Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fast is Slow

Last year, a few days before Tisha Baav, I arrived in Raanana. On Tisha Baav I went to the Carlebach shul for the first time and, as I sat down, I volunteered to the gabbai and Rabbi that I could read a chapter of Eicha if they needed. They smiled and assured me that they had planned the reading well in advance, so thanks but no thanks.

And then one of the readers didn't show up and they frantically signaled to me from across the darkened room. I was asked to read chapter 2 with zero preparation time.

My previous Eicha reading experience had been chapters 3, 4, and 5, so chapter 2 was a new experience for me. I know the trope (and I think I sing them well) but I stumble a little over the Hebrew when reading for the first time. So I read very slowly, which is all the better for Eicha anyway.

Last night I did the same thing: I volunteered to read, was told that they have it all covered, and then again one of the readers didn't show up.

This time the missing person was the reader for chapter 1, the remaining chapter that I had not previously read. So I fumbled and sung my way through it, and hopefully didn't ruin anyone's enjoyment of the evening.

Another example of my roller coaster philosophy: I don't know what I'm doing, it looks scary, I volunteer.
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