For the first time in a few years, I will be getting tomorrow off. Well, I am not really getting the day off but I am not reading Haftorah. As some oe you know and as I have discussed in previous posts, the melody used for this Haftorah (portion of Prophets that is read) switches back and forth between two melodies, the traditional Saturday melody used for Haftorah and the one that is used for Eichah (the book of Lamentations).
A number of years ago, after hearing someone chant it quite beautifully, I decided I wanted to learn it. It took me a number of years but I finally did. Certainly the internet helped as I was able to find a website where you can hear the Haftorah chanted. When the person who had done this Haftorah in the past moved out of the area, I volunteered. I have been doing this one ever since.
This year, apparently someone else volunteered and will now be chanting it. Both my wife and son asked me if I was disappointed. Certainly there is a concept in Judaism of having a “Chazkah” on something, that once you do something three consecutive times, it becomes yours.
The truth is I am not disappointed in the least. When I first volunteered I only expected to do this one once. It is my hope that perhaps my chanting this haftorah, despite my less than wonderful voice, may have inspired someone else to want to try. If so, then this really is a compliment and the highest form of flattery. If not, well then it is what I will choice to believe anyway.
And, for those of you fasting this Tisha B’Av, which starts this Saturday night, I wish you an easy fast.