Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tales from HP 2

During Sukkot the shteibel I attend had a Simchat Beit Shoevah. One of the Bostoner customs is that during the celebration the 15 Psalms that begin "Shir HaMalot" are recited. For each psalm Reb M would ask someone to recite the psalm (with everyone repeating each verse), and then pick a zemer (song) or niggun (wordless melody) for us all to sing.

My ability to read a random Hebrew text is limited - I can stumble through it, but it is obvious I am struggling. Since there were more than 15 men there I was relaxed since Reb M is familiar with how much I dislike reading unfamiliar texts aloud. Imagine my surprise when he called on me to read! Oh well, into the breach. Shir Hamalot, Bishuv Hashem, Et Shivat Tziyon .... He asked me to read the psalm we say on Shabbat and Yom Tov before bentching! I was so pleased he had done such a thoughtful thing. I got through it without difficult and led people in my favorite niggun.


Leora said...

Glad you are enjoying the chag. Nice story.

Unknown said...

From all you've told me he sounds like a great rabbi.

Ze'ev Felsen said...

Psalms 121 and 130 are likely also familiar although less so. They are often said in a time of great need, particularly after davening when there is a sick person or a bad security situation for which the community wishes to pray.