Sunday, October 3, 2010

Guest Post - By Dr. D, Physician

Dr. D. called the NF early on in chol hamoed to let me know that material had made itself available at  Tel Aviv hotel on the water.

We, the gonging community, appreciate Dr. D's thinking of us while on holiday and providing us with this guest post.


Emboldened by his recent award of a golden shtender, Dr D, physician, went with high spirits to a top hotel in Tel Aviv for Succot. Actually Dr D should point out that that the NF awarded 4 golden shtenders for Yom Kippur, which given that there are only 5 services reduces the meaning somewhat but Dr D is still delighted.

Now, the NF has already written about hotel minyanim, but the events of Succot were so terrible that they need documenting in order to warn future generations.

On Shabbat Chol HaMoed, Dr D decided to attend the hotel minyan as he could not be bothered to walk 15mins to the shul he was familiar with. Also, stuffed with pastries, cheeses and coffee, the walk to the hotel shul was difficult enough let alone beyond....There was a sense of foreboding as the hotel chazzan (whose voice resembled a stuttering sheep according to a relative) has a bad habit of incorporating his two sons (pre-pubescent) into the davening. Dr D has strident views on Jewish music - basically, Jewish music is bad enough, but sung by boys is excrutiating. Hearing pre-teenage boys screaming high notes all pronounced in that heavy oy-de-doy asheknazus makes Dr D pray for deafness. More on that later. Meanwhile, one of the obviously affluent Americans in the crowd did Pesukei Dezimra- and SANG most of the post-Ashrei paragraphs. By 'sang', he actually had figured out tunes to things -including applying Mizmor LeDavid for the latter half of Nishmat - huge huge gong. What next?? Rabbi Yishmael omer to Tov Lehodot Hashem?!?! This is the problem of letting rich people daven. Too many people suck up to them and let them get away with nusach-acide.

Shacharit- an Israeli led this and it has to be conceded that he was good so onwards....

Mussaf -cue the Chazzan and his two sons who sounded like strangled cats -really - terrible. Boys -like Jewish music should be seen and not heard (actually,not seen either).

But the piece de resistance - yes - Avinu Avinu with the two strangled cats humming the HaTikva at the end.

The gong was bashed to pieces.


thank you Dr. D.

--- the NF

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Post Simchat Torah Write up

As many of you may recall, the NF is not a fan of Simchat Torah. However, this year's festivities passed without too much discomfort.

the NF and family attended evening hakafot at the local yokel shul --- nothing too offensive occured --- just a lot of men going around and around in circles and women looking on bored. Simchat Torah morning, the NF headed over to the early minyan (start time: 6 AM).  The early minyan was standing room only...and very fast. The gabbaim told the chazan for shacharit that he was allowed to sing no more than 2 songs -- hakafot lasted 5 minutes and we zipped through leining. Baal Musaf (Tefillat Geshem) did a nice job and the NF went home (at 8:15 AM) with a big smile on his face.

Adding to the fun was Yoni R's a  November post from last year,  the NF mentioned that if one were to perfrom shtick on Simchat Torah it might as well be original --- like putting peanut butter in the Cohanim's shoes during birkat Cohanim...When the NF finished duchening in shacharit, he went to put on his shoes only to find a surprise as placed there by Yoni R.

The following is a photographic reconstruction of what I found....
....the note inside contained my aforementioned blog spot with my peanut butter suggestion highlighted. Way to go Yoni R.

Given Yoni R. consistent  dedication to this blog, the board has voted 5 to 2 to change his blog psuedoname to something cooler than Yoni R. I request that, you the readers, provide me with feedback on what that cool new name should be.

the options:

1. the Artist formerly known as Yoni R.
2. Big Jim R.
3. Statler
4. The Stam posselizer

A couple of additional items...

Last night, the Baltimore Chop told me of a terrible occurence....At the main minyan at one of the shuls in the neighborhood, the baal koreh, Rabbi Tom Hagen,  sang kaddish before maftir to take me out to the ball game. Gong. Simchat Torah is not Purim. No Cracker Jacks for you.

and although we have a year until next year's chagim --- here is an awesome version of kol nidrei as sung by Kol Achai.

--- the NF