Chagigah 3 - The case of a deaf-mute

Earlier we said that a deaf-mute does not need to appear in the Temple . Presumably, this is because he in general does not have to do the mitzvot, not being in full possessions of his senses, and that is why he is mentioned next to a deranged person.

What about one who is only deaf or only mute? Generally, he has to do the mitzvot, but he still does not have to go to the Temple. Why? We have do admit that our ruling is incomplete, and some words we intentionally omitted by the teacher. Since going to the Temple on a Holiday is for the purpose of hearing and learning , and one who is deaf cannot hear, while a mute cannot learn, they don't have to go. However, the joy of the Holiday is still for them, and they should bring a "peace offering of joy" and eat it.

But is it really true that one who cannot talk can't learn? Why, there were two mute brothers who always attended the lessons of Rabbi Yehudah the Prince, and nodded in agreement, and moved their lips, so in the end Rabbi Yehudah prayed for them and they recovered, and it was found out that they knew all parts of the Torah!? True, but the purpose of learning is also teaching, and a mute cannot teach.

What does it mean that " The words of the Wise are as goads and as nails well planted... given by one Shepherd "? - That just like goads direct a cow in the field, so the words of the Torah direct people to ways of life; and that they are fastened steady like nails. However, while nails take away from the object into which they are fastened, the mitzvot are "planted" and give back to those who observe them. Finally, they all come from one Master, and even though the Sages disagree, one can still find a correct way.

Art: Two Brothers by Maurice Leloir