Sunday, May 14, 2006

Top Davening Pet Peeves

In no particular order, for anyone who cares...

General annoyances

Carlebach tunes fit to everything

I don't mind use of Carlebach tunes. I use them sometimes. But, they don't fit any words particularly well. On the other side of the coin, that means that they fit everything equally well. Bonus bad karma for singing Carlebach tunes at the speed of a lullaby.

The 100% mumbled Kabbalat Shabbat

It's Shabbat, not Tisha B'Av! On the other hand, it should not take an hour and a half.

Kaddish

ויתהדר ויתעלה ויתעלל
This is a long list of God's attributes. Praised, yes. Abusive, no.

The name of God

Example, Kabbalat Shabbat: The Psalm says:
טוב להודות ליהוה
which we avoid during prayer by pronouncing it:
טוב להודות לאדוני
not:
טוב להודות ל[ה]שם
or, worse:
טוב להודות לאדושם.

Evil tunes


From the repetition of the Shacharit and/or Musaf Amidah


שים, שים, שים שלום
שים שלום טובה וברכה [בעולם]
שים, שים, שים שלום [בעולם] טובה וברכה

(repeated after every few words)

From Musaf k'dushah:


איה מקום כבודו?
איה מקום כבודו?
כבודו מלא, מלא עולם
איה מקום כבודו?
כבודו מלא, מלא עולם
משרתיו שואלים, שואלים זה לזה
איה מקום כבודו? (x2)

In some crazy way, the song's reordering of the words makes some sense, whereas the real nusach,

כבודו מלא עולם, משרתיו שואלים זה לזה. איה מקום כבודו?

"answers" the question before "asking" it.

and...


לדור ודור... (repeat ad infinitum)

From Musaf Amidah repetition


וביום, וביום, וביום השבת
וביום, וביום, וביום, וביום, וביום השבת
וביום, וביום, וביום ,וביום, וביום השבת
שני כבשים בני שנה, בני שנה תמימים
ושני עשרונים סולת, סולת מנחה בלולה
סולת מנחה בלולה בשמן, בשמן ונסכו
עולת שבת, עולת שבת בשבתו, עולת שבת בשבתו על עולת התמיד ונסכה

Has all the exciting content of an ingredient list in a recipe, probably because it is one. What day was it made on again? Extra annoyance points for singing the refrain more than once.

and just after that...


ישמחו במלכותך שומרי, שומרי, שומרי שבת
וקוראי עונג שבת (x2)
עם מקדשי, מקדשי שביעי שבת (ישמחו...)
כולם ישבעו ויתענגו מטוביך שבת (ישמחו...)
ובשביעי רצית בו, רצית בו וקדשתו שבת (ישמחו...)
חמדת ימים אותו קראת שבת (ישמחו...)
זכר למעשה בראשית שבת (ישמחו...)

Takes forever, and gratuitously inserts the word שבת everywhere.

On calling up aliyot

Egalitarian congregations' gabbaim calling up a daughter of a kohen for the first aliyah: כהן קרב יעמד
Yes, it says it in the Siddur Sim Shalom (1985 ed), but that siddur only includes egalitarian instructions inconsistently.

Along the same lines, תעמד פלונית בת פלוני מפטיר

When no Kohen is present, and a Yisrael is called up for the second aliyah:
יעמד פלוני בן פלוני במקום לוי
The Israelite is not "in the place of a Levite." Not only does a Levite has no precedence for the second aliyah, he has a negative precedence for it (and an equal or negative precedence for the first, depending on custom).

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Comments:
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1. Carlebach tunes fit to everything

Get rid of all Carlebach tunes to anything-- except his tune for פתחו לי שערי צדק, probably because it fits very well with the Aeolian-ish hexachord of the traditional Ashkenazzic Hallêl.

