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We have a many hearing-impaired people in our shul. Even with a microphone on, there is a lot of distortion and people can't hear well.

We received a PowerPoint Megilla reading CD from Our Way, a division of OU that provides services to the deaf and hearing impaired. The CD presents a screen containing about 2 verses of the Megillah on each screen. As the Ba'al Kri'ah reads the Megilla, someone coordinates the PowerPoint slide so that it displays the verses he is reading.

Question:

I know that the mitzvah is to hear the reading. These people hear some sound, but, as mentioned, it is distorted. Additionally, many of these same people don't really understand Hebrew. So, in a sense, the presentation helps both the hearing-impaired as well as others who can't quite follow where we are.

Is the combo of hearing some "part" of the words (i.e. - "partial" distorted hearing) combined with this reading on screen fulfilling the mitzvah of Megilla reading?

Related question - for those who can hear correctly, staring at the screen causes a possible distraction from hearing the actual reading. (Though, IMO, no more distracting than anxious kids sitting near you jumping around to hear the 1st "Haman".) Is this possible distraction halachically problematic as it may discourage the hearing public from listening to the actual reading?

  • Seems like Rfפ. – msh210 Mar 3 '15 at 4:07
  • Presumably, someone who cannot hear is anus and therefore patur from megillah reading. Someone who can hear in a private setting, but not a shul, would presumably need to attend a private reading. Or a shul with better acoustics – LN6595 Mar 4 '15 at 0:50
  • @LN6595 What does hearing have to do with megillah reading? If you can't hear then you just can't utilize Shomea KeOneh to read the Megillah – Double AA May 10 '16 at 19:36
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    @DanF ודע דמי שכבדו אזניו או שהוא רחוק מן הבימה ואינו יכול לשמוע היטיב מן הקורא יזהר לקרות לעצמו ממגילה כשרה או עכ"פ יאחוז חומש והתיבות שיחסר לו יאמר תיכף מן החומש. – רבות מחשבות Feb 20 '18 at 16:30
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    @DanF presumably, as I think the Sevara is that it is considered baal peh and you can read it partly baal peh. – רבות מחשבות Feb 20 '18 at 16:39

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