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Oct 29, 2006

davened for the amud

This shabbos morning something unusual happened. The gabbai asked me tolead the shacharis services.

It is unusual because generally I respond in the negative to such requests, so they do not even bother asking anymore.

Why do I say no? Because I have a bad voice. I can sing along decently, but singing on my own or leading a song is another story.

I might add that I happily lead services that require almost no singing and are simply a matter of efficiency, such as weekday services, Pesukei D'Zimra on shabbos, Mincha on Shabbos, and the like. I am not shy in this regard, simply do not feel it appropriate that someone with my voice should lead the Shacharis services.

I have said no in the past enough times that the gabbai rarely asks me. When he does, he must be pretty hard up for a candidate, or it must be a slow week with a small crowd (like this week becaus eof the rain).

My shul has a number of people with beautiful voices and a number of people who can carry a tune very nicely, so they usually have enough people in the pool to choose from for leading services. But sometimes they pick people with voices like mine and usually they daven for the amud and we all have to sit there "enjoying" their voices. The one good thing about these situations is that generally the davening will move along faster.

This week it was my turn. He asked me. I hesitated a moment and said "Yes." I figure if I have to suffer through other people's voices, they can suffer through mine every now and then.

I must say that after I said yes, I immediately regretted it. As the gabbai walked away, i thought to myself, "What am I goign to do now? What tunes will I sing?". I will be honest and admit I do not think I said very much of pesukei d'zimra, as I spent most of the time trying to figure out what tunes I would use.

I picked the most basic tunes (those were the only ones I could think of) - you know, the ones you learn at your bar-mitzva and never forget. The ones you never hear nowadays, because they are so old nobody sings them, except the guys like me who only daven once in a blue moon. Yeah those. I spent the whole (practically) pesukei d'zimra going over them in my head and then I went up to the amud.

It came out ok. The songs I sang were fine (when everyone else joins in they cover my voice up), the problem was more with the solos, like the beginning of the repetition of Shmone Esrai (mixing up different tunes), and voice hitting wrong notes, etc..

Overall, not too bad I think (I don't know what other people thought). My kids did not get to hear it though because they only showed up during the Torah reading.


  1. Aidel heard you and was impressed

  2. hey raf -

    us goldmeiers were never meant to be chazzonim. Dad says the same thing when he has yahrtzeit - " I have to suffer thru everyone else, so let them suffer" to which I respond - "yeah, but why do I have to suffer more?". lol anyway, us goldmeiers were made for efficiency, when a chazzon "krechts" too long for shachris - I get musaf and they know I'm only up there for speed, no singing allowed!

  3. What the heck? What about a certain someone...?! He's got a great voice. He sang my wife down at my wedding. :)

  4. shaya - that's just the way it is..

    ezzie - who sang at your wedding? a relative of mine?

  5. yeah z - who are you talking about? is there a goldmeier with a decent voice? where is he hiding?

  6. I understand, I have a similar challenge.

  7. now I got you. Yes, he has a beautiful voice! He davened a couple weeks ago...


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