*A note to Clergy: We recognize this material could be triggering for both those in leadership roles and those in the congregation.
We encourage you to amend the language here to best support your and your community's needs. We are here to help with this.
CONSENT IS A JEWISH VALUE
Clergy: Reflecting on this past year we realize the need to shine a light on physical safety when it comes to intimacy in our community, something the ancient rabbis also considered.
Congregation: When one person strays, when one person misses the mark, we all miss the mark. We are only as high as our lowest rung. Together we speak to raise awareness of these vital community standards.
Clergy: We stand today to set a standard together for the future, not to absolve the past.
Forgive us for the times we did not ask permission before touching another person’s body.
Forgive us for the times we sensed someone’s fear and persisted with our own pleasure anyway.
Forgive us for the times we heard a “no,” and ignored it, persisting with our pleasure anyway.
Forgive us for the times we reached to touch another when we were filled with hatred.
Forgive us for the times we were so inebriated we could not decipher whether the person we touched was saying “yes” or “no.”
Forgive us for the times we turned a blind eye when we knew boundaries and bodies were being violated.
And forgive us for not believing those that spoke up, their stories echoing ancient tales of transgression.
(Derived from "Mishneh Torah, Forbidden Intercourse (Issurei Biah), Chapter 21.")