“Let Us Bless the Twilight”: Intersectionality of Traditional Jewish Ritual and Queer Pride in a Reform Congregation in Israel

Elazar Ben-Lulu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Kabbalat Shabbat (Welcoming the Sabbath) is a traditional Jewish ritual marking the transition between the profane weekday and the holy Shabbat. Reform Jewish communities maintain this practice with certain ritualistic and textual revisions, in order to include gender and sexual categories previously excluded from mainstream traditional Jewish texts and rituals. This ethnographic article analyzes the particular LGBTQ Kabbalat Shabbat. By creating unique rituals to mark phenomena of both oppression and exclusion, on the one hand, and of love and acceptance, on the other, the Reform congregation emerges as a religious safe space. I argue that those rituals dedicated to and constructed by the LGBTQ community function as a performance of affirmation and empower of gender and sexual identities. This egalitarian performance fosters a shared political discourse for promoting the struggle for equal rights, through a new religious practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-46
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Homosexuality
Volume68
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • Kabbalat Shabbat
  • LGBTQ
  • Reform Judaism
  • Tel Aviv
  • intersectionality
  • performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • General Psychology

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