In many cities, the most time-consuming part of constructing a new eruv is obtaining necessary permissions from the local municipality. For practical reasons, safety, aesthetics and several other reasons, local officials discuss, propose, analyze and deliberate all aspects of the eruv plans for inordinate amounts of time.  So as we planned an expansion for the eruv in Atlanta, GA, I was somewhat wary of asking permission from the CDC (Center for Disease Control, a federal agency) to use the long fence around their campus as a mechitza (halachic wall) for the eruv. The CDC is just northwest of Emory University and just one mile south of the frum community in Toco Hills. Its border fence was an ideal way to include Emory in the eruv, but approaching a federal agency (particularly the CDC, post-COVID) seemed daunting.

I decided to do my hishtadlus by contacting the CDC and outlining our basic request to make use of their fence for eruv purposes. Imagine my surprise when I received a warmly encouraging email response the very next day! Our request was considered by the CDC with respectful alacrity, and in a matter of weeks, I was being escorted by a senior official of the CDC around the campus to ensure that the fence was suitable for our needs. As we cruised along in a CDC golf cart, stopping every now and then for me to measure the gap between the fence and the ground, I marveled at the willingness of this federal agency to respond to the religious needs of our community. I honestly felt that all this polite professionalism was too good to be true,  but true it was. In short order, we had security clearance and official permission to attach poles and string to the CDC fence, rendering it an integrated part of the greater Atlanta eruv.

The entire CDC experience took less than a month, bringing to mind the quote from R’ Nissim Gaon, ישועת ה’ כהרף עין. May we be zoche to many more yeshuos in the future.