A Blessing for Self-Pleasure

a person in silhoutte against the sunset

My reasoning behind this blessing is that much like Shabbat is a moment of rest and rejuvenation and—yes—pleasure, so too is taking some time to tend to your own spiritual, erotic, and amorous needs. I included both male and female forms of God in this blessing—even in the verb “gives,” as is often done in the queer community in Israel. We’re all welcome at God’s table. One thing I’ve loved about making aliyah to Israel is how in Tel Aviv, my queer and Jewish selves meld seamlessly. Rather than feeling shame about my sexuality, it’s integrated into my Judaism. Rather than turning self-pleasure or masturbation into a moment of embarrassment, I’d like to lift it up into a moment of beauty and joy.

.ברוך אתה יי / ברוכה את יה הנותנ/ת כוח ורגעי שמחה. וקראת לשבת עונג

Barukh atah Adonai / Berukhah at Yah ha-noten/notenet koakh ve-rega’ei simkhah. Ve-karata/karat le-Shabbat oneg.

Blessed are you Adonai, blessed are you Shekhinah, the giver—in both male and female forms—of strength and moments of joy. For you called the Sabbath “pleasure.”

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