Monday, March 1, 2010

Shabbat Zachor

Readers may recall that the NF is not all that fond of Purim or as the big Gong likes to say, "Anything that involves smiling". Now that is not completely fair --- It's not smiling and being happy that bothers the NF --- the NF doesn't like balagan and lack of decorum. I smile plenty on Tisha B'av.

Friday night, the gabbaim got a guy up there to daven knowing he would do silly schtick...
So the said chazan (not a usual mitpalel in the NF's shul) did Kabbalat Shabbat Carlebach style and I must say his grade for Kabbalat Shabbat (up to Lecha Dodi) was A+ for the simple reason that he flew --- none of that schleppy, eyes closed happy clappy spiritual stuff --- it seemed like the guy took "speed" before he started.
then things started breaking down:
1. Lecha Dodi --- to the melody of mishenichnas adar. It's not original. It doesn't fit that well and the chazzan couldn't figure out how often to do the high part.
2. After K'gavna (it was nusach sfarad), the chazzan went into the neigh neigh neighs of R"h and Y"k. The NF doesn't understand this one at all. what exactly is the connection between the yamim noraim and Shabbat Zachor. Was the chazzan trying to be mizalzel the yamim noraim or showing the importance of Shabbat Zachor. The answer: neither.  He was trying to be cutsie/funny and failed miserably. If anyone can explain the "humour" of using the yamim noraim melody  it would be much appreciated.
3. After Magen Avot,  YS whispered to the NF --- "I bet the he's going to try a victory kaddish"...much to our surprise, the chazzan went  into a normal kaddish --- that is until titkabel tzeloton where he started a yamim noraim melody --- see the NF's comment #2 above.
4. When he hit עושה שלום במרומיו he went into that classic Israeli 1970's melody that makes you think of the Israeli male of yore --- tight pants, open shirt (with a huge collar) showing an "Austin Powers" worthy set of chest hair, a large magen david or Chai medalion, a Hebrefro etc.  Were it the case that the chazzan was trying to be funny, it would have been one thing ---- but I think this was his nusach. As the big Gong said (and I mean this as no offense to the non-heterosexuals in our readership): "That was really really gay."

Happily, the next day the Rishon Ltzion of Uruaguy davened Shacharit and J davened musaf with good old fashioned nusach and we didn't have to sing Avinu Avinu or any Broadway showtoons.