But that ring of string, known as an eruv, isn’t held up by magic.
A series of wooden posts, some up to 16 feet high, would have to be installed in two beachfront parks to hold up the string. And those parks are owned by the city, meaning commissioners have the final say.
Hallandale leaders have rebuffed requests from the Orthodox community for months, citing a rule that bars private entities from installing poles in a city park.
But a solution to the long-simmering controversy may be near, says Commissioner Rich Dally, who has been working behind the scenes with city staff and leaders of the Orthodox community.
The initial proposal called for the installation of nine poles on city land. A new plan would require fewer poles that would be hidden by palm trees and hedges.
“We’d attach poles to existing palm trees so it would be aesthetically pleasing,” Dally said. “The Orthodox community would pay for it.”
A commission vote could come as soon as Oct. 17.
Eruvs exist around the world, from London to Tel Aviv and Miami Beach. But requests for these rings of string have turned controversial in cities around the country, with critics arguing they encroach on public land and violate the separation of church and state.
Hallandale condos that line the beach were not always without an eruv. The eruv that served Hallandale’s coastal community disappeared two years ago when light poles and parks were redesigned.
Leaders of the Orthodox community say they began lobbying city officials more than a year ago. The commission has not taken a formal vote, but debates have roared on past midnight at some meetings.
The eruv extends the boundary of the home, paving the way for Orthodox Jews to carry things outdoors they otherwise would be forbidden to carry on the Sabbath, when one is required to rest. Pushing a wheelchair or a baby carriage to synagogue and even carrying keys and a prayer shawl are not permitted without an eruv.
“The eruv will serve thousands of residents and visitors,” Rabbi Leibel Kudan told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “Its need is most felt by members of my community with physical limitations. That includes my 4-year-old daughter Bracha, who is in a wheelchair.”
During a public meeting in May, Kudan told commissioners his daughter can’t go to temple on the Sabbath with her brother and sister because the neighborhood is without an eruv.
At the same meeting, Rabbi Levi Tennenhaus told commissioners that most cities with a Jewish presence have an eruv, including Sunny Isles and Aventura.
“It’s shocking that there is no eruv in Hallandale (on the barrier island),” he said.
Tennenhaus said last week he was still perplexed by how long it has taken to make inroads at City Hall.
“A lot of young families who live on the beach are impacted,” he said. “These families are still stuck in their house every single Saturday. They are still in limbo.”
Asked when he hopes to see the eruv restored, Tennenhaus had a quick answer: “Tomorrow.”