Sunday, 2 November 2008

My Beloved Chants the Torah

On this Shabbat, Cheshvan 3 5769, the 1st day of Novemeber, 2008, Tizrah Elanna bat Levi was called to the Torah.
Laini asked that Ruby, one of my dearest friend's, be giving the honour of carrying the Torah. Ruby said the Shema and then led the Torah Procession.
After the Procession and the Torah at rest on the Holy Desk, Ruby and Mark stand and wait for Howard, the Gabbai to call the Oleh to the Torah. I had to repeat Laini's Hebrew name.
*Gabbai: A Gabbai is a lay person who vollunteers to perform various duties in connection with Torah readings at religious services. Serving as a Gabbai is a great hounor and is bestowed on a person who is thoroughly versed in the Torah and the Torah readings.
A gabbai may do one or more of the following:
choose people who will receive an aliyah (the honor of reciting a blessing over the Torah reading) , read from the Torah, stand next to the person who is reading from the Torah, checking the reader's pronunciation and chanting and correcting any mistakes in the reading*
*Oleh: reader of the blessings, chant the Torah*
"Ta-amond Tirazh Elanna Bat Levi latora!"
("Arise Tirzah Elanna daughter of Levi to the Torah!")
Oleh: "Bar'chu et Adonai: Bless Adonai, Who is blessed."
Congregation: "Blessed Adonia Who is blessed forever and ever."
Oleh: Blessed Adonia Who is blessed forever and ever. Blessed are You, Adonia, our G-d, King of Universe, Who has chosen us from all the nations, and gave us His Torah. Bless are You, Adonai, Giver of the Torah."
Hi everyone:
I just thought I would give you my impressions of the event. Before I start, I have to say that I was so proud of my Beloved! I have to admit, though, that I thought it was going to be our last day on earth.
At the beginning, we thought our friend Ruby was going to kill us because she was caught totally off guard. We were told that Ruby would take the Torah out of the Ark, and then she would hand it to the Gabbai. Well that did not happen! Instead, the Gabbai took the Torah out of the Ark, handed the Torah to Ruby, and then told her that she was the one to chant the Responsive Shema. The look that she gave us! I just looked at my Beloved, and said, "If this is our last day on earth, I just wanted to let you know that I love you very much!"
In reality, Ruby chanted the Responsive Shema beautifully, and we continued the rest of the Torah Service. Then she processed around the synagogue with the Torah. As she passed my Beloved, she whispered, "You didn't let me know what was going on, girlfriend." To which my Beloved responded, "I didn't know, either!"
Once Torah was positioned on the Bemah, and Howard, the Gabbai, had set everything up, he called my Beloved to the Torah. My pride just welled up within me, and I felt a tingle throughout my body as she made her way to the Bemah. And as she chanted, I thought I could see G-d, bending His ear lower, listening intently, and smiling...
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