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Ocular diseases have always been a part of Jewish life; from our patriarchs and
matriarchs, to our great sages, and all the way to modern times. This paper elaborates on the
ocular diseases of Yitzchak, a patriarch, and Leah, a matriarch, as a more comprehensive
explanation based on today’s medicine. This allows one to understand how Yitzchak and
Leah dealt with their ocular diseases’ respectively, as well as how it affected their lives.
The ocular diseases in the times of the Gemarah were also evaluated to understand
how they affected people’s lives. At first glance of the Gemarah it seems to imply that blind
people are not regarded as smart or capable of doing the mitzvos, commandments. When
looked at more analytically it can be seen that the exemptions from certain mitzvos are based
on the blinds abilities in their societies. In the times of the Gemarah it seems as if blind
people were not fully integrated into the community and could not accomplish everything
that a seeing Jew could. As time changed the halachos, Jewish laws, in regards to the blind
changed. This fluid nature in regards to the blind’s obligations can be used to parallel their a
increased abilities as well as involvement in their communities. As blind people were more
incorporated into the community, they were given permission to perform more of the