I have no formal title or degree for giving investment advice to others, but my entrepreneurial wisdom, gained from years of experience, has merit. With that said, I encourage you to run to your favorite East End real estate agent posthaste and buy up all the homes you can find within the Westhampton Beach eruv.
In early January, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld the constitutionality of the recently constructed eruv around Westhampton Beach. I firmly believe that the consequences of this will be that the value of homes in this area is certain to double, triple, maybe even quadruple, as Orthodox Jews from outside of the area will now seek to move there. And why not? After all, the existence of the eruv allows for greater freedom, as these Jews will now be assured they can convey movable items from private property to public property and back on the Sabbath.
For those not familiar with the eruv, it is a specifically designated area, which as long as one stays within its borders, allows for the afore-mentioned flexibility of movements on the Sabbath. In Westhampton, the demarcation has been established by securing “lechis,” best described as small plastic fastening strips, to existing utility poles and then stringing thin wires between them. These wires are so small that they are pretty much invisible to anyone not looking for them.
The court had to decide whether the Long Island Power Authority and Verizon (collectively the “Utilities”), violated the Constitution by virtue of allowing third party licensing agreements, thus permitting these lechis to be affixed to the poles in Westhampton Beach and other areas. The court sided with the Jewry that was in favor of the eruv, thus allowing the eruv to remain. The support position explains that the utilities are only accommodating a religious freedom, which is protected by the Constitution.
This is an issue that has been vociferously argued going all the way back to 2008. Jon Stewart even debated it on The Daily Show in 2011. (video embedded below)
Personally, I can only think of one reason why there would be any opposition at all to such a benign use of the utility poles: non-Jewish persons living in the area fearing the eruv would attract masses of Orthodox Jews to Westhampton as a result. And they may be right.
And that brings us back around to the opportunity. I believe, as do many of my real estate friends, that many Orthodox Jews have been waiting in the wings, to make sure that the court indeed upholds the eruv, before making a decision to buy or rent in Westhampton. Fortunately, the recent bouts of bad weather have delayed much of the activity in this regard.
So, if you want to make a fortune in real estate, don’t be caught letting the paint dry on the fence. BUY-BUY-BUY in Westhampton Beach before it’s too late and prices skyrocket.
And, if you are an Orthodox Jew who already lives within the eruv, I extend my congratulations. Those who were opposed to the eruv must acknowledge that a battle was fought, and to the victor goes the spoils, which in this case is a bunch of small, unrecognizable clips and wires that really should have no bearing or relevance to anyone outside the faith.
The whole affair does raise a question that I have not yet seen addressed in the media or court filings. I firmly believe that the precedent has already been set regarding the use of utility poles for religious purposes. Don’t those poles that also have a horizontal element, whereas wires are stretched on both sides, resemble the shape of a cross, and as such could be considered to be promoting Christianity?