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We thank Peter and Debbie Friedmann for their inspiration and support.
We thank Neil and Emily Kishter for their generosity and caring.
Coming out is acknowledging that each of us is created in the image of God. A divine spark resides within us all.
When we live our truest self, we affirm the God that created us and the sacred spark within us. When we conceal our identity, our life cannot fulfill its God-given potential. The journey of coming out is self-revelation, different for each person, bringing new life, new love and new purpose.
May God give you the strength and wisdom to be the person you truly are. As God’s self is beyond all gender, so may you embody your unique qualities of love and being that transcend all language. We thank God for making each of us according to God’s will.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, creator of the universe, who made me according to Your will.
.בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יהו׳׳ה אֱלהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁעָשַׂנִי כִּרְצוֹנוֹ
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha-olam She-asani kirtzono.
And God created humans in God’s own image, in the image of God, God created them; [in a range of genders] God created them.
The secret of love, how can it be contained
The heart and the tear are talebearers.
The heart is restrained from what it seeks,
Shut up and be passion of him besieged,
Unable to obtain its desire.
If it presumes to attain to the stars,
Its pride is brought down, laid low.
Beloved like a hart, with heart of a panther,
If you desire to slay,
My heart is in your hand as clay.
But do not summon wanderings upon it.
For in its midst your name is sheltered.
Beloved, like a scarlet cord his lips,
Burning like fire for they are his censer,
And in them is the work of his signs.
Live by them, for it waits for them –
A heart long suffering because of them.
How my fate has hardened its spirit.
A while and separation will cause it to be odious
To my friends who knew its thoughts.
If wandering has separated us,
It has increased love.
I will watch for the gazelle
To leave in the garden my pleasures,
Although my rebuker stands to accuse me.
Isaac ibn Abraham, 12th century Spain.
You have been called to be true to your inner self —
you have taken the brave step to renew yourself
so that you can be wholly who you are.
You have chosen to recognize this transformation,
to distinguish this transformation as a holy moment,
in the midst of your Jewish community.
In Torah, the Jewish people are “The ivrim, the Hebrews,”
the crossing-over people.
As we crossed over the Red Sea to escape slavery,
to escape the narrow places of Mitzrayim, of Egypt,
we transformed ourselves —
a painful yet redemptive spiritual transition.
Rabbah Rona Matlow as seen on Ritualwell.org.
Raise a shout for Adonai,
all the earth worship Adonai in gladness.
Come into God’s presence with shouts of joy. Acknowledge that Adonai is God;
God made us and we belong to God.
God’s people, the flock God tends.
Enter these gates with praise,
These courts with praise,
Praise God! Bless God’s name!
For Adonai is good;
God’s steadfast love is eternal;
God’s faithfulness is for all generations.
ה’ זְכָרָֽנוּ יְבָרֵךְ, יְבָרֵךְ אֶת בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, יְבָרֵךְ אֶת בֵּית אַהֲרֹן. יְבָרֵךְ יִרְאֵי ה’, הַקְּטַנִּים עִם הַגְּדֹלִים. יֹסֵף ה’ עֲלֵיכֶם, עֲלֵיכֶם וְעַל בְּנֵיכֶם. בְּרוּכִים אַתֶּם לַה, עֹשֵׂה שָׁמַֽיִם וָאָֽרֶץ. הַשָּׁמַֽיִם שָׁמַֽיִם להָ, וְהָאָֽרֶץ נָתַן לִבְנֵי אָדָם. לֹא הַמֵּתִים יְהַלְלוּ יָהּ, וְלֹא כָּל יֹרְדֵי דוּמָה. וַאֲנַֽחְנוּ נְבָרֵךְ יָהּ, מֵעַתָּה וְעַד עוֹלָם, הַלְלוּיָהּ.
Transliteration: Hashem z’kharanu y’varekh, y’varekh et beyt Yisrael, y’varekh et beyt Aharon. Y’varekh yirey Hashem, haktanim im hag’dolim. Yosef Hashem aleykhem, aleykhem v’al b’neykhem. B’rukhim atem la, osheyh shamayim va’aretz. Hashamayim lah, v’ha’aretz natan livney adam. Lo hameytim y’hal’luyah, v’lo kol yirdey dumah. V’anakhnu n’varekh Yah, meyatah v’ad olam haleylulah.
O God! Remember us, bless, the One who blesses the house of Israel, the house of Jacob. Who blesses those reverent of God the great and the small. May God increase you all, you and your children. Blessing all of you, Maker of heaven and earth. Heaven is God’s and the earth is given to humankind. Neither the dead will praise God, nor those who go down into the deep dark. We will praise and bless God from this day until forever. Praise God!