The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

The Court’s Fool: The Eruv as Architectural and Urbanistic Model

Manuel Herz

The eruv, both as a concept and as a pragmatic tool within everyday Jewish life, can be seen as the typical architectonic and urbanistic response to the condition of diaspora. In Germany, one would expect the installment of eruvin--representing perhaps the diasporic condition par excellence--to be a recurring feature of urban life. However, no eruv currently exists in Germany, and the physical presence of Jewry in that country follows an ideology that is, surprisingly, opposed to that of the eruv, a presence that can be described as anti-eruv and maybe anti-diasporic. The lecture will demonstrate using the author`s own architectural work (Synagogue Main, Babyn Yar Synagogue) how the notion of the Eruv could be seen as a model, shaping architectural and urban interventions.