2. The 100% mumbled Kabbalat Shabbat

Get rid of Qabbolath Shabboth altogether! ;-)

3. ויתהדר ויעלה ויתעלל

The GR"O's text is just ויתהדר ויתעלה שמיה דקודשא בריך הוא לעילא, etc. It makes sense for the last verb of praise to be ויתעלה, because the sentence continues with the etymologically related adverb לעילא. However, I do not follow the GR"O on this point, but rather the Ashkenazzi tradition, which is to include the last verb ויתהלל.

I do wish to point out, though, that the correct Aramaic vocalization of the words is: וְיִתְהַדַּר וְיִתְעַלֵּה וְיִתְהַלַּל, not the often-heard abomination וְיִתְהַדָּר וְיִתְעַלֶּה וְיִתְהַלָּל.

4. The name of God

Wow, you've actually heard people use the kinnui השם during the recitation of that Psalm in Qabbolath Shabboth? Oy.

What's your opinion regarding the common mispronunciation הֲשֶׁם rather than הַשֵּׁם?

5. From the repetition of the Shacharit and/or Musaf Amidah: שים שלום

Yup, that Sim Sholôm tune sucks.

6. From Musaf k'dushah: איה מקום כבודו

Ah, yes. The so-called "Conservative tune". Remind me again why I no longer davven in Conservative shuls?

7. לדור ודור...

Grr. ימח שמו שֶׁלַּנּגון הזה.

8. From Musaf Amidah repetition: וביום השבת

I don't hear that one terribly often. Thank God! (Not that sacrifices aren't incredibly cool, and one of the most important features of our religion....)

9. ישמחו במלכותך

A friend of mine once showed me that the repetition of שבת in this tune actually changes the meaning of at least one phrase: כולם ישבעו ויתענגו מטובך שבת. The phrase actually means: "They will all be satisfied with and enjoy Thy goodness", with "Thy goodness" meaning some kind of divine gift, probably quite different from the Sabbath. With the addition of the word שבת, the phrase comes to mean: "They will all be satisfied with and enjoy Thy goodness, namely the Sabbath (or possibly: on the Sabbath)".

10. Calling up the daughter of a kôhên with the words כהן קרב יעמד:

Of course, these words should not be said in the masculine gender. But I see very little reason at all to use them (grammatically modified to בת כהן קִרְבִי, תעמד) for the daughter of a kôhên, even if one is deeming the first `aliyyo appropriate for her. After all, the reason that we call up the kôhên with the word קרב is that we want to allude to the sacrificial service, about which Moses told his brother Aaron קרב אל המזבח (Leviticus 9:7). The daughters of kôhanim are not eligible to perform priestly rôles in the sacrificial service.

11. יעמד פלוני בן פלוני במקום לוי

Yup, innaccurate and annoying. It's also a bit inaccurate when a kôhên, having been called up for the first `aliyyo, is called up for the second with the words "יעמוד במקום לוי". He's not "in place of a Levite", for he IS a Levite.

(Although I must say that one time, I called up a kôhên for the first `aliyyo with the words יעמוד פלוני בן פלוני הכהן, and for the second `aliyyo with the words יעמוד פלוני בן פלוני הכהן הלוי. He turned to me, and said: "Who do you think you are, the Deuteronomist?!"
 
I'm just vastly entertained by the fact that I instantly knew all the specific tunes you mention (although I think I know an even more-drawn-out version of that line in the musaf Kedushah). And I think I'm the only person in my current shul who does remember to call up a bat kohen with the correct wording. On the other hand, I don't so much mind "uv'yom, uv'yom, uv'yom ha-shabbat" because it leads rather pleasantly into the yismechu you also hate. I should post a list of my own pet peeves just as soon as I finish Grading Hell.

Also, how would you call up a Yisrael for the second aliyah? Just as sheini? And how do you distinguish between calling up a Yisrael for the first and the second? I don't think I've ever encountered the Yisrael-as-sheini situation -- possibly because I usually have my Levite husband in tow. (I like Mar Gavriel's solution, though. Hee.)
 
