Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Oh All right

Shana Tova to the greater gonging community....

Many of you have asked me when I would be posting my recap of the High Holiday days and the truth is, I have had no time to write ---- until now.

So here we go: Selichot: for the first time since childhood, I didn't make it to the "big Motza"sh Selichot" (Jewish Midnight Mass). Mrs NF is a medical professional and as such, was working in the hospital on selichot night.

The NF stayed home with the 4 little NFs. The Logical African reported that the Great Synagogue was well, great....The LA was also kind enough to send me a link to a recording of selichot at Ner Yisrael in Hendon, London with Stephen Goldberg leading. A good listen in my opinion.

The NF had a rather busy RH/YK... I davened all three days and was a nusach/niggun coach for neilah.... 

RH day 1: The NF led shacharit in the shul Hashkama minyan:
Melody choices:
1. אתה הוא אלוקינו ---- נער הייתי 
2. ה' מלך - the traditional Gush melody
3. לאל עורך דין - אנא ה' 

Personal grade: B+, I didn't feel well and made some minor mistakes that no one other than me noticed.
Baal musaf was fast, had good traditional nusach and was boring as sin.

RH day 2: The NF led shacharit in the main minyan:
1. Shulachti - Beshem Hashem (Carlebach)
2. Ata Hu Elokenu - Ana HAshem (Carlebach)
3. Melech Elyon - First the Krakower niggun and then this modzitz niggun 
4. Hashem Melech - the traditional Gush melody
5. Kedusha - Rachem Bchasdecha...

 Of course, in chazarat hashatz, I threw in a simcha lartzecha and in Avina Malkeinu, a tehei hashaa hazot. Vaani tefilati was sung to vlirushalayim.

No questions asked, I got the room singing.
Personal Grade: A

Dr. D led a pretty much flawless musaf which managed to really get the room going. As usual it was a pleasure to listen to.

 The Rav of the shul awarded both the NF and Dr D golden shtenders, asked us if we would be willing to become the chazzanim for life (with a salary) and have our oldest respective sons marry his daughters. OK, the latter two items didn't happen but he did ask us to stand by his side during neila and provide musical support (ie, start the melodies, provide harmonies etc).

 YK was soon upon us and after a quick mikveh run, the NF was sitting down on Friday afternoon to two different kinds of kreplach prepared by Mrs. NF. Delicious. Mrs. NF has won a golden spatula.

Arriving at shul, Dr. D and the NF took our seats in the overflow/vatikin minyan (where we would be davening in the morning) just as Dr.CT was starting to intone Kol Nidrei. I have never heard such a technically correct, souless rendition. It was as dry as a camel turd in the middle of the Sahara.

The NF and Dr. D quickly went upstairs to the main minyan where the baal tefilla attempted to integrate well known pop songs (this and this) into the selichot to make the 3 and half chilonim in the room feel more comfortable.

 YK morning - the NF led shacharit in the vatikin minyan (5:40 start, 6:05 HaMelech, End of Shacharit: 7:50)
Melody selection:

El Adon - Ein k'erkecha
Ata hu - Ya Ribbon (Gush)
Hayom Yikatev - Mochel Avonot
Melech Elyon - the usual Carlebach set to get it over with quickly
Al Yisrael - vhavitotim
Haderet vaHemuna - the seuda Shlishit melody
L'El Orech din - Ana Hashem
Kedusha - Breslav lecha Dodi
Ki Anu Amecha - Tzama Nafshi
Val Kulam - Modzitz
Vani Tefillati - Baruch El Elyon
Personal Grade: A-/A

Dr. D led his usual flawless musaf. Neila was really nice with lots of good singing. Dr. D and I managed to teach the kehilla mochel avonot and we finished excatly on time. More importantly, the massive ice coffee the NF drank just seconds after making havdalla was inspired.