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For thousands of years, people born without the ability to hear were often erroneously consigned to mentalinstitutions. It was not until a few hundred years ago that sign language and other techniques were developed to communicate with such people and even teach them how to speak so that they could make themselves understood.
The Gemara (Chagiga 3a; Yevamot 113a) rules that a cheresh - which here, and almost everywhere else in the Talmud, refers to one who can neither hear nor speak (Chagiga 2b) - is exempt from all mitzvot.1
JERUSALEM—If you are a religious deaf man in Israel, the traditional doors to Jewish learning have been in so many ways closed to you.
But Yosef Tolidano—a young deaf man descended from a long and distinguished line of Sephardic rabbis—has pulled open those doors, making it possible for the deaf to immerse themselves in the Talmud, which along with the Mishnah is known as Judaism’s “oral law.”
Photo: Inside Yosef Tolidano's kollel for the deaf in Jerusalem, called Ma’aseh Nissim (which means "the maker of miracles"). Photo: Courtesy Ma’aseh Nissim.
Our Way, the Orthodox Union program for the deaf and hard of hearing, has reissued a handy chart for the Chanukah holiday, featuring the three blessings in Hebrew, English and ASL and a chart with the laws and customs of the holiday.
Berlin — German President Joachim Gauck visited Friday a former workshop whose owner fought to save his Jewish staff from deportation, as Germany began marking the 75th anniversary of the Nazi Kristallnacht anti-Jewish pogrom.
Photo: German President Joachim Gauck (L) signs the guest book at the Otto Weidt Museum, as German-Israeli holocaust survivor Inge Deutshkron looks on, in Berlin on November 8, 2013. (AFP Photo/John MacDougall).
Gauck joined a Jewish former employee to visit the premises, now a museum in central Berlin, where Otto Weidt ran his brushes and brooms workshop, mostly staffed by deaf and blind Jews.
By Times of Israel staff November 14, 2013, 2:48 pm
Newly released sign language dictionary pokes fun at leading politicians — literally
In honor of the upcoming Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Day and the Institute for the Advancement of Deaf Persons’ 20th anniversary on November 19, the institute has introduced new Hebrew signs that gently mock notable Israeli politicians’ most distinct physical characteristics in sign language.
Photo: Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon speaks with deaf instructors as part of a promotion for Deaf Day at the Knesset, October 23, 2013 (photo credit: Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense/Flash90)
Ahead of Tuesday meetings in Knesset addressing solutions for Israel's deaf population, MKs film video of them 'singing' in sign language.
By Tova Dvorin, Arutz Sheva Staff First Publish: 11/19/2013, 1:42 AM Arutz Sheva www.IsraelNationalNews.com
A video has surfaced of MKs "singing" in sign language, in a project in solidarity with Israeli organizations for the deaf and hard of hearing.
A day of solidarity with organizations that advocate for the deaf will take place in the Knesset Tuesday, a result of an initiative by MK Shuli Muallem Refaeli (Bayit Yehudi/Jewish Home) and Deputy Minister of Education MK Avi Wortzman.
Discussions will be held in committees and before the entire plenum, in the special event to take place in the Knesset auditorium to mark 20 years since the establishment of the Institute for the Advancement of the Deaf. There will also be a special video screening.
"This is a day for us to pay attention and to place on our agenda the difficulties of deaf and hearing-challenged Israelis," MK Muallem Refaeli said. "I hope by the end of the day that we will have [enacted laws to] advance educational initiatives for the deaf from preschool to the workplace and beyond, and help them integrate with wider Israeli society."