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This dissertation explores the historical and cultural background of the rabbanic eruv. Eruv, a word that signifies 'mixture', 'combination' or 'fusion' will be used in this dissertation to refer to an eruv hatzerot, the joining of the residents of a limited area or space for the sake of establishing a localized neighborhood in which carrying objects is allowed on the Sabbath. The eruv has been a focus of concern for rabbis from the Mishnaic period to the modern age. The ability to transform an area in which carrying on the Sabbath had been prohibited into an area in which carrying on the Sabbath is permitted created both challenges and opportunities for the rabbis in each generation. The concept of an eruv was introduced in the Mishnaic period in Roman Palestine in order to allow Jews to carry their possessions into the hazer, the semi-private courtyards around which several Jewish families lived, on the Sabbath. Since the courtyard was utilized as a shared space for many activities including...
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