Vienna's Jewish community is nearing completion of plans to create an eruv - a symbolic enclosure - in parts of the city to ease life on Shabbat, a senior official said Tuesday.
An eruv is created by connecting objects both natural and manmade to form an unbroken boundary line. Inside that area, Orthodox Jews can perform tasks that are otherwise banned outside the home on the Sabbath, such as carrying objects or pushing strollers. The eruv symbolically extends the boundaries of home.
"It's meaningful for Orthodox Jews because it allows them to do things that would otherwise be forbidden on the Sabbath," Raimund Fastenbauer, the community's secretary general, said in a telephone interview.
"It's especially important for mothers with young children and older, sickly people in wheelchairs," he said.