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Our Own LGBTQ+ Affirming Prayer Books

Bet Mishpachah’s unique prayer books reflect the spiritual values of our congregation. Our siddur for Shabbat, festivals, and special occasions, Shavat va-Yinafash ("Rest and Be Renewed"); our machzor for the High Holy Days, Chadeish Yameinu ("Renew Our Days"); and our shiva book for a house of mourning, Ha-Makom Y’nacheim ("Source of Comfort") were developed by our Liturgy Committee to meet our needs as LGBTQ+ Jews and allies.

Shavat va-Yinafash offers a wide variety of prayers, readings, and meditations by contemporary liturgists, including LGBTQ+ writers and several members of Bet Mishpachah. Several special prayers from a trans perspective are also included.  The siddur includes services for Shabbat evening and morning, including the service for reading the Torah. It also includes the Amida for festivals and weekdays, and selected prayers and readings for holidays and special occasions throughout the year. The English translations use gender-neutral terminology with respect to God, and both male and female forms with respect to people are used in Hebrew and in English. We have also added many references to women, such as all six Matriarchs and the Prophet Miriam. Some Hebrew prayers are in the feminine gender. Much of the translation of the traditional Hebrew prayers is original to Bet Mishpachah and is uplifting and inspiring in new ways. All Hebrew is transliterated.

The first hardbound edition of Shavat va-Yinafash was published in 1991. It was the first hard cover degenderized siddur ever published. It was adopted by several other LGBTQ+ synagogues around the country, including those in Cleveland, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Dallas.

We dedicated the updated and expanded second hardcover edition of our unique prayer book, Shavat va-Yinafash, at our weekly Shabbat service on December 1, 2017. Two weeks earlier, we celebrated publication of our new siddur with a gala dinner dance.   Member and friends of Bet Mishpachah were exceedingly generous in supporting this project. On the Benefactors page in the new siddur, the names of 67 very generous donors are listed.

To access the text of Shavat va-Yinafash, please click here. Your comments and suggestions are always welcomed. In addition, if you have an interest or background in liturgy and would like to participate in this process, please contact liturgy@betmish.org

More information on Bet Mishpachah's approach to liturgy is available in this booklet created by Liturgy Committee chair Scott Reiter, and presented at the Aleph (Jewish Renewal) Kallah 2018: Making Liturgy Gay, Making Prayer Happy

You are invited to celebrate our siddur and to support the congregation by donating $54 for a bookplate for the inside front cover of a siddur that will be used during services at Bet Mishpachah. Click here to order a bookplate in honor or in memory of a loved one.

Click here to donate and receive a copy of the new siddur. The suggested donation amount is $40 per book including postage.

                             

With great pride and joy, our congregational family published an updated hard-cover edition of our own unique machzor; Chadeish Yamèinu, Renew our Days. Bet Mishpachah began working on the first edition of our LGBTQ-affirming machzor in 1993. Each year from 1994 through 1998, an additional booklet was introduced for one of the High Holy Day (HHD) services. We are very pleased that all HHD services will now be printed in a single hard-cover book that provides complete services for Rosh ha-Shana and Yom Kippur, as well as Yizkor and S’lichot

This hard-cover edition of our innovative, egalitarian, and LGBTQ-affirming prayerbook for the High Holy Days has been lovingly prepared and edited by our Liturgy Committee under the outstanding long-time leadership of congregant Scott Reiter.  

Chadeish Yamèinu offers a variety of beautiful prayers and meditations by contemporary liturgists, including several very talented members of our congregational family. These readings span a wide range of perspectives from traditional to renewal, from transgender and non-binary to more mainstream. Many of the Liturgy Committee's English translations of the traditional Hebrew prayers resulted from deeply searching the original text and finding new meanings in it.

As with the first edition, the English translations in the second edition are de-genderized with respect to G-d, and both Hebrew and English are co-genderized with respect to people, by avoiding exclusively male expressions and by adding references to women, such as all six Matriarchs and the Prophet Miriam. Some Hebrew prayers are in the feminine, such as an alternate blessing for lighting candles, and the B'rucha She-Amra prayer in the morning service. In the new edition, all Hebrew is transliterated.

Sat, May 18 2024 10 Iyyar 5784