Mar Gavriel --

Lots of good points that I didn't even bother mentioning!

not the often-heard abomination

Most speakers of Hebrew who I know do not differentiate between the sounds of the Kamatz (Gadol) and Patah anyway.

Wow, you've actually heard people use the kinnui השם during the recitation of that Psalm in Qabbolath Shabboth?

Yes. And, all because of a stupid Carlebach tune.

"Hashem" vs. "Hasheim" -- never cared. I think it's an entirely new word anyway.

Ah, yes. The so-called "Conservative tune". Remind me again why I no longer davven in Conservative shuls?

Not fair. DW learned it in an Ortho shul, while I was tortured with it in a Conservative one. This is a cross-denominational scourge.

The daughters of kôhanim are not eligible to perform priestly rôles in the sacrificial service.

Is that the only reason for the wording or just a d'rash on it?

for he IS a Levite.
He's a special type of Levite who ordinarily have a negative precedence for that aliyah. So, the wording sort-of makes sense.

Naomi Chana --
I think I know an even more-drawn-out version of that line in the musaf Kedushah

There are only so many times I could cut and paste before getting bored. :-)

Also, how would you call up a Yisrael for the second aliyah? Just as sheini

שני (male), שנית or שניה (female)

I have encountered a Yisrael as sheini situation, but have never encountered a Kohen b'mkom Levi. To understand why, it helps to know that I'm a Levi. Your Levi husband doesn't prevent a Yisrael as sheini. That situation only depends on the absence of a Kohen.
 
MG: Your "Conservative" tune is a genuine Hassidic melody (unlike most "Hassidic" melodies we know, which tend to neo-Hassidic compositions).
 
A few thoughts:

Mumbled Kabbalat Shabbat:

Not quite on topic, but it may interest you to know that talking (as opposed to chanting) through 9 Av services is an invention of American Jewish summer camps. Believe it or not, there is (or was) a special nusah for 9 Av.

Kaddish:

I've also heard ויתהדר ויתהלה ויתהלל.

Ledor Vador:

I've actually met the cantor who wrote that tune.

Yismehu:

I actually like that tune as a table song. Doesn't belong in davening, I agree.
 
Believe it or not, there is (or was) a special nusah for 9 Av.

Yes. Not only do I believe it, I know the nôsah! (Interestingly, in the Frankfurt-am-Main minhog, this tune is used for the קריאת התורה and הפטרה on the morning of 9 Ov, and not just the davvening. This practice is sort of isomorphic to using a special tune for the Scriptural readings on Rôsh Hasshono and Yôm Kippur.)
 
ויתהדר ויתעלה ויתעלל

This is a long list of God's attributes. Praised, yes. Abusive, no.


But see Exodus 10:2: אשר התעללתי במצרים
 
Of all the things to say N times a day, I don't think that's what we want to emphasize.
 
Ha ha ha! Add to this list:
- Using the Friday night nusach for the chatzi kaddish before musaf
- Zachor et yom hashabbat lekOdsho ... vayanach bayom hashevi'i
- Erev shel shoshanim in the kedushah

(I used to get bent out of shape about ve-imeru until it was pointed out to me that it's a sheva meracheif.)
 
Using the Friday night nusach for the chatzi kaddish before musaf

This one bugs me too. I was going to stick it into a second post.

Zachor et yom hashabbat lekOdsho

Good point.

vayaNACH bayom

I don't usually notice emphasis, but sometimes I do when gabbai-ing (and don't correct it, but snicker to myself).

Erev shel shoshanim in the kedushah

Doesn't bother me.
 
vayaNACH bayom

Oy. How about "shômê'A tefIllo" (for shômÊa` tefillO)?
 
Also Eloha.
 
Since we're on the topic of common mispronunciations, Shabbat reminded me of this one (not that anyone did it this week):
שלום עליכם מלאכי השרת מלאכי עליון ממלך מלאכי המלכים...
 
