The NF attended the Great Synagogue for
First Day, Dr. Spiritual led a very good shacharit with accurate nusach using melodies that hadn't really been heard in our famous South Jerusalem Synagogue. Surprisingly, people sang along. Musaf was led by Velvet who did his usual Grade A job. On a personal level, the NF did not enjoy musaf - although Velvet's nusach is pretty perfect and he has a great voice, musaf was predictable and even a bit boring.
The only thing that made RH Day 1 interesting is the fact that there was a brit --- the NF recently joined the shul's Gabbai Corps and was therefore included on all the email/whassup discussions between the family, the Rav, the gabbaim and the mohel as to when to do the brit. Apparently, there is an ancient Ashkenazi minhag to do the brit immediately before tekiot and the mohel is not supposed to wipe his mouth after doing metziza b'peh (if you don't know what that is - google it or better yet, don't) and then blow the shofar with the blood of the brit still on his lips so that the blood of brit Avraham mixes with the the shofar of Akeidat Yitzhak. Narsty! Anyway, the mohel was happy to do the brit before tekiot but let us know that the ancient minhag of mixing blood with the shofar has gone the way of eating p'tcha and molesting little boys in the mikveh. Sure you can find those who still still do it but the mainstream has abandoned the practice.
Second Day, the NF led Shacharit and Dr. D led musaf. It all went perfectly fine although it can be said that chazzaning on the High Holy Days in the main minyan of our famous South Jerusalem Synagogue is becoming more and more challenging. Most of the 'young' crowd (age 35 and younger) goes to the vatikin minyan leaving the main minyan heavy on the alta kocker side. While the room doesn't quite have the feel of an old age home (and most of the alta kockers don't have the old person smell --- yet), getting the room going can be a challenge!