Rav Metzger Halachic Ruling Allows Deaf-Mute Boys to Bracha at Torah in Sign Language


yona-metzgerFor 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 bracha 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 a school in Yerushalayim celebrate their bar mitzvah, asked Rav Metzger to find a solution for their distress.

Rav Metzger came up with an original idea: The boys will say the bracha in sign language, while someone in the audience will read the bracha out loud at the same time. The audience will hear the bracha and will be able to respond with “Amen.”

Rav Metzger recently visited the special care school with the association’s chairman, Rabbi Mendy Blinitzky. One of the students, Itzik Bondtzek, thanked him excitedly for his initiative.


{Matzav.com Israel}


  1. Social Justice !!!

    Why not do away with all the Halachot that are not Liberal ???

    If it wouldn’t be so serious, I would laugh. “Rabbi” Just means that he is called [& paid to be] such.

  2. Title is misleading. The Bracha is really being said by someone else who should be standing near the Torah and reading along with the Baal Koreh. The child who is deaf doing signis a nice way to make him feel good, but in reality HE is not making the Bracha!

  3. Great idea since someone else is saying the brocha outloud anyway. Baruch Hashem to give these boys an opportunity to have an accomplishment.

  4. Sounds like the one making the Bracha actually got the aliyah. By the way, when one is called to the Torah, he must read along at a whisper. Will the one reciting the Bracha do that to? He should

  5. This article shows how misleading the press can be and how silly people can be. Rabbi Metzger does not allow Deaf/mute bar-mitvah boys to make the Bracha he allows them to symbolically make the bracha. We should always be more careful to look for the true intentions of the writer.