Thursday, July 26, 2007

Leading Services

Yesterday I showed up for services in the afternoon and I was asked, or more appropriately told by the gabbai, to lead services. It is interesting, I usually show up to daven, not to lead services, I am perfectly content to just be one of the members in the congregation. Of course I could turn them down, but the truth is, it is easier just to say yes.

I led Mincha, the afternoon service. Often times when I lead mincha, I found that people feel I am too fast. I will wait for them, but they feel the part I say out loud is too fast. It is not always easy to slow down. It is funny how when you first start, you get into a groove, and whatever that groove, it is difficult to break out of it. If I start fast, I have a hard time slowing down.

Yesterday I had a feeling I was right on pace. It usually does not work out this way but somehow it did yesterday. No one came up to me afterwards and told me I was at the right speed, but no one complained about being too fast. Unfortunately the person who I usually check with to find out was not at services. Still, what is most important is, I felt I was on.

That having been said, I still would rather just be a member in the congregation as opposed to leading the service. There are those rare times I like to lead, but those are few and far between and often correspond with Yahrzeit.

I do find, however, that by listening to different people lead, I pick up on different ways some things can be done and I have adopted them into my style (if you can call it a style). As a result, if by me leading, it helps other people learn things, and develop their style, than I am happy to help out.