Times Will Tell

Podcast: Rabbi, is there a blessing for coming out of the closet? There is now

A new Israeli Reform prayer book, ‘Tefillat HaAdam,’ includes inclusive communal rituals and breaks down as many gender barriers as the Hebrew language allows

Welcome to Times Will Tell, the weekly podcast of The Times of Israel. This week, just ahead of Passover, we’re diving into a new Israeli Reform movement prayer book called “Tfillat HaAdam.”

The new daily prayer book is an innovative combination of Jewish traditions with new liturgy. Its topics include modern issues including pluralism, democracy and women’s rights.

“Tefillat HaAdam” is a compilation of modern Israeli poetry (such as the Hannah Senesh poem that gave the book its title) and literature, alongside traditional blessings and new blessings altogether, such as a communal blessing for one coming out of the closet.

We’re speaking with its two editors, Rabbi Dr. Dalia Marx and Rabbi Dr. Alona Lisitsa. Both rabbis teach liturgy at Hebrew Union College in Jerusalem.

New Israeli Reform movement prayer book, ‘Tefilat HaAdam.’ (courtesy)

Rabbi Marx is a 10th-generation Jerusalemite, whereas Rabbi Lisitsa was born in Kyiv. She is also the first female rabbi in Israel to join a religious council, in Mevasseret Zion in 2012.

We speak about the prayer book and the status of Liberal Judaism in Israel today — even as former head of the Israeli Reform movement Rabbi Gilad Kariv enters the Knesset with the Labor party.

To close, each rabbi will offer up a gem to spice up our Passover Seders.

The Times of Israel podcasts are available for download on iTunesTuneIn, Pocket CastsStitcher, PlayerFM or wherever you get your podcasts.

Check out last week’s Times Will Tell podcast episode:

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