Intensions of the Heart: How Deafness and Disability Define Halakha

What does being Deaf and/or disabled have to do with someone’s ability to participate in Jewish life? Can we learn about Deaf and/or disabled people’s place within the Jewish world by how the Talmud discusses the reading of Megillat Esther (The Book of Esther)? How does early rabbinic understanding of “understanding” influence who is considered obligated in doing mitsvoth and in fully participating in Jewish community?

Together with the brilliant teacher of Torah and disability, noa ilana, let's explore how Deafness and disability shape halakhic understanding and define personhood within Jewish community, and what that means for us as Jewish radicals today, committed to a world in which all of us are cherished for the ways in which we “understand.”

While this class aims to centre d/Deaf and disabled folks, non-Deaf non-disabled learners are very much welcome - please come and learn!

Texts include passages from the Talmud, modern Deaf and disabled Jewish sages, and more. Fairied by co-rosh Yeshivas Binya and Xava.


Five Sundays

March 5 -> April 2

5-7pm ET/2-4pm PT


Accessibility notes:

- Live captioning

- ASL interpretation

- 10 minute break

- Recordings available

- Slides & materials sent out before class


This is a text study class, where most text will be learned in the Svara method of Talmud. Previous knowledge of this method is not necessary, as we will provide pre-class introductory materials for this method for those who need it.

Knowing your alef-bet (Jewish alphabet) is a prerequisite. If you would like to learn your alef-bet for this class, we can help you do so.


Learning will be a mix of full group and xevruta/pair study. You will be matched with a xevruta after registration.

Three of our classes will require an hour of xevruta prep beforehand. These classes are: 3/12, 3/19 and 3/26.

This hour of prep can happen during the week between classes, or during a guided hour right before class. The guided hour will be held the hour immediately before class, from 4-5pm ET/1-2pm PT. It will include a 10 minute break before class starts. You and your xevruta will decide which option works best for y'all.

More info and instruction will be sent after registration.


This class is $118, NOTAFLOF. Full sliding scale will be shown at checkout.


If you have any questions please email:

NOTE: For this class, there is an option to audit. This would mean that you would not get paired with a xevruta, but could come to classes/watch recordings. This is optimal for people who cannot make several of the class times, but still want access to the learning/materials. Please reach out to us at the email above, if you'd like to audit in this fashion.