MOChassid

The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @ aol.com

Monday, May 28, 2007

Kavanah Deficit

The main takeaway from my extended Shavuous weekend is that I suffer from a severe kavanah deficit attributable to my obsession with nonsense.

Two examples.

A beautiful arrangement of flowers was placed on each side of the bimah for yom tov. I sit in the first row in front of the right side of the bimah. The flower arrangement included a bunch of big, colorful flowers in full bloom. And one completely out-of-place red shriveled up carnation. What were they thinking? (To make matters worse, it was only on my side that there was this out-of-place flower. The other arrangement was perfect).

Needless to say, the carnation drove me crazy all yom tov. I wanted to yank it out but, of course, couldn't. So, rather than focus on my tefilah, I thought about the carnation.

The second example happened on Friday night. The ba'al tefilah, without question one of the top three in our shul, put the first part of Lecha Dodi to Shlomo Carlebach's "Yisborach Shimcha", just recently recorded by Eitan Katz on his new CD. It really worked well and the shul was rocking.

One problem. The ba'al tefilah, and the kehilah, were getting one note wrong. They were going up when they should have gone down (in the last two words of the first stanza, to the words "L'olam va'ed").

I am already crazed by my shul's absolute destruction of Niggun Neshamah and now, another potential botch. I fear it is already too late.

I obsessed all Shabbos.

I think I need intervention.

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11 Comments:

  • At 2:51 PM, Blogger Fern said…

    I'm *still* laughing about the carnation.

    How do you imagine this intervention working?

     
  • At 2:54 PM, Anonymous megapixel said…

    why couldnt you just yank it out?
    the world would be a better place, it sounds like

     
  • At 3:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Boy do i sympathize with SKD syndrome. If sometime in the middle of davening i find a stain the size of pea on my clothes anywhere or a string hanging loose all i can think of is"u think people can see it--whats the best way to walk outta here without showing that side of my clothes to any1-theres no way any1 in the ladies section could possibly see this--what we're up to aleinu alreayd!!@"oy lanu meyom hadin
    happy memorial day.Brad

     
  • At 7:16 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    Man, I really don't get you. On the Alyn Ride you were on a lumpy mattress on the floor of an open tent surrounded by 60 tired snoring men and bleating camels. Yet, you were relaxed and fell asleep promptly.

    On the other hand a wilted carnation and a missed note drive you to unrelenting distraction. Huh?

     
  • At 9:11 PM, Blogger uberimma said…

    He wasn't trying to daven in the tent, I think is the point.

     
  • At 10:01 PM, Blogger PsycleSteve said…

    Both issues deal with shutting out external distractions.

     
  • At 7:40 AM, Blogger yitz said…

    I won't comment on the carnation, BUT THE MUSIC:
    One problem. The ba'al tefilah, and the kehilah, were getting one note wrong. They were going up when they should have gone down (in the last two words of the first stanza, to the words "L'olam va'ed").
    There is a problem that many of us have with this tune, tho I don't know if it's the case here. The second part is remarkably similar to the second part of another old Carlebach tune, "V'chulam Mekablim." But there is a slight difference between the two, & this sometimes causes the singers problems. A similar instance is found on 2 other oldies, "L'Shana Haba" and the first "Ein Kelokeinu". You may not know either of them, but the high [second] parts are VERY similar, tho not identical. Ditto for 2 very similar parts of "Shomrim" and "Ravrvim", this time the first parts.

    I am already crazed by my shul's absolute destruction of Niggun Neshamah...
    Altho it's a cute tune, I am baffled as to why everybody & their grandma 'has to' record this one: Neshama, Jay Walking, Kinderlach, Eitan Katz, Yehuda Green, C Lanzbom...did I miss anyone? Has Shlomo Katz recorded it? I believe he's the one who "found" it & first publicized it. More comments below on your Ma Tovu post.

     
  • At 10:33 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    Psyclesteve

    Uber is right. Virtually nothing can distract me from sleeping, especially after I've ridden a bike 60 miles. (also, I think I might have popped an ambien that night, I don't remember). The problem with davening is that I'm wide awake.

    BTW, you doing Alyn again?

    Yitz

    I previously posted on how the Niggun neshamah has been overplayed and over davened. Shlomo Katz recorded the original version that he did at Binyanei Ha'umah at the Carlebach Yahrtzeit concert a few years ago when he first brought the niggun to the public's attention. It's on V'Hakohanim.

     
  • At 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Stick to the nusach. We have it for a good reason.

     
  • At 12:40 AM, Blogger David said…

    How do they destroy niggun neshomah?

     
  • At 10:53 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    same way. they go up in the first stanza when they should be going down.

     

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