Friday, November 02, 2007


It’s seven a.m.: morning Minyan time.

The Minyan Boyz take turns leading services during the week, sometimes splitting the davening responsibilities, more often with one person leading the entire service. Yesterday was my turn. Today, Irwin leads the front end of the service through P’sukei d’Zimrah, and Barry takes over at Yishtabach.

We move through the Sh’ma, and then it’s time for the Amidah: the standing prayer, AKA the Shemoneh Esrei, the series of nineteen blessings that constitutes the core of the morning service. After that, we do Tachanun - individual supplications - and move to the closing prayers. Ashrei, Psalm 20, Kedushah d’Sidra.

Before moving into Aleinu, we pause to ask whether anyone is observing a yahrzeit - the anniversary of the death of a loved one.

Today, one person is. He steps to the bimah and opens the Aron Kodesh, revealing the Torah scroll within.

This is where I come in. When neither of our two Rabbis are present, I’m the “designated hitter” who chants Eil Malei Rachamim, the traditional Prayer for the Dead.

It’s a beautiful, solemn prayer, one that inspires a special degree of concentration and reverence...

...except, of course, for the fact that I’m wearing this shirt:

BBVD T-Shirt

Well, it does look like that wolf in the back is wearing a tallit, doesn’t it?

At least I left the “Greetings” shirt home today. Heh.

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