Monday, September 14, 2009

A technical question

The NF has recieved a technical question from a reader:

What is the correct nusach for mincha on Rosh Hashana?

This is indeed an interesting question. Being that the NF wouldn't want to mislead the readers of the blog given that different nusach traditions have been transmitted over the years, the NF spoke to two good friends (one South African and one English) -- both well trained baalei tefilla --- to see what they were taught.

The NF was taught that ashrei, uva ltzition and kaddish are said in the Shabbat mincha nusach, the beginning of chazarat hashatz is said in weekday nusach (or shabbat mincha if that is your minhag) and then you switch over to R"h nusach at Yimloch. I was taught NOT to sing the end of avinu malkeinu nor to do the victory kaddish at the end for the simple reason that it is pas nicht. My two buddies confirmed that they were taught the same.

The NF has noticed in recent years that the guy who davens mincha on R"h is often a wannabe chazzan. When he gets up there to daven mincha, it is his chance to show the gabbaim that they made a serious mistake in not asking him to daven musaf on R"h/Y"k and for that matter, naming him Chazzan for life. So the guy - often tone deaf and with no sense of nusach --- will start ashrei as if he is leading selichot at the great synagogue, will look confused during uva lztion, and will then give a, ahem, most interestign rendition of the pre-musaf kaddish.

A full dose of avot is then given (usually with a few ay yay yay yays leading into "Baruch"), followed by a full choral mekhalkel chaim b-hesed. All of this is down in an off-key manner as was down in the Beit Hamikdash. The guy is usually stuck for kedusha so he either goes to shabbat or weekday nusach although I heard one guy try to use the musaf kedusha nusach (kevodo, ahhh, ahhhhh etc) --- it doesn't work. It goes without saying that an off-key version of the victory kaddish is performed at the end of mincha. I don't want to say that this is incorrect nusach --maybe this is a valid minhag in some cruel horrible parallel universe--- it just doesn't seem to fit and hearing this sort of mincha makes the NF cringe.

More than anythign else, the victory kaddish at the end of mincha seems really wrong. It's sort of like putting on a full chef's outfit to make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. It's sort of like expecting rave reviews from the wife on a gourmet supper after making an omelot (especially without any special additions such as onions, mushrooms etc). It's sort of like coming out of the dugout for an encore/standing ovation after hitting a sacrifice fly to left field to move the runner from 1st to 2nd. It's sort of like getting invited in for a night cap at the end of a mediocre first date (in the goyish world of course, lhavdil) -- not that the NF would know from such things. The NF never had mediocre first dates. :) Gong!

The NF will be posting later on his Motzash Selichot experience of hearing Chazan Shlomo Glick and the Yuval choir at Dovev Oz in Ramat Gan and why the NF has trouble going to selichot after the first night.

5 comments:

ADDeRabbi said...

Thanks.

Avromy said...

but what about mincha for YK?

the NF said...

See my post entitled "YK of tears"...it kind of says it all.

Mincha on YK is a bit different than mincha on RH...the guy davening may want to show off his chazzanut abilities but he has to be really good at hitting is time allotments...the NF's general experience is that you usually get a guy without a voice (and who knows it) who is time sensitive...

Anonymous said...

So in the end of the day, which Nusach do you use for Rosh Hashanah mincha - like Shacharis or like Mussaf?

Thanks.

AdamR said...

Rosh Hoshana Mincha tune is the following: Ashrei, Uva letzion, chatzi kaddish through kedusha are done to the chol tune. At yimloch in Kedusha one switches to the Yomim Noraim tune. At Retzei, one switches back to the chol tune through the end of Mincha. Thus, the mincha of RH is very simple.