September 28th, 2003


I don't think this is just the fever talking

On Friday night and Saturday morning my friend Bruce and I went to Rosh HaShanah services at Temple Beth Sholom. It's kind of the "fannish" congregation around here, as we always run into at least one or two people we know through fandom there.

This year they had a really good rabbinic student (I hope they can snag her to be their rabbi when she graduates!), but the cantor left something left to be desired. As Bruce put it, "One of us is tone deaf," and as I retorted, "Yeah, and it isn't you or me." The guy was consistently flat, and he often shifted keys mid-tune.

In the past this congregation has had some amazingly good cantorial assistants. For the last two years they had a teenage boy with a fabulous tenor voice. It was a hoot watching him beam as he chanted. Before that a daughter of one of the regulars was doing it.

This year's guy, however, was painful. When it came time to blow the shofar, he was so bad one of the teenage boys came up and tried to help. (T'kiah g'dolah sounded like T'kiah should have sounded.) After the service we heard the boy practicing outside the hall and getting decent sounds out of it.

Anyhow, the thought of this guy (I think he's a rabbi; I heard them referring to him as "rev") doing the Kol Nidre made me cringe so much I decided to take matters into my own hands. I sent the synagogue e-mail this evening volunteering to help with cantorial stuff, specifically mentioning the Kol Nidre (I actually have sheet music for it somewhere!). Unless the boy from last year materializes, I hope they take me up on it.
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