Sunday, September 12, 2021

Cramming for the final, so to speak: I'm leining on Yom Kippur

Our synagogue can't afford to hire a special chazzan (cantor) for the High Holidays, and, in our synagogue, leining is part of our regular cantor's job, so my husband and I decided to him a break and do most of the leining (chanting the biblical reading from a hand-written Torah scroll, which has neither vowels nor punctuation nor cantillation marks).  After all, we leined for seven years of High Holidays at our previous synagogue.  My husband was smart--he started practicing a couple of weeks ago.  I thought I'd do fine because I would be doing only the one reading for the morning of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), while my husband would be doing both the first- and second-day readings for Rosh HaShanah.  So I waited 'til the last minute, fool that I am, and I now have only until Wednesday afternoon to relearn six aliyot plus maftir.  Eek!!!  I forgot that I haven't actually leined on Yom Kippur in about two decades, and I'm shocked to see how much I've forgotten.  Wish me luck.  Now, if you'll excuse me, it's time for me to go bury my nose in my tikkun again.  (Here's a sample of a tikkun--it's a book [or online text] that's used for practice because you can see all the vowels, punctuation, and cantillation marks, and, on the same page or the facing page, the same text as it appears in a Torah scroll.)


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