Many readers will recall that last Spring, the NF and family spent shabbat in J-m at the bed and breakfast belonging to his in-laws. With the NF's in-laws visiting in Israel for a few weeks, the NF and family were summoned to again spend Shabbat in downtown Jerusalem. Happy Happy Joy Joy. The one saving grace of being in Merkaz Ha-ir for Shabbat is being able to go to the great synagogue and hearing some fine choir action....or so I thought. People watching can also be quite fun --- especially when Jesus shows up for Kabbalat Shabbat.
So the NF, the greater NF family (inlcuding Mrs. NF and the 4 little NFs) along with Dr and Mrs In-Laws made our way in the rain to the great synagogue for Kabbalat Shabbat. Since the NF was there last, Chaim Adler has replaced Naftali Hershtik as the Chazzan Rashi. ---- A summary of events:
1. Boring. was the same old Kabbalat Shabbat the NF would hear in his own shul only instead of Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks leading, we had a world class Chazzan.
2. there was hardly any interaction between Chazzan and Choir
3. Instead of an interesting Lecha Dodi, the chazzan picked one of the melodies taught to kids in pre-school. The choir didn't sing along.
4. The Chazzan then went into a serious, heavy and elongated cantorial piece for Bameh Madlikin (of all things)---- he got very emotional when repeating ורבי יוסי פוטר בכולן חוץ מן הפתילה מפני שהוא עושה פחם over and over again. I know we are facing issues with fossil fuels but there is no reason to cry over the פתילה.
4. In the middle of a Hashkivenu, little NF (#2) whispered to me that he wanted to make a deposit in the country's manure reserves and that pretty much ended davening for me.
All in, the choir was disappaointing and didn't mesh well with the chazzan.
In other news, Ari J sent this interesting link on a tone deaf Sephardi Chazzan at S&P in NY.