The traditional seven blessings of the Jewish wedding ceremony overflow with synonyms for happiness (e.g., gilah, rinah, ditzah, hedvah, etc. – joy, gladness, cheer, delight, etc.), expressing the heights of joy and hopefulness one feels at the joining of two loving souls. Now that President Biden has signed into law the Respect for Marriage Act (December 13, 2022), protecting the rights of same-sex and interracial couples to marry, we mark this historic occasion with a joyful blessing. The Shehekheyanu blessing acknowledges the singular importance of this moment. The traditional Hebrew blessing formula refers to God as “Sovereign of the world.” I have adapted this language to refer to God as one who “loves this whole world.”
Adapted Shehekheyanu Blessing with Masculine God Language
בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה, יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ, אוֹהֵב הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה
Barukh atah, Adonai Eloheinu, ohev ha-olam, shehekheyanu, v’kiy’manu, v’higiyanu laz’man hazeh.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, who loves this whole world, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.
Adapted Shehekheyanu Blessing with Feminine God Language
בְּרוּכָה אַתְּ יָהּ אֱלֹהֵינוּ, אוֹהֵבת הָעוֹלָם, שֶׁהֶחֱיָתְנוּ וְקִיְּמָתְנוּ וְהִגִּיעָתְנוּ לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה
Berukhah at YahA name for God, as in "halleluyah" – praise God. Some people prefer this name for God as a non-gendered option., Eloheinu ohevet ha-olam, shehekheyatnu, v’kiy’matnu, v’higiyatnu laz’man hazeh.
Blessed are You, Yah our God, who loves this whole world, who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.