How Do You Spell “Chanukah” In Sign Language?

ASLIt turns out our deaf and hard-of-hearing brothers and sisters have the same issues as the rest of us — there’s just no “right” way to spell Chanukah in American Sign Language.

Much like Judaism, Deaf culture is always in danger of being lost to assimilation, in this case caused by cochlear implants and other methods of “fixing” deafness, but it seems many deaf Jews manage to maintain both identities proudly. According to a 1998 j. article there are about 10,000 Jewish deaf people in the world, including the completely fabulous actress/activist Marlee Matlin. There’s a synagogue for the deaf, Temple Beth Solomon in Tarzana, CA, as well as matchmaking for deaf Jewish singles facilitated by the Orthodox Union.

These “I Love Chanukah” notecards hail from Harris Communications, which also offers a DVD featuring ASL signs for the holiday blessings, including the Sh’ma, and a holiday-themed rubber stamp.

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