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Hofstra Professor Helps Develops Sabbath Friendly Hearing Aid

Orthodox Jews who wear high-end, multi-program hearing aids often disable their devices’ most helpful features on the Jewish Sabbath, because they are concerned about inadvertently depressing a program button when they are inserting the instrument. Hofstra University Professor of Audiology Dr. Levi A. Reiter and Persona Medical Inc. have recently developed the new “EMET” hearing aid, which circumvents the problem of activating buttons or switches on the Sabbath, making it the world’s mist Sabbath-friendly hearing aid.

According to Jewish Law, operating electronic switching mechanisms may violate one of the principles of Sabbath observance. Orthodox Jews often choose to have their audiologist program the instrument’s software to disable the multi-program option. These multi-program features are designed to increase ease of listening in various sound environments, e.g., restaurants, music venues, traffic noise, etc. While this solves the Sabbath problem, it also denies the wearer access to program selection during the week when it could be very useful.

The new EMET hearing aid, inscribed with the Hebrew font meaning “true” (as in true sound), enables a hearing aid wearer to activate the multi-program option. Therefore, during the week the wearer has full access to any one of four listening programs. Before the Sabbath arrives the wearer can select the listening program he/she prefers for the day. The chosen program cannot be altered inadvertently. Once the Sabbath is over, the wearer can again assume full access to a wide range of listening settings.

Dr. Reiter says, “Fortunately we have been able to apply the EMET concept to all known hearing aid types, including the tiny custom, ‘deep canal’ fittings, the full rang of ‘in-the-ear’ sizes and the ‘behind-the-ear’ series, including ‘slim tube’ open ear fittings, ‘receiver-in-the-canal’ instruments, and powerful behind-the-ear hearing aids.”

Dr. Reiter first made news in 2006 when he composed a rap song for Hofstra’s freshman orientation, titled, “Say What?,” explaining the importance of the field of audiology. For this, the grandfather of 26 received the admiration of his students as well as the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), which adopted it for its recruitment efforts. Click Here To Download Dr. Reiter’s Rap

In 2008 Dr. Reiter was again in the news for his diagnosis of an Ear-Kiss Syndrome, which was subsequently named “Reiter’s Ear-Kiss Syndrome” (REKS). One of his patients, a young mother, suffered permanent hearing loss when her toddler daughter gave her a strong kiss on the ear. Dr. Reiter’s research found this condition is much more common than previously thought, and he started a campaign to get people to be more mindful of any shows of affection near the sensitive ear area. His work in this area has also made audiologists more mindful of this condition and its causes.

About Adam Bernstein

Adam Bernstein is the owner of The Hearing Professionals, Milwaukee's premier hearing healthcare facility. As the owner of The Hearing Professionals, Mr. Bernstein has over 20 years of experience in the hearing healthcare industry. He began his career in 1995 at GN Danavox, one of the largest hearing aid manufacturers in the world. After leaving Danavox, Mr. Bernstein opened two hearing healthcare offices in Chicago, IL. In 2001 he moved to Milwaukee, WI and opened The Hearing Professionals. In 2008 he added a second Wisconsin office in the town of Brookfield. Today The Hearing Professionals is the largest private audiology practice in SE Wisconsin. Mr. Bernstein has written numerous articles on hearing healthcare which has appeared in newspapers throughout the country and has been interviewed by news programs regarding advances in the hearing industry. Mr. Bernstein a member of Unitron’s Customer Advisory Board and a graduate of The University of Minnesota. You can email him at and you can visit The Hearing Professionals at

One response »

  1. Very Cool. I will tell all my religious friends about this new hearing aid.


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