Dayeinu – Being LGBTQ and Enough

A newly adapted excerpt from a haggadah I co-wrote many years ago with colleagues. Even though the work for LGBTQ+ equality is so, so far from over, I believe that we must celebrate the steps that have brought us to this moment and honor both the ancestors and partners who fought to get us here.

September 24, 2022

By Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael

This one-page Haggadah insert is adapted from Mah Nishtana – A GLBTQ + Ally Haggadah, written in 2005.

By Anonymous, Micah Buck-Yael, Kerry Chaplin, Makella Craelius, Elianna Goldstein, Rabbi Avi Katz-Orlow, Jessica Meyer, Amy Sandler, David Schwartz, Emily Silver, and Aaron Weininger.

Updated by Rabbi Micah Buck-Yael in 2022


 

Download the resource here!

 

As Jews, we are obligated to treat all people with humility and respect, regardless of differences. At a time when LGBTQ+ rights remain under attack, we must continue the work for full equality and dignity in all spaces. At the same time, we must also honor and celebrate each individual win, no matter how small or incomplete, that has gotten us here. Dayeinu reminds us to celebrate every step of the way.

Just as with the original dayeinu, we say dayeinu not because we’re satisfied with where we are, but because we and our communities and our ancestors worked and fought to bring us forward, and every advance to liberation deserves celebration.

To express our personal responsibility we offer an alternate take on Dayeinu:

 

If God had given us life, but not the ability to love,

Dayeinu.

If God had given us the ability to love, but not the freedom to love who we love and be who we are,

Dayeinu.

If God had given us the freedom to love who we love and be who we are, but not the freedom to live as ourselves,

Dayeinu.

If God had given us the freedom to live as ourselves, but not to express our love however we choose,

Dayeinu.

If God had given us the freedom to express our love however we choose, but not given the people around us the empathy to understand our love,

Dayeinu.

If God had given the people around us the empathy to understand our love, but not the willingness to celebrate it with us,

Dayeinu.

 

If we were to ensure the Jewish people never return to slavery, but not to protect LGBTQ people from violence,

It would not be enough for us.

If we were to protect LGBTQ people from violence, but not to include them in our ceremonies,

It would not be enough for us.

If we were to include LGBTQ people in our ceremonies, but not to treat them with honor and respect,

It would not be enough for us.

If we were to treat LGBTQ people with kindness, but not to make an effort to truly understand their struggle,

It would not be enough for us.

 If we were to end LGBTQ oppression, but allow others around us to remain oppressed,

It would not be enough for us.

 

Download the resource here!

 

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