B'rit Ahuvim: Lovers' Covenant

By Rachel Adler

 

בְּרִית אֲהוּבִים
 
  בְּ ______ בְּשַׁבָּת (יוֹם)_________ (חֹדֶשׁ)_______ (שָׁנָה)_______ לִבְרִיאַת עוֹלָם לְמִנְיָן שֶׁאָנוּ מוֹנִין בַּ  (עִיר)_______ (מְדִינָה)_____ הַשֻּׁתָּפִים_____ בֵּן \בַּת_____ לְמִשְׁפַּחַת_______ וְ______ בֵּן \בַּת____ לְמִשְׁפַּחַת______ מְקַיְּמִים בְּיֵינֵיהֶם לִפְנֵי עֵדִים בְּרִית אֲהוּבִים וּמַכְרִיזִים עַל כַּוָנָתַם לְהִתְקַשֵּׁר בְּשׁוּתָפוּת לְהָקִים בַּיִת בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל
 
הַסְכֵּם זֶה שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ בוֹ______  בֵּן \בַּת______ וְ________ בֵּן \בַּת______ בְּרִית קְדוֹשָׁה הִיא כִּבְרִיתוֹת הַקְּדוֹמוֹת שֶׁל עַמֵּינוּ הָעֲשׂוּיוֹת בְּאֱמוּנָה וּבַשָּׁלוֹם לַעֲמֹד לַנֶּצַח 
 
בְּרִית שְׁמִירָה וְתִקְוָה הִיא כַּבְּרִית שֶׁנִּשָּׁבַע אֲדֹנָי אֶל נוּחַ וְצֶאֱצָאַיו שֶׁנֶּאֱמָר: וְהָיְתָה הַקֶּשֶׁת בֶּעָנָן וּרְאִיתִיהָ לִזְכֹּר בְּרִית עוֹלָם בֵּין אֱלֹהִים וּבֵין כָּל נֶפֶשׁ חַיָּה בְּכָל בָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר עַל הָאָרֶץ. וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים אֶל נֹחַ זֹאת אוֹת הַבְּרִית אֲשֶׁר הֲקְמְתִּי בֵּינִי וּבֵין כָּל בָּשָׂר אֲשֶׁר עַל הָאָרֶץ
 
   :בְּרִית סְגֻלָּה הִיא כִּבְרִית כַּבְּרִית שֶׁעָשָׂה אֲדֹנָי עִם יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר 
  .וַהֲיִיתֶם לִי לְעָם וְאָנֹכִי אֶהְיֶה לָכֶם לָאֱלֹהִים
 
:בְּרִית יְדִידוּת הִיא הַמְּקַשֶּׁרֶת לְבָבוֹת כְּשֶׁכָּרְתוּ דָּוִד וַיְהוֹנַתָן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר 
.וְנֶפֶשׁ יְהוֹנָתָן וְדָוִד בְּרִית בְּאַהֲבָתוֹ אֹתוֹ כְּנַפְשׁוֹ
 
  :בְּרִית שֶׁל חֶסֶד הֲדָדִי הַבְּרִית הַזֹּאת כַּבְּרִית נְשׂוּאֵיהֶם שֶׁל אֲדֹנָי וְצִיּוֹן שֶׁנֶּאֱמָר 
      .וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי לְעוֹלָם. וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי בְּצֶדֶק וּבְמִשְׁפָּט וּבְחֶסֶד וּבַחֶסֶד וּבְרַחֲמִים. וְאֵרַשְׂתִּיךְ לִי בֶּאֱמוּנָה וְיָדַעַתְּ אֶת אֲדֹנָי
 
