Dear Residents of Thornhill Woods
Often, vital benefits go unnoticed. This is especially true when they are taken care of quietly and consistently without our knowledge or input. The Thornhill Woods Eruv is a prime example. Built three years ago, the Eruv is checked weekly, audited yearly and fixed a multitude of times. Baruch Hashem , since its inception in June 2007, the Eruv with more than a few close calls, has always been operational every single Shabbat for the last 166 weeks, bli ayn hora. Most Shomer Shabbat residents never think twice about carrying a child, a siddur, a key or a bottle of wine, pushing a stroller or playing ball, but without the Thornhill Woods Eruv, none of this would be allowed.
There are a handful of people (around 5) who are largely responsible for the weekly, monthly and annual upkeep of our area's Eruv to whom all Shomer Shabbat families owe a huge debt of gratitude. They dedicate their time, often several hours a month, checking the Eruv, and if the situation calls for it, travelling to Home Depot for new supplies and even fixing the Eruv, at times in the rain, snow or beating heat. (Sometimes they even pay for the supplies out of their own pockets!) All of this is done voluntarily.
The annual audit is a different story. Every summer we bring in, from Ottawa, the country's foremost expert on Eruv auditing. He spends no less than 2 days walking through ditches, valleys and aqueducts checking every square inch of the Eruv for its integrity, looking for new construction that might pose a problem, overgrowth of trees and bushes and every technical detail of the Eruv. This is necessary if we are to maintain the original high standard of our Eruv as it was at building time. Every year the auditor has identified problems that need to be addressed, some minor and some major. The annual audit costs $1,000 and the annual fixes run between $1,500 - $3,000 more, depending on the year.
Our Eruv fund is depleting and we, the residents and users of the THW Eruv, at the very least, need to share the financial load of the annual Eruv costs. This is not the responsibility of any one person or Shul, but the collective responsibility of each and every one of us.