Yup, I noticed some people making that Sholôm `Aleikhem mistake a few weeks ago. Personally, I don't do Sholôm `Aleikhem, though. (My family's minhog is not to sing it.)

And on the topic of "Eloha": see here.
 
Yup, I noticed some people making that Sholôm `Aleikhem mistake a few weeks ago. Personally, I don't do Sholôm `Aleikhem, though. (My family's minhog is not to sing it.)

And on the topic of "Eloha": see here.
 
1. Growing up, we had an extra "sim." Consider yourselves blessed.

2. On a somewhat related note, anyone know why we rush through the verses after "Ain Kelokeinu?" Supposedly you're supposed to say them slowly, as a rememberance of the fact that leaving out an ingredient = death.
 
Supposedly you're supposed to say them slowly, as a rememberance of the fact that leaving out an ingredient = death.

I'd guess that it's because they're long, not particularly interesting, and not very relevant. You're reading a recipe that you don't even have to make.

The Sim Shalom siddur skips it entirely, leaving only the last paragraph.
 
Anonymous--

Here's a great way to be annoying in shul: When davvening has lasted way too long, and the sheliah tzibbur sings Ên Kêlôhênu to the Carlebach Tune, don't stop with the last verse. Keep singing: "Pittum hakketôres, hattzori vehattzippôren hahelbeno vehallevôno, mishkal shisshim shisshim mone-- HEY!-- môr u-ketzi`o shibbôles nêrd vekharkôm mishkal shissho `osor shissho `osor mone-- HEY!, etc."

This shtick never fails.
 
I was anonymous, sorry for leaving it out.
-- Meredith

P.S. - MG, I think I'm gonna try that next Saturday.
 
MG- in terms of hashem and hasheim- they're related sounds anyways, and vowel shifting there is hardly a surprise. There's little enough difference between the two sounds in many Hebrew dialects anyways (I had a Hebrew teacher, zichronah livrakha, once who was trying to teach the two respective vowels as the same sound to someone else in the class...

The tune to Adon Olam with all the repetitions (the one with the repeat-after-me first stanza as a chorus) is pretty annoying when there aren't children around to sing it. On the other hand, I don't mind some of the ones you mentioned (while others make me nearly physically ill).

As for the calling of a bat kohen- what if you're Trying to imply that if/when the Temple is rebuilt, the priesthood will be egalitarian? Then what?
 
1. [Karlibach] We talked about Pis.chu li sha`arei tzedek - I concur.

2. [KabShab] As the Japanese say: Ken yi ro-tzun.)

3. [Yis-alei] Where do you split the Kaddesh into phrases? Le-eilo? Berich hu?

4.["hashem" in psalm] Aouy wa-awaaaaoouy!

5. [Sim. Shalom.] Sucks. (Though this maudlin tune is nice if you had one or too glasses of sweetish wine too many.)

6. Sucks. When I hear "Aye? Aye? Aye? Aye mekom kevoddecha?", I can't but answer: Indeed, where is it? Rather not here.

7. [Ledor vador] Sucks. The idea is to see one's children grow until the chazzen (and the tzibber who acts as such) is done with singing.

8. [Uvyom] Sucks. An one is inclined to say, YES - beYOM hashabbes, not bemôtze shabbes!

9. [Yismechu] Sucks. Even more so if they say: Yis! Mächu! BemAllä chuttächA.

11. [Kôn-Leivi] When you say P. b. P. hakkôhein, it's not his function during the eliyes, but simply his name, just like you call up the rav as Yaamôd moure moureine ... even if you don't call him up AS the rav, as in different minhogem for different parshes. So there's no need to say "hakkôn halleivi". Also, you're probably not saying kounem and leviem aren't Jews, are you, so you'd better add yisrol, which isn't confined to the shevet.
 
lipman --
Where do you split the Kaddesh into phrases? Le-eilo? Berich hu?
Not sure what you mean. "B'rich hu" has a congregational response...
 
