Sunday, September 26, 2010

A guest post

Moadim L'simcha to all you gongers...
while wishing you all moadim l'simcha I am reminded of when I lived in NY many moons back --- the NF noticed that new york jews are not good listeners and often hear what they want to hear. So on shabbat, I would greet all those of the Hebraic persuasion with a merry "Flannel Pajamas" (instead of Gutt Shabbes)....if the person had a kippa sruga on their head, I would say " I'm from Rome" (instead of Shabbat Shalom). No one ever beat an eye lash.

So when greeting someone on chol hamoed, I could have said, gutten moed or moadim l'simcha....but the NF wanted to see if anyone was actually every time I passed a "yid with a lid", I would mumble the name of a billionaire --- such as Rupert Murdoch, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet....not once did anyone question what I had just said and instead mumbled something back at me....still not sure what.

So Rupert Murdoch to you all.

The NF prayed in his local yokel shul on the first day of chag --- "Slow as Molasses" davened shacharit and was well, slow as molasses. "H" Davened musaf in his usual  eyes closed, impossible to sing along with sort of way. Nothing too offensive, nothing really to gong.

Meanwhile, the Big Gong attended the early minyan both on the first day of chag and on shabbat and came away shaking his head...

While lunching over at the big Gong's this past shabbat --- while reviewing the general state of affairs (if any of you have heard the great lashon harah coming out of London you will understand)--- I suggested that the Big Gong again provide us with a guest blog.

Here it is folks:


We had the pleasure of the NF’s family in our sukka today and after discussing two of my recent visits to the early minyan he suggested I write a guest post.
I had on the previous two occasions attended the highly efficient and usually highly pleasant early minyan in the locality. Shabbat’s proceedings passed with very little, if anything, to gong. The Baltimore Chop led a flawless shacharit. I particularly enjoyed his “Hodu la’Hashem”, although I couldn’t name the tune, let alone find you a youtube link. Yoni R read Kohelet and simultaneously provided me with the best 23 minutes of sleep I have had in a long time. Musaf passed quickly and without notable incident, particularly as the baal tefilla was clearly playing out of position by davening nusach ashkenazi.

I wish I could say the same about first day chag. Roger Mellie  was asked to daven shacharit. He was guilty of too much singing for this particular minyan, in fact he was guilty of too much singing. It did the job I suppose, but the piece de resistance came at the end of the hoshanot. I thought at first my ears were deceiving me, but I listened again, and it was true.

Roger was belting out the “Victory Kaddish”.

On first day Sukkot.
After an unexceptional shacharit.
I shot a glance at Yoni R whose gnarled facial expression confirmed that he was hearing the same thing. For two days now I have been thinking of an explanation for Roger’s actions. But one eludes me. Some things in life are sacred, and amongst them is the RH/YK nusach. No longer it seems. Gong.

Musaf started with a rousing “Yekum Purkan” (this was chag remember, not Shabbat), and upon being heckled to go straight into the Prayer for the Queen State of Israel, the baal tefilla quickly followed with an equally rousing “Sorry” (in English) to the kehilla. At least we had a laugh to carry us through the rest of davening. Gong.

As disarming, and frankly unforgiveable, as that victory kaddish was, it gave the NF and myself hope. Hope like we haven’t had since that Pesach when someone confused Adir Hu with Maoz Tzur during Hallel.

Od Yishama b’arei ha’shefela u’vechutzot Modiin, kol sasson v’kol simcha, kol ha’gong v’kol ha’golden shtender.

I leave you with a little something to celebrate Julie Andrews birthday next week:

Thank you Big Gong. The NF may be getting another guest post this time from Dr. D after a painful experience at a local hotel over the first days of chag. In addition, I will try to respond to AddeRabbi's Yamim Noraim post.
Moadim L'simcha or Warren Buffet or something.

--- the NF

Sunday, September 19, 2010

y"k round-up

the NF wishes the greater gonging community a שנה טובה and hopes that everyone had an easy fast.

And the golden Shtenders go to:

1. To Dr D., physician. Dr. D davened musaf yesterday (after leading kol nidrei the night before) at the neighborhood vatikin minyan and was superb.
2. To Dr. Blue. The NF got to shul for mincha, got his talit and Depends on and waited for the yodeler to make the kahal crap itself. But alas, the yodeler got to shul and told the gabbaim that he did not want to daven. The gabbaim had to scramble to find a replacement and asked Dr. Blue  to step-in. With no prior preparation Dr. Blue had perfect nusach, was fast and finished 7 minutes ahead of schedule.
3. To the Big Gong for his outstanding  16 minute psukei dezimra at the vatikin minyan and for refraining from telling me any rude jokes during the avoda (after numerous mikveh jokes erev y"k). After shul yesterday morning, the Big Gong went over to Dr D and said: "of you, me and the NF (who davened a 2-hour shacharit), who do you think was best?" you were, Big Gong, you were.
4. To the gonging gabbai --- for all his hard work over the chagim even if some of his baal tefilla selections were absolute bombs. Shkoychi.

As mentioned above, the NF led shacharit  at the vatikin minyan (start time: 4:50 AM) which was a bit tricky. After getting through hamelech, I realized I had 7 minutes to get from barechu to גאל ישראל to hit נץ החמה. I turned on my special NF turbo engines and we hit it right on time. The NF did have to use a very fast melody for אל האדון, specifically the Carelbach לשנה הבאה בירושלים, which had the surprising effect of getting people singing at 5:15 AM.

The NF's melody selection:
אתה הוא אלהינו -- Naa'r Hayiti (For the record Yoni R, who continues to remind me that he is the only person on the blog without a cool pseudoname, told me that it was a kitsch selection) ---- with three part harmony from YS and Dr D.
היום יכתב- Mochel Avonot
אמרו לאלוהים - a large assortment of melodys including yachad, shomrim mafkidim, boi v'shalom (Carlebach) etc.
מעשה אלהינו  - the London Yom Shabaton. I thought a lot about Marc Weinberg z"l while we we made our way through this piyut....we always sang this melody when our families had shabbat lunch together.
על ישראל - v'haviotim
האדרת והאמונה - the Seudah shlishit melody
קדושה -- from kvodo through shma yisrael, the Breslov Lecha Dodi.
שמע קולינו -- from Al tashlichenu etc I used the high part from lev tahor....
אנו עמך-- tzamah nafshi
אבינו מלכינו זכר רחמך -- prok yat anach
ואני תפילתי -- the NF "borrowed" YS's idea of using Baruch El Elyon...Luckily Mrs. NF wasn't there to scream at both of us for using too many shabbat melodies in the middle of Yamim Noraim davening.

for the record the NF really missed hearing YS's neilah....As noted in a prior post, the gabbaim didn't want anyone to have a chazaka so YS didn't lead neilah this year --- in my opinion a mistake. The person who led neilah used the geshem/tal meoldy for kaddish (gong) and the regular yamim noraim melody for avot (double gong). At least he sang mochel avonot a few time and he finished on time!

Time to go practice waving various garden specimens around.

-- the (very hoarse) NF

Monday, September 6, 2010

לשמוע אל הרינה ואל התפילה

this past Motza"sh, the NF, Yoni R, the "logical African" (the NF's annual hot date for selichot night) and the logical African's father in law, Murray the drug pusher, went to hear Shlomo Glick lead selichot accompanied by Srulik Hirshtik's choir.

The choir was phenomenal and Shlomo Glick did an absolutly fantastic job (and this is coming from a guy who does not particularly care for chazzanut).

Links to snipits recorded by the logical African can be found below:

לכו נרננה
לשמוע אל הרינה

כתיבה וחתימה טובה

the NF