Sunday, April 15, 2007

484. Hoopoes, bustards and kites, oh my

Mad props to my yad. It led the way this morning like a pro, not too long, not too short, perfectly weighted in the middle so I had something solid to grab on to. My favorite part is the little index finger at the end, which is taller than most and really seems to point rather than just come along for the ride as I drag. I try to stop myself from getting attached to objects, but this piece of silver and I were meant to find each other--

--even if our relationship began with one of us not knowing what the other was talking about. As I finished reading, the rabbi turned to me and whispered, "What's a hoopoe?" "I have no idea," I whispered back, and immediately wanted to beat my breast and declare "Al chet." What kind of Jew was I to study and chant a passage and not even bother to crack the dictionary? Then again, the rabbi had been reading this section for many decades. (Although I'm sure he knew the meaning in his native language.) He caught the eye of the other rabbi. "What's a hoopoe?" he whispered. The other rabbi shrugged. I felt slightly less guilty.

After services I bumped into the cantor, who had sent around an email the day before. Usually the Torah reading lineup is planned a month or two in advance, but every once in awhile people back out or take vacations and a last-minute plea is issued. I didn't reply, thinking I needed a little break. "Can you help next week?" he asked, smiling and shaking his head up and down, yes.

Well, OK. I'm addicted, and always love a challenge. If I can learn to pronounce the names of arcane birds, songs about bodily fluids and emissions will surely trip off my tongue.

1 comment:

Regina said...

Hee hee- I liked this post very much. Your little yad is perfect! And the hoopoe is a very nice bird, indeed!