Tuesday, September 13, 2005

172. Today

Finishing this story will have to wait a little longer; I'm now firmly ensconced in the next chapter. The cantor called today to say, oh, by the way, can you come to a rehearsal tomorrow? Of music you haven't yet learned? The instrumentalists (it's their first rehearsal, too) happen to all be available. I listened to the CD of the Ne'ila service this afternoon, and was relieved to discover that my memory had been accurate. The prayers are all the same, except for some stuff at the end that I really should know but don't (yet). The nusach, the melodic pattern, is slow, plaintive, and insistent--please, keep those gates open a little while longer!--and completely opposite to the hopeful and joyous tone of those same words sung during the morning service. This nusach is also, thank goodness, much easier to learn and memorize than the Shaharit version. (It has to be. One sings it at the conclusion of a 24-hour fast.) So instead of writing some more, this evening, I'll be listening to the cantor sing Yom Kippur into my headphones over and over and over again.

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