Coming Out

This ceremony ritually celebrates the moment that homosexuals, bisexuals, or transsexuals publicly declare their sexual identities.

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(Repeat appropriate line for each participant)

b'toch ha-kehillah ha-zot

in the midst of this community.

For a man: Yigdal--May he grow
For a woman: Tigdal--May she grow
For group: Yigd'lu--May they grow

B'havanah atzmit--in self-understanding

For a man: Yismach--May he rejoice
For a woman: Tismach--May she rejoice
For group: Yism'chu--May they rejoice

Ba-zeihut he-chadash/ ba-z'huyot ha-chadashot--in the new identity/identities

For a man: she-hu matzhir --he affirms
For a woman: she-hi matzhirah--she affirms

For group of men: she-hem matzhirim--they affirm
For group of women: she-hen matzhirot--they affirm


She-ne'emar: Vayizaku el-Adonai ba'tzar la-hem mimtzukoteihem yoshi-em (Psalms 107:13)-- As it is written: They cried to the Holy one from their narrow places, and God saved them from their distresses (Psalms 107:13).

For a man: Ha-g'vurah shelo t'hiyeh--May his strength be

For a woman: Ha-g'vurah shela t'hiyeh--May her strength be
For group of men: Ha-g'vurah shelahem t'hiyeh--May their strength be
For group of women: Ha-g'vurah shelahen t'hiyeh--May their strength be

L'dugmah u'l'mofeit l'chol yoshvei tevel she'mitgagayim l'sof hester panim b'tokh libeinu u'l'pidyon nafsheinu bimheirah b'yameinu.

a shining example to all who yearn for an end of the hiding of God's face in our hearts and yearn for the redemption of our souls, soon, in our days.

For a man: Y'kabel--May he receive
For a woman: T'kabel--May she receive
For a group: Y'kablu--May they receive

Ahavah, chamimut, u't'mikhah m'ha-kehillah ha-zot,

love, warmth and support from this community

For a man: m'mispachto u'm'chaverav--from his family and from his friends
For a woman: m'mishpachtah u'm' chavereiha--from her family and from her friends
For group of men: m'mishpachteihem u'm'chavereihem--from their families and from their friends
For a group of women: m'mishpachteihen u'm'chavereihen--from their families and from their friends

Ha-ma'aseh ha-zeh (Ha-Ma'asim ha'eleh) latzeit min ha-metzarim y'orer / y'or'ru banu ruach chadashah (Ezekiel 36:26) la'avod b'yeter s'eit likrat hayom, hayom k'she-anashim homosexualim, lesbiot, anashim v'nashim bisexualim, v'anashim v'nashim transexualim lo yisb'lu od m'sin'ah, midei'ot k'dumot u'min-ha-haflaya, hayom k'she-kol am Yisrael y'chiyu k'mo am echad, v'chol yoshvei tevel y'chiyu b'shalom u'b'shleimut. Amen.

May this act (these acts) of coming out inspire us to work more diligently towards the day when gay men, lesbians, bisexual people, and transgender people will not suffer from hatred, prejudice, and discrimination, when all of Israel will live as one people and all who dwell on earth will live in peace and wholeness. Amen.

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Shoshanah Tornberg

Rabbi Shoshanah King-Tornberg serves Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany, NY. She is a Jewish educator by profession and a dancer and writer by avocation.