv by the Mayor and a proper Eruvei Chatzeros was made.

What makes the Eruv Kosher and what makes it Posul?
The Eruv consists of a series of continuous fences and walls, allowable openings (less than ten amos in width) and a series of unbroken wires suspended from poles and aligned with posts which have been attached to utility poles. The unbroken nature of this border makes the Eruv kosher. If a fence is taken down or run into by a vehicle, or if a wire is broken, or if one of our posts is torn off a utility pole by a vehicle or by vandals, the Eruv is posul. Although the Eruv Committee engages the services of two Rabbis to inspect the Eruv every week, each member of the community, as he or she becomes familiar with the Eruv, should keep their eyes open for damage and refer reports of damage to the Eruv Committee. Indeed, alert members of our Kehillah have reported damages to the Eruv in advance of the weekly inspections on several occasions allowing for timely repairs. Please don’t attempt repairs by yourself.

How much does an Eruv cost?
There are many costs involved in building and maintaining an Eruv.

(A) Construction costs: these include design costs, government permits, a liability insurance policy, costs of actual construction, and travel and consultation costs for a Rav Hamachshir.
(B) Maintenance costs: these include the salary of the weekly inspectors, annual insurance costs, repair and maintenance costs and the cost of maintaining a telephone line for the dissemination of Eruv information after the weekly inspection has been made.
Our Eruv cost approximately $15,000 to construct (in 1995). The annual maintenance costs have run between $3500 and $5300 These figures vary depending on the amount of repairs which become necessary.

Where are the borders of the Eruv and where may I carry or not carry?
Roughly speaking the borders are:
On the North: 17th Avenue
On the East: the alley between Osceola and Perry Streets
On the South: the “Gully” (Lakewood Gulch Park)
On the West: the alley between Zenobia and Sheridan

The actual borders zig zag back and forth. In order to make sure that one does not carry outside the border of the Eruv one should confine him/her self to within the following area while carrying on Shabbos:


On the North: A good portion of the sidewalk on 17th Avenue is NOT within the Eruv, as there is a zig zig configuration crossing and recrossing the Avenue. This boundary was necessitated by the requirement to keep the span of the wires as short as possible. The existing poles which make up the Eruv are on people’s front lawns along 17th Avenue and thus exclude portions of the sidewalk on the south side of the street. No part of the Sloan’s Lake Park is within the boundary of the Eruv.

On the East: One may carry on either side of Perry Street between 12th and 17th Avenues, including the full depth of the properties on the East side of the street.

On the South: One may carry on Wells Place, also called 12th Avenue, which is the Alley running parallel to the Gully between Perry and Zenobia Streets. One may not carry in the Gully Park (Lakewood Gulch Park) since the Eruv excludes almost all of the foot paths in that Park. The Nettie Moore Playground, between Tennyson and Utica, and the lawn around it, are inside the Eruv.

On the West: One may carry on both sides of Zenobia Street from 12th to 17th Avenue including the full depth of the properties on the West side of the street. One should be careful at the 12th Street end of the west side, as the border of the Eruv runs on an oblique from the Bais Yaakov fence into 12th Avenue. One should not carry in the Alley between Zenobia and Sheridan or in the parking lot of the new Walgreens at the corner of Zenobia and Colfax (the old ARC Store.). If your house borders on this alley and you have the need to carry into it please call the Eruv Committee and they will physically show you the limits of the Eruv. The actual border of the Eruv in the area of Zenobia and Colfax may change between January and July of 2006 so those who walk in this area on Shabbos need to keep themselves well informed.

What can I carry within the Eruv? What can't I carry within the Eruv? Are there certain activities that should not be conducted within the Eruv?

The purpose of the Eruv is to enhance Shabbos observance and promote Kedushas Shabbos. Activities which run counter to the spiritual nature of the day are to be avoided. An umbrella may not be carried even if opened before Shabbos or Yom Tov.

The Haskamah of the Eruv
The West Side Eruv has obtained the Haskamah of Rabbi Shmuel Wosner, the Rav of Zichron Meir in Bnei Brak, who wrote that it can be relied on l’chatchilah and that it has many hidurim. The Eruv is made of Mechitzohs on three sides, making it one of the best city Eruvin in the world. The Eruv is currently under the supervision of the Rav shlit”a and is reinspected periodically by different Morei Horo’oh including Rav BenTzion Wosner, HaRav Shmuel Fuerst, the Av Bais Din of Chicago and Rav Yisroel Gornish.

The Use and Non-use of the Eruv and Special Events.
To assure that no joyous event is marred by disappointment or, G‑d Forbid, inadvertent transgression of Hilchos Shabbos, it is advised that no Kiddush, Bar Mitzvah, Aufruf or other Shabbos affair should be planned under the assumption that the Eruv will be operational. Since these events must be planned far in advance, all preparations should proceed as if there is no Eruv, e.g. – food should be brought to the location of the event before Shabbos, a copy of the Bar Mitzvah boy’s speech should be brought to the Shul before Shabbos and it should not be assumed that the event may take place outdoors. Remember, it is not uncommon for an Eruv to suffer damages which may not be able to be repaired in time for Shabbos.

How will I know whether the Eruv is Kosher or not?
After 12:00 noon on Erev Shabbos, you may call the Eruv Hotline which is 303-767-ERUV (303-767-3788). A recorded message will inform you whether or not the Eruv is Kosher and which family or business is sponsoring the message that week. Also, the Gabbai at Congregation Zera Avraham will announce the status of the Eruv after the Maariv davening on Friday night.

What does it mean to Sponsor a Message?
In order to augment the on-going fund raising which is necessary to pay for the continuing maintenance and upkeep of the Eruv, with a contribution of $36, an individual, family, or business can include a short message on that week’s Eruv announcement in honor of someone, or in memory of someone, or with an appropriate commercial announcement. The sponsorship will also be included in the Shul Newsletter. You may use the chart on the bulletin board in the vestibule of the Shul or the weblink to indicate you sponsorship.

Back To Top