These events on our timeline reflect mostly accomplishments of the GLBT community in the face of adversity. Tonight we acknowledge and recognize the GLBT community’s endurance under ten additional plagues. For each of these plagues we continue our tradition of dipping our finger tip in our wine cups, and for each plague we place one drop of wine on our plates:
Blood - דָּם: The blood shed in the Nazi death camps and in Queer-bashings.
Laughter - צְחוֹק: The laughter caused by our stereotyped representation in jokes and in the media.
Guilt - אַשְׁמָה: The guilt we are told is inherent in our simple existence.
Shame - בִּיֵּשׁ: The shame we are made to feel when we share our lives and our bodies with someone of the same gender as ourselves.
Despair - יֵאוּשׁ: The despair we feel when we are told that we are evil and monstrous, that AIDS is God's judgment upon us.
Fear - פָּחַד: The fear caused by a hostile society that would cast us out if it knew what we are.
Pain - כְּאֵב: The physical pain of being attacked by homophobes, and the mental pain of being rejected by family and community.
Loneliness - בְּדִידוּת: The loneliness of thinking that we are the only one of our kind.
Darkness - אֲפֵלָה: The darkness of our closets, and of where many of us are forced to spend our lives: the bars, the parks, the unsafe neighborhoods.
Silence - שֶׁקֶט: The hollow silence of when we do not speak out in our own defense, the silence from one generation to another.
In unison we say:
We may not have individually felt each plague, but since they afflict our community on a global level, they afflict us as well. Let us not become complacent.
And let us not become so involved with our own problems that we forget others who also suffer. The path out of Egypt is open to all who flee slavery and seek the Promised Land.
To cleanse ourselves and wash off these ten GLBT plagues that still exist in our world today we wash our hands and say the blessing.
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