“Teach us to feel proud of all of our identities”: Time and space in an American queer Jewish liturgy

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Since the late 1960s, the American Jewish community has worked to find creative ways to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Queer+ (LGBTQ+) people in community practices and Jewish liturgy. The pioneering egalitarian denomination was and remains the Reform Jewish Movement, which promotes and supports gender equality and sexual diversity. This paper proposes a typology of queer Jewish liturgy based on classification into two categories: time and space. By exploring these specific categories, the texts expose a bipolar relationship between LGBTQ+s and divine individuals, LGBTQ+s and heterosexual/cisgender individuals, and LGBTQ+s and themselves. By analyzing particular queer prayers, I argue that this liturgy, created by American Jewish clergy, is characterized by inherent structural contradictions, which reflect tendencies and changes not only in non-halachic Jewish communities but also in queer ideology and gay politics. Thus, the textual dimension is revealed as a vivid landscape that characterizes the dynamics of LGBTQ+ Jewish people between temporal, fragile, and safe spaces, painful memories and proud feelings, and victim consciousness and social agency.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12486
JournalReligion Compass
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


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