As we approach Deaf and Hard-of -Hearing Awareness Shabbat, I am reminded of Leviticus 19:14, "You shall not insult the deaf."
The history of Hanukkah squeezes us between two competing narratives: one of idealization
“Who’s that guy?” I asked my mom.
“He’s the rabbi,” she answered. I stared up at my mom, with a blank gaze on my face.
When I was eight years old, my family joined a synagogue for the first time.
Like most parents, from the time we gave birth to our son, we had many hopes and dreams for him. We wanted him to have a good education, have friends and grow up to live a happy and prosperous life.
In Parashat Emor, the Torah reports that a man born of mixed Israelite-Egyptian descent “blasphemed the Name [of God],” was placed on trial, and was stoned to death. A law was then enacted that anyone, Jewish or gentile, who blasphemes the name of God shall be put to death. Over time, in communities throughout the world, laws against blasphemy were put in place to address curses leveled at God as well as perceived slights against some religions.