“The flowering has already begun. Jewish women have set this process in motion, and there are Jewish men participating, too. By composing and uttering new prayers - our own prayers, in which we begin to call divinity by the many names and images that arrive out of our deepest selves - in doing so, we confront the worthy challenges that any serious liturgical movement must face. It is not merely a matter of changing male images to female ones; the relatively simple (though still courageous) act of feminizing the male god has proved to many of us to be inadequate and often absurd. For a feminized patriarchal image is still patriarchal, though now in transvestite masquerade. This process has been useful, however, in clarifying the problem. In translating the ‘King’ into a ‘Queen,’ for example, we discover that images of domination are not what we wish to embrace. We find that if transcendence has meaning to us, it is a transcendence of justice, which is not expressed by the image of a monarch, either male or female. Then we must find new images to convey our vision, and we must be patient with ourselves, though not passive, for meaningful and moving images will not be called into being at will, will not spring into existence as ‘something from nothing.’ Rather, authentic images evolve gradually out of our living, out of our particular needs, inspired by specific moments and occasions. Trusting the process, we find that images emerge out of our whole, engaged selves and out of our community. Always, we must trust the journey. There are no shortcuts.”

From “A Blessing for This Day,” talk by Marcia Falk at “Illuminating the Unwritten Scrolls: Women’s Spirituality and Jewish Tradition” conference, November 1984.

Credit: A Blessing for This Day, © 1984 by Marcia Lee Falk.