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Tel Aviv - First Sign Language Megila Reading Takes Place

Published on: February 24, 2013 08:59 PM
By: Jerusalem Post
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Tel Aviv - The Institute for the Advancement of the Deaf and the national-religious rabbinic association Tzohar joined together on Purim to hold for the first time a sign-language megila reading for the deaf and hard of hearing.

More than 600 people turned up to the Tel Aviv International Synagogue on Saturday night for the unique reading of the Book of Esther, one of the central customs of Purim.

As the megila was read aloud, a designated translator provided a simultaneous translation into sign language from atop a raised platform at the front of the synagogue.

The event was broadcast live over the Internet by Ynet.

Rabbi Ariel Konstantyn, the founder of the Tel Aviv International Synagogue and head of the community, said that it was important on Purim to include all members of society in the megila reading.

“We were saved on Purim because the Jews came together as a people and through that merit, God acted to deliver us from our enemies,” Konstantyn said.

“This unity is important and we can’t have an element of society missing out on an important experience of the Purim holiday, so this was the motivation behind the megila sign language initiative.”

Yael Kakon, director of the institute, also noted the importance of helping “the deaf and hard of hearing to enjoy the special experience of the Purim megila reading.”

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The Purim celebrations at the Tel Aviv International Synagogue also included a Jewish rock concert, an open bar and a communal version of the traditional Purim meal.

In addition to the sign-language reading, Tzohar helped stage 192 megila readings around the country in 100 cities, towns, villages and kibbutzim.

“Sometimes salvation comes from the most unexpected place – us,” said Rabbi Boaz Ganut, head of Tzohar’s community division. “Before Queen Esther went out to carry out her duty and help save the Jewish people from the decrees of Haman, she requested from Mordechai to gather the Jewish people together, since she understood that only if the connection between us all is alive and well can delivery come,” the rabbi continued, in reference to the importance of bringing Jewish people together for communal readings on Purim.

Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post

 

 


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1

 Feb 24, 2013 at 11:21 PM Rut24 Says:

B"H! Awesome! This also happens in NYC at least in the past, I hope they continue w/ interpreting the Esther Migla as it is important for our Jewish deaf community. :)

2

 Feb 25, 2013 at 08:13 AM qazxc Says:

Isn't anyone going to kvetch

3

 Feb 25, 2013 at 10:17 AM bored Says:

Reply to #2  
qazxc Says:

Isn't anyone going to kvetch

Kvetch about what? the fact that they are not yotzeh? Why? They can ingest matzah by intravenous on pessach too. And sit in a virtual succah on succos. It's sweet. However for a cheresh to be yotzeh his obligation of Krias megilah he would have to read it himself.

4

 Feb 25, 2013 at 10:31 AM Secular Says:

Someone who is deaf is exempt.

Nevertheless, how do you sign 'achashtranim bnei HaRamachim'?

5

 Feb 25, 2013 at 10:48 AM yaakov doe Says:

Curious as to have they do Haman's sons in one breath in sign language.

7

 Feb 25, 2013 at 12:05 PM The_Truth Says:

There was similar event on Long Island (dont recall exactly where now)

8

 Feb 25, 2013 at 12:46 PM esther Says:

Reply to #3  
bored Says:

Kvetch about what? the fact that they are not yotzeh? Why? They can ingest matzah by intravenous on pessach too. And sit in a virtual succah on succos. It's sweet. However for a cheresh to be yotzeh his obligation of Krias megilah he would have to read it himself.

you're missing the point and being unkind at the same time. this is about being part of the larger jewish community.

9

 Feb 25, 2013 at 12:47 PM esther Says:

wow,deaf jokes in 2013.shame on you.

10

 Feb 25, 2013 at 04:33 PM bored Says:

Reply to #8  
esther Says:

you're missing the point and being unkind at the same time. this is about being part of the larger jewish community.

I think I hit the nail on the head. Lest we delude ourselves into becoming a feel-good almost-religion, we should acknowledge the truth. Btw aren't you supposed to say 'how sad for you'?

11

 Feb 25, 2013 at 08:09 PM esther Says:

Reply to #10  
bored Says:

I think I hit the nail on the head. Lest we delude ourselves into becoming a feel-good almost-religion, we should acknowledge the truth. Btw aren't you supposed to say 'how sad for you'?

nope,that nails still untouched. you need to educate your self about inclusion in the jewish community. ohel would be a good place to start.

12

 Feb 25, 2013 at 10:25 PM bored Says:

Now I understand where your attitude comes from. You are a secretary for a social service agency and you convinced yourself that you have an 'in' to the inner workings of the human psyche and you think that only you have a clear vision of decency. How amusing.

13

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