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In Which I Get Pissy About Institutionalized Elitism

(With apologies to the bona fide Kohahim out there with nothing to prove)

There's this thing, this streak of gray gravel in the midst of the snowbank; a touch of the old tribal hierarchy that hasn't died out in our tradition. To me, it mars the beauty and humanity of Jewish tradition and spiritualism.

I'll work from the outside in: On Yom Kippur, I stood in the choir loft, facing away from the front of the sanctuary, covering my eyes, so I wouldn't be able to see a group of middle-aged to senior men in stocking feet repeating a short prayer, guided word-by-word by the cantor, as they bestowed upon us their blessing; a blessing granted by their super-special authority, because they claim they're the great-great-great-great-greatn grand-nephews of Moses.

Yes, that Moses. )

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Friday night's Kol Nidre service was uneventful, except for three tidbits:

1. Got bulldozed by what I thought was Gene Siskel's son. Turns out his son is only, like, 8 or something. So it's either his brother, or HE'S BACK FROM THE DEAD. I'm freaked out a little.

2. Got unbearably hot in the loft, and combined with the endless repetitions of the prelude, which turned all our larynxes to hamburger, it got a little frustrating. Took a while to find anything with which to fan myself. Found a nice firm envelope in my bag, which turned out to synagogue contract. Please to be enjoying luscious metaphor.

3. Any director who insists you sing a long-tone exercise, low in your vocal range, without any rests (catch breaths only), 11 times through, LARGO, at the beginning of a performance, should be shot on site and also deported to a rock in the middle of the Baltic. It is impossible to recover from more than 15 minutes of solid, unceasing long tones, sung over an increasingly rude and loud congregation. IM POSSIBLE. There wasn't even enough of a break between iterations to even allow us to SWALLOW. *rage*

I didn't have my formerly-traditional bacon cheeseburger. That's three years running now.

In part two: Institutionalized elitism, Go Team Israel RAH RAH RAH, absurd melisma, train wrecks and a YAY for me. (And maybe our Internet connection will stay up for more than 5 minutes. Lost both Internet and phone since YESTERDAY. Gah.)


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August 2010

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