Saturday, October 15, 2016

High Holiday highlights 5777/2016

Seeing all the congregants who rarely attend anymore (often because of poor health), and all the "three-times-a-year" folks who are so happy to see us, albeit only three days a year.

Hearing all those wonderful tunes that are reserved for the Yamim Noraim (Days of Awe).

Listening to sermons by an actual ordained rabbi, and seeing my husband enjoy being off the hook for giving a d'var Torah, for a change.

Hearing one of our more senior members chant Yonah (the entire Book of Jonah, which is read as the haftarah at the Minchah/Afternoon Service on Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement). May he continue to do so for many years.

Visiting friends for the holiday, and eating all that yummy food.

Forgetting to say Minchah as soon as I came home from work on Erev Yom Kippur (Eve of the Day of Atonement) again.

Forgetting to get up early enough to say Birkot HaTorah (Blessings on the Torah) and Birkot HaShachar (Blessings of the Morning) before leaving for synagogue on Yom Kippur.  I never have time to say them at shul, and ended up sneaking them in during the rabbi's intro to the haftarah, on the assumption that it wouldn't make much sense to say Birkot HaShachar/Morning Blessings after Shacharit/Morning Service.

Doing a congregational reading-aloud of part of the V'Chol Maaminim prayer in English on Yom Kippur because it takes so darned long to sing it in Hebrew, and being bothered by the constant repetition of "He is/does this" and "He is/does that."  Can't we just say "G-d" instead, and skip the masculine pronoun?

Finally officially giving up praying as much of the Silent Amidah prayer as possible in Hebrew--I gave up davvening in Hebrew all but the Malchuyot quotations, which I can read without much difficulty, several Rosh HaShanahs (New Years) ago, but I now davven almost the entire Al Chet (For the Sin [which we have committed before You]) section on Yom Kippur in English in order to finish in time for the U-n'taneh Tokef prayer.  I'm still coming to terms with the fact that, as someone who refuses to mumble her way through prayers, I'm a walking tircha de tzibura (burden on the congregation), and nobody's going to wait for me to catch up.

For the curious, here's more information regarding tircha d'tzibura, but it comes with an untranslated-terminology warning.  Amud = lectern from which the chazzan (cantor) or shaliach tzibur (prayer leader) leads the prayers.


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