I was told that sign language does not qualify as actual speech (ergo one cannot make a beracha via sign language) as such would obscene gestures be permissible (since they would ostensibly not violate nivel peh, as they are not made by the mouth) or would they be forbidden for some other reason?

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    Kedoshim Tihiyu - Al Tihiye Naval B'Reshus HaTorah Nov 23, 2012 at 2:31
  • If you do something with the intention of hurting/offending another person, what does it matter whether you did it with your speech or your actions? Nov 10, 2014 at 5:45
  • @Bachrach44 I don't think he is discussing onaas devarim, but rather nivul peh ( I'll admit that I don't fully understand the parameters of either, but that distinction might answer your question )
    – MTL
    Nov 10, 2014 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


There is a Ben Yehoyada in כתובות דף ח ע׳ב who points out that Chazzal made a distinction between נבול פה, and כל המנבל פיו. The first refers to speaking perverse language, the second refers to making perverse gestures with one's tongue.

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    What does that have to do with making hand gestures?
    – MTL
    Nov 10, 2014 at 2:16
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    @Shoket i think one can learn from there not to make obscene gestures with any body part, but chazzal picked one that was a common one, as he says there 'the way the scoffers do'. Feel free to disagree. And i plugged in the maareh makom. Had to check it up first.
    – user6591
    Nov 10, 2014 at 2:23
  • I'll take a look -- thanks for finding the mareh makom. After I see it inside I'll see what I think of it.
    – MTL
    Nov 10, 2014 at 2:24
  • I just love editing old questions and having them turn up with an answer in under ten minutes :-) ....apparently, you weren't here when this question was asked.
    – MTL
    Nov 10, 2014 at 2:27
  • @Shokhet it is pretty amusing:) so you just go perusing through the old questions and are michata bigachalim by editing?
    – user6591
    Nov 10, 2014 at 2:32

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