Friday, September 25, 2009

Being a Sheliach Tzibbur on the Yamim Noraim

As I am still a closet-OTD, I don't really have something to tell about my past frum side, but I can tell you something about my current frum side (the side that is losing it from reason at the moment)...

I love being a sheliach tzibbur.

Note that I don't like being called a chazan, because: a. They usually have better voices, and b. They tend to bore their audiences more than they inspire them. I love singing in general, but this is something that I know I am doing well and people are very appreciative not to have someone singing that has a bad voice or someone with a good voice that doesn't know how to stop. (Oh yes, and grammatically shaliach tzibbur is incorrect!)

In any case, there is a lot of preparation going into the davvening. Having lived in different parts of the world, I always have the opportunity to learn new melodies. Some are beautiful, others are more painful than having your ... cut off with a blunt knife. But at least now I call the shots and will be able to sing what I think is beatiful.

I have been singing the melodies to myself for weeks in the tram, bus, train, car an on the bike. Once I hold my machzor and mp3 player in front of me, I become oblivious to my environment and drift away...

Nussach is a beautiful thing. But I feel more and more distanced to the meaning of the actual text. This Rosh Hashanah on the 2nd evening when I chanted Yigdal (on a very beautiful melody), a pang of guilt went through me as I realized that the 13 Principles of Faith, so beautifully arranged in this poem, struck me as outlandish and absurd.

And so I am afraid of the day that I will be 'found out' or when I will come out of the closet and the powers-to-be will decide that it 'passt nisht' for a koifer to be their sheliach tzibbur. I guess that will be my sacrifice for a life of freedom.

1 comment: