Chapter 6, Mishna 1
The first commandment is “Be fruitful and multiply.” If it only meant “Reproduce,” then “be fruitful” would be redundant. Be fruitful is the secret to life: bearing fruit is what we souls were sent here to do! Six chapters into tractate Eruvin, we’re finally coming to the heart of the matter. Why was it necessary to symbolically join courtyards for the purpose of carrying on Shabbos? Because King Solomon decreed that we may not carry in the courtyard of our home if other people have legal rights in that courtyard, unless we enter into a spiritual partnership with them – the eruv. What if they are unwilling or unable to enter into that partnership with us? What if the neighbor is a star worshipper? What if he is a Sadducee? What if he’s a Jew who forgot to join or a Jew who is away on Shabbos? What is the fruit of this discussion? Choose your neighbors wisely, and then work with them carefully so each of you may be as fruitful as possible.