A recently erected eruv has sparked controversy in Mahwah. In this video, some Mahwah residents give their opinions on the matter.
Kevin R. Wexler/

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?


Auntie who?

Anti-Semitism is never wise and knock-knock jokes are rarely funny.

On Thursday, the Mahwah Township Council introduced a “no-knock” ordinance. It would create a registry of homeowners who do not want solicitors from banging on their doors. Violators would be fined $100 for a first-time offense. Other communities along the New York border had enacted similar ordinances. In Mahwah, it’s a pre-emptive strike against the imagined invasion of Orthodox Jews from New York.

Mahwah: Mahwah council introduces ‘no-knock’ ordinance to limit soliciting

Doblin: Eruvs, ghettos, gated communities and a dancing ape

It all began with some PVC piping on utility poles. To put it in its most offensive terms, it would follow the adage: First comes the eruv, then the Orthodox Jews. At least I hope that sounds offensive. Anti-Semitic. And just wrong on every level. But to some people in Mahwah it does not.

What sounds wrong to them are the sounds of Orthodox children – from out of state no less – playing in in their parks and of real estate agents ringing doorbells street by street offering buckets of cash for homes sought by Orthodox families. Even worse than those sounds is someone saying “Lakewood,” a community with a large Orthodox Jewish population.

Some Mahwah residents fear their town will be flooded by Orthodox couples who do not practice birth control, who send their many, many children to private schools, and who overrun school boards and town councils until zoning laws change, public schools collapse and property values tumble.

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