This week is Transgender Awareness Week. This issue has, as many of you know, become more openly discussed in recent years. It is being played out in many of our families and, no doubt, many of you who read this, as grandparents of young people living this, have been involved in serious and caring discussions. Some of you may have even asked what our tradition has to say about this.
During the time of the Jewish Family Concerns Department of the Union for Reform Judaism, we developed a resource book called KULANU, which traced the history of LGBTQ issues in the Reform Movement. It contained resolutions, prayers, sermons and rituals. One of the prayers that we published, developed by Rabbi Elliot Kukla, was a Blessing for Transitioning Genders. We are printing it here so that, if you are experiencing this in your family and wish to have Judaism speak to this, you have a blessing.
Baruch Atah Adonai, Melech Ha Olom Ha’ma’avir Ha’Ovrim
Blessed is the Eternal, Ruler of time and space, the Transitioning One to those who transform/transition/cross over
Baruch Atah Adonai Eloheinu Melech Ha’olom, she’asani B’tzelem Elohim
Blessed is the Eternal, Ruler of time and space, who has made me in God’s image
Baruch Atah Adonai, Eloheinu Melech Ha’olom, sh’hech’yanu, v’kiyamanu, v’higiyanu lazman, hazeh
Blessed is the Eternal, Ruler of time and space, who has kept us alive and sustained us and helped us arrive as this moment
Rabbi Richard F. Address
Rabbi Richard F. Address, D.Min, is the Founder and Director of www.jewishsacredaging.com. Rabbi Address served for over three decades on staff of the Union for Reform Judaism; first as a Regional Director and then, beginning in 1997, as Founder and Director of the URJ’s Department of Jewish Family Concerns and served as a specialist and consultant for the North American Reform Movement in the areas of family related programming. Rabbi Address was ordained from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 1972 and began his rabbinic career in Los Angeles congregations. He also served as a part time rabbi for Beth Hillel in Carmel, NJ while regional director and, after his URJ tenure, served as senior rabbi of Congregation M’kor Shalom in Cherry Hill, NJ from 2011-2014.