Keshet is a national organization that works for LGBTQ equality in Jewish life. The organization equips Jewish leaders with tools to build LGBTQ-affirming communities, creates spaces for queer Jewish teens to feel valued and develop their own leadership skills, and mobilizes the Jewish community to fight for LGBTQ justice. Keshet’s blog spotlights this work, as well as the voices of LGBTQ Jews, our families, and allies.
In honor of the annual observance of Transgender Day of Remembrance we are devoting space in our blog to posts about gender, such as “
,” personal reflections from two parents faced with the reality of gender roles at day care, a Tachlis of inclusion post on“How to Hire a Transgender Rabbi,” transgender ally-ship wisdom from the Torah’s patriarchs and matriarchs, and even what a rabbi learned from binge watching the show Transparent. Also, be sure to check out Duncan’s earlier reflections on the freedom—and the burden—of coming out.
Today we share this beautiful and painful rendition of “Unetanah Tokef,” a poem from our Yom Kippur liturgy, in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance and the lives we have lost. Trigger warning: This post includes violent imagery.
The Bloods of Thy Siblings
Who by strangling?
Who by gunshot?
Who by apathetic silence,
And who with deafening rage?
Who by the edge of a knife
And who by blunt force trauma?
Because every week I recite Kaddish
For another trans person, another trans woman.
And because sometimes there is not even a name for the lost.
Because there can never be a word big enough for this loss.
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Pronounced: yohm KIPP-er, also yohm kee-PORE, Origin: Hebrew, The Day of Atonement, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar and, with Rosh Hashanah, one of the High Holidays.