- In what ways do ancient sources acknowledge non-binary gender?
- How have modern sources leveraged ancient sources in expression of support and acceptance of LGBTQ community members?
Challenges to Grapple With:
On Holiness [From Siddur Sha’ar Zahav]
We are your gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender children:
You must not seek vengeance, nor bear a grudge against the children of your people. (Leviticus19:18)
We are your bi, trans, lesbian, and gay parents:
Revere your mother and father, each one of you (Lev.19:3)
We are elderly lesbians, bisexuals, gay men and transgender people:
You shall rise before the aged and show deference to the old. (lev.19:32)
We are the stranger:
You must not oppress the stranger. You shall love the stranger as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt (lev.19:34)
We are lesbian, gay trans and bi Jews:
You must not hate your brother or sister in your heart (Lev.19:17)
We are lesbian, gay, trans, and bi victims of gay-bashing and murder:
You may not stand idly when your neighbor’s blood is being shed (Lev.19:16)
We are your bi, gay, trans, and lesbian neighbors:
You must not oppress your neighbor (Lev.19:13)
You must judge your neighbor justly (Lev.19:15)
You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself (Lev.19:18)
"Blessing for Pride" by Rabbi Joshua Zlochower, Rabbi Erica Steelman and Dr. Gloria Becker
This prayer was created to encourage and empower synagogues and organizations to incorporate LGBTIQ Pride into their synagogue celebrations on Shabbat.
Mekor HaChayim, Source of Life, You have blessed each of us with Your Spirit. In Your Wisdom, you have made each of us a unique treasure. M’ayan Chayeinu, Wellspring of our Lives, cause us to flow with courage, strength, and compassion to live our stories openly, proudly, and joyfully.
Shekhina shel Ahavah, Presence of Love, You embrace us with Your Love. May we embrace ourselves, our partners, our lovers, our friends, our children, our dear ones with the power of Your Ahavah Rabbah, Your Unending, Boundless Love.
Ru’ach HaShalom, Spirit of Peace and Wholeness, open our eyes to the gifts and blessings we offer and receive from each other; open our hearts to welcome each other fully and truly; open our hands to embrace, to support, to lift each other b’geela, b’reena, b’shalom, uv’rei-ut—with joy, with song, with peace, and with deep friendship.
Today, [on this Shabbat], as we celebrate renewal, Pride, and community, let us walk together with strength, compassion, and love.
(נְבָרֵךְ אֶת מַעְיַן חַיֵּינוּ תְּקַדֵּשׁ וּתְשַׂמֵּחַ אוֹתָנוּ (וְאֶת הֲשַׁבַּת
N’varech et Ma’a-yan Chayeinu, T’kadesh u’T’Sa’me’ach Otanu [V’et HaShabbat]. Amen.
We bless You, Wellspring of our Lives; May You fill us [and Shabbat] with joy and sanctity. Amen.
The following two texts from Leviticus have been used as the “proof-text” against LGBT equality and acceptance. Below each of the original texts, you will find an alternative interpretation.
Alternative interpretation of Leviticus 18:22 [sourced from Keshet]
V’et zakhar – And along with another male
lo tishkav – you shall not lie
mishkevei ishah – in forced sexual intercourses with a woman;
toevah hi – it is an abomination.
Alternative interpretation of Leviticus 20:13 [sourced from Keshet]
V’ish asher yishkav –Any man who shall lie
et zakhar –along with another male
mishk’vei ishah –in forced sexual intercourses with a woman
to’evah `asu sh’neihem –both of them [the men] have done an abomination
mot yumatu d’meihem bam –these [two men] shall surely die, their bloodguilt upon them.
Challenges to Grapple With: