I passed an audition

Posted on January 14, 2009


A couple of months ago my brother Daniel asked me to chant a section of the Torah reading at my nephew Benjamin’s bar-mitzvah, and I agreed (my father and other brother at first also agreed to chant and later begged out). My bar-mitzvah was a classical reform bar-mitzvah which meant that I never learned to chant, though since then I have acquired a pretty good Hebrew and have heard lots of Torah chanting at our conservative shuls. Well it turns out that to be approved to read Torah at Jacksonville Jewish Center one must demonstrate proficiency, and tonight in a phone call to the responsible person there I auditioned for that role and passed. I still don’t know how to read trope (cantillation marks), but I can carry a tune and fake it well enough to chant in public. So in two and a half weeks, 41 years and a month after my own bar-mitzvah, I will chant Torah for the first time at my nephew Ben’s bar-mitzvah.

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