Sunday, April 18, 2010

Being a Zionist...

...does not mean singing everything in the siddur to the melody of Hatikva.
Or so the NF thought until this past Shabbat.

Kabbalat Shabbat was led by Timmy --- who sang Lecha Dodi to Hatikva. Kitsch! The NF was not terribly bothered because I was deeply engrossed in  a really interesting book recently purchased at the Mossad Harav Kook book sale. The NF's mother-in-law, spending shabbat with Mr. and Mrs. NF was not nearly as generous and grumbled all the way home that using Hatikva for Lecha Dodi was cheesy, kitschy and boring. (For those of you who know my very Israeli Mo in Law, you will recall that she worked for years in the Israeli ministry of tourism in various consular offices --- we suspect she was actually Mossad---...I didn't think anything in the world could be too cheesy or kitschy in her book.)

Shabbat morning, Shloime Baruch hastely put together a choir to sing Avinu Avinu with full choral accompaniment. Given that they had all of about 15 minutes to practice, it actually sounded allright (if a bit flat). You may recall that the NF is not opposed to  singing Avinu Avinu the Shabbat before Yom Haatzmaut (and the first shabbat of a war*).  However, for the second non-choral half of tefilla lshalom hamedina, Shloime read prose style while the choir hummed hatikva. Cheeeeeeesy. The NF almost barfed on his shoes.

Then at the end of musaf, someone thought it would be a good idea to sing Anim Zemirot to Hatikva. The NF really wanted to scream "Enough!" Instead of doing this cheesy, faux-zionist crap, how about finding ways to improve the country. Here are a few ways:
1. Introduce the concept of customer service,
2. Refrain from picking your nose in public
3. Stop peeing on the side of the road towards on-coming traffic.
4. Block the import of henna-hair colouring dyes/products so that the 99.9% of women over 59 in Israel who colour their hair will stop looking like Bozo the clown.
5. Teach people how to drive

Disgusted, the NF went home from shul and decided to show his family what true zionism really is by making kiddush on Hummus flavoured schnnaps.

-The NF

BTW, after hearing yet another part of davening sung to the melody of Hatikva, the Rishon Ltzion of Uruguay suggested that we sing Hatikva to the melody of Hava Nagila (try it --- it's much harder than you think).

* if a second war breaks out in the same calendar year, there is no need to sing Avinu Avinu again.

Monday, April 12, 2010

reaching new heights

So Friday night, the gabbaim had the old guy who inspired the KTC post lead maariv (one of many Alvins ---as in Alvin and the Chipmunks --- led a satisfactory Kabbalat Shabbat).

This old guy has no business davening anywhere including the Jewish home for the deaf  (as will be explained later) but for some reason, the gabbaim alwasys ask him when he makes an appearance in our little shul. So the old guy kept trying to do trills to embellish his already poor nusach but everytime he did, he flew off-key. During magen avot, two items of interest occured:
1. The old guy closed his eyes and sang --- (I'm being very generous when I call it that) --- Not reading from a siddur he finished off with the words "עם מדושני עונג". We then had an awkward 3-5 second period before everyone started yelling "זכר למעשה בראשית" at the old guy.
2. The NF noticed that somethign was happening to his digestive tract everytime the old guy opened his mouth. Indeed, the old guy's voice was so shrill, everytime he "sang", the NF could feel his intestinal villus vibrate uncomfortably. For the first time in the NF's life, a chazzan was so bad he interupted normal digestive function. Here we had a chazzan that would even be gonged by a deaf person.

Me thinks, that we have found a natural substitute for Ex-Lax. Yoni R., could you prepare the patent documentation?

the NF

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Hope everyone is relieved that Pesach has passed...

For a number of highly technical reasons, the NF will not be posting on his Pesach experience.

Yoni R. did send me a very cute forward which makes reference to our favorite element of Pesach leining...