Wednesday, October 7, 2009


One of our members was on the West Coast for Yom Kippur, and she found herself at a congregation made up of mostly LGBT Jews. The sermon was given by a young woman who is, in her own language, queerspawn* – the child of a same-sex marriage. It’s worth clicking through to read – there are some bits I might quibble with, but overall, it’s a powerful, open and honest look at life as a queerspawn Jew, and the role that this synagogue plays, and should play, in that life.

* the writer uses “queer” as a neutral or positive word. I’ve spoken with some from the LGBT community who find that term offensive, and some who find it completely appropriate. I’m using it here because she uses is, and I sincerely hope that anyone who feels differently about that word won’t be offended by that.

I have some reservations about LGBT congregations, because I have reservations about any demographically defined congregation. I think that Jewish organizations should be equally for all Jews, and I wonder if separating out one sub-group is the best way to bring about greater understanding and acceptance (or, to put that a bit differently, I may disagree with the means, but I think we’d agree on the ends). But, this sermon is an important reminder that, even if I’m right that, in a perfect world, Queer Synagogues wouldn’t be necessary, we don’t live in a perfect world. And, since that’s true, thank God there are places like this, that make a home for some people who might not otherwise feel at home elsewhere.

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