I think my subsonscious is trying to tell me that I've been a little too serious lately, because I had the following dream last week (as I was in the midst of studying three different kinds of trop, Torah, haftarah, and Eikha):
Setting: A college sports stadium. I have somewhat less than zero percent interest in organized sports (apart from the Mets, only because I'm from Queens and happened to be at Game 7 in 1986, the most exciting event of my entire lifetime). In this dream, for some reason, my brain chose to access its -.0003 of knowledge of what happens in a stadium.
The stands are filled, but clearly divided: one set of fans is on the left, the other on the right. On the field are little creatures that kind of look like Gumby but white and with shorter legs, bunched together in two separate groups like marching bands minus the instruments. They're dressed in tiny football jerseys emblazoned not with numbers but, yes, you guessed it, trop symbols (the little markings that go under the Hebrew letters to tell you what melody to use when singing the word).
On the field in front of these two teams is a row of folding chairs, one of which I occupy. I'm a judge. This, it seems, is the Gumby-trop creature version of American Idol. I'm all alone out there; my fellow judges are at lunch. I pay rapt attention to the sounds from the two huddled-together groups of trop creatures as, one by one, team by team, they step forward and chant--wait, it's Esther! No, it's Eikha! They're not very good. The crowd yells, then boos. I listen, stroking my chin like a rabbi, weighing all the facts in order to make the best decision.
Finally I get up. I point to the Gumby-creature team at left. They're the best! I could tell that they were singing Eikha, not Esther! The frenzied crowd rises to its feet, screaming and applauding. I've done my job.
(I think this means I need a vacation.)