Transliteration:
Brit Ahuvim
B’_______ b’shabbat (yom) _______ (khodesh) _______ (shanah) _______ livriat olam l’minyan she’anu ba’ (ir) ______ (m’dinah)________ hashutafim ____ ben/bat_______ l’mishpakhat_______ v’ _______ ben/ bat _______ l’mishpakhat _________ m’kay’mim b’yeyneyhem lifney eydim brit ahuvim u’makhrizim al kavanatam lhitkasher b’shutafut l’hakim bayit b’yisrael.
Haskem zeh sheyavo’u vo _______ ben/ bat _____ v’ _______ ben/ bat _____ brit k’dushah he kivritot hak’domot shel ameynu ha’asu’ot b’emunah u’vashalom la’amod lanetzakh.
Brit sh’mirah v’tikvah he ka’brit shenishava Adonay el nuakh v’tze’etza’av shenemar: v’haytah hakeshet bey’anan u’ritiha lizkor brit olam beyn Elohim u’veyn kol nefesh khayah b’khol basar asher al ha’aretz. Va’yomer Elohim el noakh zot ot ha’brit asher hak’m’ti beyni u’veyn kol basar asher al ha’aretz.
Brit s’gulah he kivrit kab’rit she’asah Adonay im yisrael shenemar:
Va’hayitem li l’am v’anokhi ey’yeh lakhem la’elohim.
Brit y’didut he hamkasheret l’vavot k’shekartu David v’Y’honatan shenemar:
V’nefesh Y’honatan v’David brit b’a’havato oto k’nafsho.
Brit shel khesed hadadi habrit hazot kabrit n’sueyhem shel Adonay v’tzion shenemar:
V’ey’rashtikh li l’olam. V’ey’rashtikh li b’tzedek uv’mishpat uv’khesed uv’rakhamim. V’ey’rashtikh li bey’emunah v’yada’at et Adonay.
 

On __________ (day of week) the ______ day of_________ (month), 57__, according to Jewish reckoning ( ________month______ day______ year, according to secular reckoning), in the city of_____________ (state or region),______________(country),____________ (Hebrew name) daughter/son of_______________ and ________________ whose surname is _____________ and ________________(Hebrew name) daughter/son of _____________ and ________________ whose surname is _____________confirm in the presence of witnesses a lovers' covenant between them and declare a partnership to establish a household among the people of Israel.

The agreement into which_______________ and _______________ are entering is a holy covenant like the ancient covenants of our people, made in faithfulness and peace to stand forever. It is a covenant of protection and hope like the covenant God swore to Noah and his descendants, saying

When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures, all flesh that is on earth. That," God said to Noah, "shall be the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh" (Gen. 9:16–17).

It is a covenant of distinction, like the covenant God made with Israel, saying

You shall be My people, and I shall be your God (Jer. 30:22).

It is a covenant of devotion, joining hearts like the covenant David and Jonathan made, as it is said,

And Jonathan's soul was bound up with the soul of David. Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself (1 Sam. 18:1-3).

It is a covenant of mutual lovingkindness like the wedding covenant between God and Zion, as it is said,

I will espouse you forever. I will espouse you with righteousness and justice and lovingkindness and compassion. I will espouse you in faithfulness and you shall know God (Hos. 2:21-22).

Provisions of the Covenant

The following are the provisions of the lovers' covenant into which _______________ (Hebrew name) daughter/son of________________ and_____________ and _____________ (Hebrew name) daughter/son of ___________ and _______________now enter:

1.___________________ and ______________ declare that they have chosen each other as companions, as our rabbis teach:

Get yourself a companion. This teaches that a person should get a companion, to eat with, to drink with, to study Bible with, to study Mishnah with, to sleep with, to confide all one's secrets, secrets of Torah and secrets of worldly things. (Avot D'Rabbi Nat an 8)

2. ___________ and _____________ declare that they are setting themselves apart for each other and will take no other lover.

3._____________ and ________________ hereby assume all the rights and obligations that apply to family members: to attend, care, and provide for one another [and for any children with which they may be blessed] [and for__________ _____________ child/children of _________]

4. __________________and ___________________ commit themselves to a life of kindness and righteousness as a Jewish family and to work together toward the communal task of mending the world.

5. ____________and ________________ pledge that one will help the other at the time of dying, by carrying out the last rational requests of the dying partner, protecting him/her from indignity or abandonment and by tender, faithful presence with the beloved until the end, fulfilling what has been written:

Set me as a seal upon your arm, for love is stronger than death. (Song of Songs 8:6)

To this covenant we affix our signatures.

The partners:

________________________________________

_________________________________________

Witnessed this day the _______ day of Parashat _____________ (Hebrew date).

The witnesses:

______________________________

______________________________

 


From Engendering Judaism, copyright 1998, by The Jewish Publication Society. Used by permission.

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