As ADDERabbi wrote in this blogpost last year,
"why did I get the feeling that it wasn’t anything special this year?"
this is exactly how the NF felt this year.
Maybe it was the fact that I'm a gabbai and was therefore busy (along with J, Gonging Gabbai and YS) in making sure everyone had a seat and everything was running smoothly. Or maybe I just have too high expectations....
Kol Nidrei was led by a guy who I would call a rising star in the world of Jewish Music....I don't own any of his CDs and I won't --- not because he doesn't have a beautiful voice....I just don't like the frummy music style of Mordechai Ben David, Avraham Fried etc.
So anyway, Rising Star's voice is magnificant and he did a very nice job leading Kol Nidrei, Maariv and Selichot. But the NF came out of it very uninspired. I found the experience rather parve other than when he used Carelbach's Ana Hashem for yaaleh tachanunenu with accompanying harmony from J and Dr. D, physician.
Shacharit was led by a local yokel with very good nusach and pretty good melody selection. The only problem: he was wearing tighty whities (as he always does) that were about 23 sizes too small. So every song was begin at a pitch that was way too high to sing along and sounded rather screechy. So no inspiration there. The NF got a headache.
Big M Halevi led a highly commendable musaf and introduced some really innovatove melodies but with a heachache and the fact that the Avodah doesn't really inspire me with any spirtual thoughts, I came up empty on this one too. At least the gonging gabbai's counting abilities during "achat, achat v' achat etc." were somewhat entertaining.
mincha was mincha. Enough said. Dr. Blue finished exactly on time.
Neilah was certainly an improvement. YS did his usual excellent job --- the NF's lack of inspiration was ceratinly not his fault. There was some good singing, nice harmonies....but....as the Cubs Fans always say:
"There's always next year"
Alas, no Golden Schtenders were given out...