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Shabbat

Blessing the Children – Gender Neutral

Blessing The Children (Gender Neutral)

It is traditional to bless our children on Friday night when we start Shabbat. The prayer begins with a line that is different depending on whether you have a female child or a male child. I have combined these portions to create the nonbinary, Blessing The Children – Gender Neutral.

The gender-specific version of the Blessing The Children prayer asks for our daughters to be like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah and our sons to be like Ephraim and Manasseh. There is no reason who all of our kids shouldn’t carry on the traits of these ancestors. We want all of our children to hold our traditions sacred and protect our communities the way our matriarchs did and get along with each other and encourage peace in our community the way Ephraim and Manasseh did.

Below you’ll find two versions of a gender-neutral Blessing The Children prayer. Both versions have the two sets of names added together. The first prayer is otherwise identical to the traditional version.

The second prayer includes gender-neutral Hebrew. Hebrew is a gendered language. Like so many other languages words are either pronounced as masculine or feminine based on the context. The Nonbinary Hebrew Project has created a third way of writing and reading Hebrew that includes the nonbinary “eh” sound. This version of the prayer is using that structure.


Blessing the Children – Gender-Neutral with Traditional Hebrew


May G-d make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, Ephraim and Menashe.

May the Holy One bless you and keep you.

May the Holy One shine light upon you and be gracious to you.

May the Holy One turn towards you and give you peace.



Blessing the Children – Gender-Neutral with Nonbinary Hebrew

Blessing The Children (Gender Neutral Hebrew)

May G-d make you like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Leah, Ephraim and Menashe.

May the Holy One bless you and keep you.

May the Holy One shine light upon you and be gracious to you.

May the Holy One turn towards you and give you peace.



More Jewish Gender-Neutral, Non-Binary, and LGBTQ+ Resources

Keshet – an organization working for LGBT equality in Jewish life

Nonbinary Hebrew Project – for information and application of gender-neutral Hebrew

A Guide for the Gender Neutral B-Mitzvah – Keshet

13 Jewish LGBTQ Activists to Follow on Social Media Right Now – Kveller


Shabbat Resources

Shabbat Blessings Sing-along Video Playlist

Jewish Kids from Scratch: Where to Start



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