Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I have one up on RenReb and DovBear, in that I actually do lein the Megillah - both in shul and in 'home-based' readings. And you know what was running through my mind? Well, in shul at the night reading, I was thinking, "Why did I have to start Perek vav (sixth chapter) in this key? I'm never going to be able to handle the high notes in the last column. I've been fasting all day, for Haman's sake..."
But I carried it off well enough, and everyone congratulated me for shaving several minutes off last year's official reading time.
But I also had the opportunity to read for a homebound, unwell individual. And that's where I felt more like one of the royal messengers - runners who dashed all over the Persian empire, delivering scrolls with the latest news of horror and hope, to steal a phrase from Dan Brown. (Now that's ironic.)
I mean, in shul, you're reading at the bima. So it's not so different from reading the Torah. It's a communal ritual. Fine. But when you go to someone's house, and you're standing in their dining room or living room, and you pop the top off a courier's tube and unroll a parchment scroll, you feel like clearing your throat and saying, "Hear ye, hear ye!" And for a moment, I really was one of the King's messengers, delivering the news of the day to individual subjects.
The next day, I leined in shul again and then read for another small group later in the afternoon. My voice was finally starting to go. I cracked just once - at the apex of the 'azla geresh' on the word מחשבת המן בן המדתא... Megillah readers will know what I'm talking about.
The seuda with my family was a blast. Shalach monos deliveries brought in 10+ lbs. of candy and chips - NOT counting wines, grape juices, drinks, and baked goods. We're going to have a lot of work ahead of us. Pesach is looming.
Happy Shushan Purim and beyond, boys and girls!
Yup, I know exactly what you're talking about. Fortunately, it didn't happen to me in either of my readings this year.
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