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Blessings for Gender Transitioning, by Rabbi Elliot Kukla

https://opensiddur.org/?p=41753 Blessings for Gender Transitioning, by Rabbi Elliot Kukla 2022-01-03 16:24:09 "Blessings for Gender Transitioning" was written by Rabbi Elliot Kukla and first published on <a href="https://www.ritualwell.org/ritual/blessings-gender-transitioning">Ritualwell</a> in 2013. Text the Open Siddur Project Elliot Kukla Elliot Kukla https://opensiddur.org/copyright-policy/ Elliot Kukla https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/ Well-being, health, and caregiving transgender 21st century C.E. 58th century A.M. gender identity gender transition
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Source (Hebrew) Translation (English) Transliteration (romanized Hebrew)
Blessings for Gender Transitioning
The first blessing refers to God as the “Transforming One”—”Ha’Ma’avir”—sharing the root of the word Ivrim (Hebrews). Jews are Ivrim—the “crossing over” people—because we “crossed over” the Jordan River into Canaan to escape our oppression in Egypt, and we spiritually “transformed” ourselves. (In Modern Hebrew, this verb root is used to form the word “ma’avar,” which means among other things to “transition genders.”)
 
To be recited before any moment of transition:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ
מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
הַמַּעֲבִיר אֶת הָעוֹבְרִים׃
Blessed are You,
Eternal One, our God,
Ruler of Time and Space,
the Transforming One to those who transition/transform/cross over.
Barukh Ata
Adonai Eloheinu
Melekh Ha-Olam,
Ha’Ma’avir et ha’Ovrim.
The second blessing is adapted from liberal morning liturgy. The Midrash (classical Jewish exegesis) says that the first human being was an androgynos, an intersex person—implying that all bodies and genders are created in God’s image—whether we are male, female, transgender, intersex or something else. When we take steps, physically or spiritually, to more fully manifest our gender identities, we are fulfilling the commandment “to partner with God in completing the work of creation.”
 
To be recited afterwards:
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ
מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
שֶׁעָשָׂנִי בְּצַלְמוֹ וְכִרְצוֹנָה׃
Blessed are You,
Eternal One, our God,
Ruler of Time and Space,
Who has made me in His image and according to Her will.
Barukh Ata
Adonai Eloheinu
Melekh Ha-Olam
Sh’asani B’tzalmo v’kirtzonah.
The final blessing is the traditional Sheheḥiyanu prayer, recited when we experience something new or reach a milestone. Saying this prayer at moments of transition celebrates God’s nurturing and sustaining presence in allowing us to reach this point of self-transformation. This blessing is in the plural (“us” instead of “me”) and it also expresses the hope that we are collectively transitioning as a people: to honor and celebrate the lives of people of all genders.
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ
מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם,
שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ
וְקִיְּמָנוּ
וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמָן הַזֶּה׃
Blessed are You,
Eternal One, our God,
Ruler of Time and Space,
who has kept us alive
and sustained us
and helped us to arrive at this moment.
Barukh Ata
Adonai Eloheinu
Melekh Ha-Olam
Sh’hechianu,
v’kiyimanu,
v’higiyanu, la-zman hazeh.

“Blessings for Gender Transitioning” was written by Rabbi Elliot Kukla and first published on Ritualwell in 2013.

 

 

 

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