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Group Discussion: Future A.S.L. Approach Services

During break in Yom Kippur services, we had a discussion on using more ASL in future services. I explained that I read only two chapters (Ceremonials, Rites and Worship'' and "Jewish Signs and Vocabulary") from the book, The Deaf Jew in a Modem World, as these were much more related to the topic. I also added that this topic is a new idea, to start on something new and see how and where it may go.

"American Sign Language" (ASL) has its own grammar and is built "to be seen with ease and clarity (clear)."' For example: the word order in English is "set", such as subject-verb-object. In ASL, our sign order is "flexible" such as subject-bject-verb and/or verb-subject-object and still carry the same meaning.

There was not much discussion on the first chapter as most of the information were new to the participants. However, most made comments, feedbacks, and opinions on the next chapter "Jewish Signs and Vocabulary'' by Rabbi Daniel Grossman.

  1. Gives credit to the pioneers of Jewish sign language books/materials: Alex Fleischman, Meyer Lief and Adele Shuart

  2. A.S.L. translation should be from Hebrew, not through English translation of Hebrew
A. English translation limits our choice of signs, thus limiting the true flavor of Judaism (see the comparision of English and Hebrew translations below:)

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