Virtually no city Eruv can be constructed to fulfill the Halachic requirements of all Rabbinic authorities. Therefore, historically, Klal Yisroel has relied on the use of citywide Eruvin meeting specific Halachic criteria. The College Area Eruv, is under the direction and supervision of Rabbi Bogopulsky in consultation with leading Halachic authorities. Based on their directives, the Eruv has been constructed incorporating the highest standards possible in a metropolitan Eruv. However, while endorsing the Halachic validity of our Eruv, Rabbi Bogopulsky is cognizant of the fact that there are Halachic authorities who do not permit carrying within an Eruv constructed in this manner.
PROPER USE OF THE ERUV
More than anything, the Eruv is built to enhance the experience of Shabbos. The Eruv should facilitate easier access to shul, additional options for young and elderly, as well as increased togetherness for the community. However, in order to use the Eruv properly, we must clarify and remember what the Shabbos experience means.
There are two aspects to Shabbos: Shamor and Zachor. Shamor entails refraining from anything which is halachically defined as Melacha; meaning creative activity. This includes not turning on and off electric lights, not driving in cars, and not using the telephone. Equally important is the aspect of Zachor. Aura and majesty are meant to accompany and complete our Shabbos experience. Therefore on Shabbos we eat different food, wear different clothes, sing zemiros and enjoy Torah study.
Like a wonderful recipe which is ruined if a necessary ingredient is missing, Shabbos will be reduced, chas Veshalom Heaven Forbid, rather than enhanced if we are left with only Shamor and not Zachor. Improper use of the Eruv will desecrate the spirit and even the laws of Shabbos and so the following guidelines are part and parcel of the hashgacha and authorization of the Eruv.
Not only would the Rabbi wish to withdraw his hechsher from the Eruv if improper use would chas vesholom (Heaven Forbid) result, but it is likewise incumbent upon baalei battim (Congregants) to ensure that this does not happen. Therefore, Baalei Battim must take upon themselves the responsibility of speaking to such transgressors with sensitivity and encourage them to stop. Otherwise, the baalei battim themselves should demand from the Rabbi that he remove his hechsher since THEIR desire for an enhanced Shabbos has been thwarted. It is only based upon this commitment of cooperation and commonality of purpose that the Rabbi is willing to extend the hechsher for the new Eruv. The Rabbi will otherwise withdraw his hechsher (endorsement).
Absolutely no ball playing by adults is allowed on Shabbos, with or without an Eruv. Poskim strictly prohibit ball playing by adults on Shabbos, and cite the Talmud Yerushalmi and Medrash Eichah which relate the story of the city of Tur Shimon. This was a city destroyed due to ball playing on Shabbos. Although Tur Shimon was a city full of religious and pious people, the severity of playing ball games on Shabbos led to its destruction. Ball playing by children in public desecrates the spirit of Shabbos as well. Ball playing by young children must be limited to one’s backyard.
The prohibition of muktzah safeguards us from prohibited activity on Shabbos and ensures that Shabbos is different from all other days of the week. Many articles are .Mukztah. and prohibited to move on Shabbos. Muktzah items include those that have no Shabbos functional use i.e. credit cards, stones and in certain cirucumstances pets (ask the Rabbi for clarification). Also included within the prohibition of Muktzah are any items so valuable that one expends extra care to protect and safeguard them such as passports, checks and other expensive items. Any item which cannot be used on Shabbos or whose intended use is for after Shabbos such as car keys or umbrellas also fall under the category of Muktzah. The Eruv does not provide any extra leeway with regard to Muktzah items and the prohibitions remain intact. Practically speaking, what we learned above means that users of the Eruv are strictly prohibited from using umbrellas, riding bicycles, scooter, skateboards, or roller skates.
WHAT IS ALLOWED
Commonly used articles that do not pose a problem on shabbos include baby carriages, strollers, canes, walkers, wheelchairs, food (concerning giving / receiving presents on Shabbos, consult your Rav), handkerchiefs, gloves, rain hats, house keys, a siddur or sefer, medicines. One must be certain that any Muktzah items are removed from the above before Shabbos starts.