Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Having rachmones (mercy) on the chazzan (cantor)

With all the worrying about, and preparing for Hurricane Sandy, I knew there was something that I forgot to blog about.  Oy, what happened last Friday night . . .

My husband, though still recovering from bronchitis and sounding like a foghorn, insisted that he was well enough to go to services, so off we went.  Our appearance "rescued" the cantor from an awkward situation--the only other people there were one congregant who, despite never having learned to read Hebrew, always sings at the top of his/her lungs, and another congregant who's so frail that her/his singing is nearly inaudible.  Since my husband couldn't really sing, I tried my best to avoid singing harmony, as I usually do, and stick to the melody, so as to keep the chazzan company, musically speaking, especially since I've been known to find myself in a similar situation.

Ever since one of our most reliable Friday-night attendees developed a serious health problem, I've been practically afraid not to go to Kabbalat Shabbat, lest no one else show up.  This incident simply confirmed that my concern is not misplaced.  Sigh.  This is one service that I actually prefer to pray at home so that I can (a) pray at my own speed and (b) not have to skip Ana B'Koach and (those parts of) Bameh Madlikin (that I choose to say), neither of which is included in the old Silverman Conservative siddur/prayer book that our synagogue still uses.


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