Sunday, August 10, 2008

Should We Tell Him About The Rocks?

There is an old joke that has many variation but has to do with walking on the water. The version of the joke I know is about a Priest, a Rabbi and a Minister who go out fishing. While fishing, the Rabbi realizes that he left his ice water back at shore and says he is going to get it. He stands up, walks across the water, gets his drink, walks back and sits down next to his colleagues on the boat.

A few minutes later the Minister says that he is out of bait and has more back at shore and he is going to get it. He stands up, walks across the water, gets the bait, walks back and sits down next to his colleagues.

The Priest, upon seeing this, decides that if the Rabbi and the Minister can walk on water, certainly he, the Priest, can do so. He excuses himself explaining that he too left something back at shore and has to get it. He stands up and tries to walk across the water. He falls in and drowns. The Minister turns to the Rabbi and says, “Do you think we should have told him about the rocks in the water?”

As I indicated last week, for the first time in a number of years, I had the opportunity to listen to someone else do Haftorah. The Haftorah is swithcing back and forth between the traditional melody used for Haftorah and the traditional melody used on Tisha B’Av (which was Saturday night through Sunday night this year). The person who chanted Haftorah did so using the traditional Haftorah melody.

I remember the first time I did it that I received a phone call making sure I know about the changes in melody (which I did). I could not help but think someone should have done this for the person who chanted it this past week.

He did a nice job and I do not criticize him for not knowing. After all , the way you learn is by having someone tell you. I just felt the Shul fell short in its obligation to let this individual know.

Still, it was nice listening to someone else chant Haftorah and, as I said, he did a nice job.

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