For decades, deaf-mute bar mitzvah boys have not been called up to read from the Torah due to their disability. Now, following a new halachic issued by Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, these boys will be able to celebrate their coming of age just like their friends.
According to the Halacha, people called up to read from the Torah must say the blessing out loud, which is impossible for those who cannot hear nor speak. This situation caused a lot of distress for deaf-mute bar mitzvah boys, who have been praying for a solution.
Chabad-affiliated association Lend a Hand to a Special Kid, which helps children from Hadvir Hachadash school in Jerusalem celebrate their bar mitzvah, asked Metzger to find a solution for their distress.
The rabbi came up with an original idea: The boys will say the blessing in sign language, while someone in the audience will read the blessing out loud at the same time. The audience will hear the blessing and will be able to respond with “Amen.”
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