Not by Bread Alone Do We Live

January 2nd 2011

Not by Bread Alone Do We Live; Being a Part of the Deaf/Blind Community in Israel

The only theatre troupe of its kind in existence, the Nalaga’at Theater (“Don’t Touch” Theatre) in Jaffa aims to illustrate to the audience the complexity and beauty of the lives of the seeing and hearing disabled.

The show opens up with cast members kneading bread, talking about their life’s ambitions. Sounds inspiring enough as it is.  But something additional about this performance separates it far beyond any other show you may see in Israel ( or anywhere else in the world)- all of the actors speaking to you are either blind or deaf.

What does it mean to be blind? How does it feel to be deaf? Encouraging you to witness it for yourself, visitors are offered food at the adjoining restaurant and café. Led to their tables at the Blackout Restaurant, sitting in complete darkness, guests interact with other guests and waiters surrounding them. At the Kappish Café, customers order drinks through sign language illustrated menus to the deaf waiters assisting them.

This is a place that empowers disabled Israelis to take on positions of leadership and education, creatively bringing the seeing/hearing population into a world that is not often understood or experienced. Leave with a tremendous sense of appreciation and inspiration, something powerful to carry you throughout the rest of your travels in Israel.  Touring Israel is not only about being inspired by the history, archeology, or religious significance, it’s also about experiencing the Israel people.