Building MoCo eruvim: Architecture and material culture (updated)

This is the second post in the series, Courtyards of Convenience: Montgomery County’s Eruvim


The Capital Beltway carries I-495 through Washington, D.C.’s Maryland and Virginia suburbs. The iconic 64-mile highway completed in 1964 is a symbolic barrier between Washington and the rest of the nation. The dichotomy, inside versus outside the Beltway, has permeated popular culture.

National Capital Beltway showing portions adjacent to Montgomery County eruvim. Adapted from Bing Maps. Click on the image to see a full-size version.

A four-mile segment of the Beltway in Montgomery County, Maryland, acts as another symbolic boundary. Areas within this segment have been incorporated into the perimeters of two Orthodox Jewish eruvim that wrap around parts of Silver Spring and Wheaton creating symbolically enclosed spaces that allow Jews to move within them on the Sabbath. Continue reading