"B'rich hu" has a congregational response...

You mean the tzibber reponding "Berich hu"? Add that to the collection of abominations. :-)

Well, 'abomination' is a strong word, but it's an error. The thing came about as a reminder for the sha"tz where to start the sentence.
 
I'm not sure that I would come out so strongly against it:
(1) it's a custom that's unlikely to change.
(2) it makes sense either way (unlike the Sephard בה, בו, בם thing).
 
Maybe it's just annoying how people religiously say "Brichu", thinking it was parallel to "Boruch hu uvoruch schemô", where it actually is just a reminder for the sha"tz, especially as it lost its effect there.

But how about those kaddeishem where one isn't supposed to be mafsik? This is no longer a matter of my idiosyncrasies. Answering to Kaddish is sanctioned, but other insertions aren't. They same people that would never miss the holy Brichu tend to skip the Omen after Go-al Yisro-el.
 
religiously say "Brichu"

I would replace "religiously" with "instictually." The Kaddish is such a common meme in our liturgy, that sometimes, it seems like "Yitgadal v'yitkadash..." means "jump up from your seat," and the responses come out of the mouth before the words ever reach the higher functions of the brain. :-)

But how about those kaddeishem where one isn't supposed to be mafsik?

Isn't "supposed to be!?" Sometimes, written halacha from one or more communities and the minhag in general (or other local) practice conflict. This may be one of those cases.

but other insertions aren't.

Certainly, the response "b'rich hu" (or "Amen") is "sanctioned" by widespread communal custom!

tend to skip the Omen after Go-al Yisro-el.

Because whether this particular response is "proper" also depends on communal practice and/or interpretation of halacha.
 
I don't quite understand where you draw the line between abominations and changes or breaches of the din (both in mimetic and written tradition), hallowed by wide-spread communal customs.
 
The common themes of the "abominations" (as you call them) are:
(1) annoyingness: endless repetitions
(2) changes from something that has meaning to something that is meaningless: using the wrong gendered language or using "Hashem" during davening
(3) worst: changes in actual meaning, especially to something you really don't want to be saying (my Kaddish heh->ayin example).

The wrong-nusach issues are something of a lower level. They have no halachic significance, but they do have some minhag-significance.

If the issue is simply a difference in communal custom, I don't consider it a problem.

A good counterexample is "brich hu." As far as I can tell, it makes linguistic sense both ways. While there may be historical reasons to prefer one over the other, there are no current reasons to change it back.

It's also quite a bit easier to change the choices of tunes than it is to change well-known practice.
 
the "abominations" (as you call them)

Sorry, I thought I had taken up your own wording. In fact, it was MG in his comment who used the word.
 
(1) annoyingness: endless repetitions

Like the chazzen and one or two dozen others saying B(e)rich(h)u? I find that chazzonem tend to make a pause there, even if they don't make a pause between the broches of chazores hasha"tz, so people can savour it.

(Otherwise, I don't say a four-minute vocal dance on schomre-schomre-schomre annoys me less. :-) )


(2) changes from something that has meaning to something that is meaningless

Like from telling the sha"tz where the phrase starts to meaningless utterance of two words?


(3) worst: changes in actual meaning, especially to something you really don't want to be saying.

Like the difference in meaning, depending where you start the phrase?

Some of these points aren't very strong, I admit, but IMO they still fit your criteria, at least enough not to qualify as a good counterexample.
 
Like from telling the sha"tz where the phrase starts to meaningless utterance of two words?

Actually, I think it has gained new meaning, and, effectively lost its old one. [By the way, do you have any idea *when* it had the meaning you ascribe to it?]

and, because of that...
chazzonem tend to make a pause there...

Like the difference in meaning, depending where you start the phrase?

But, we're not talking about a major difference here. They're quite similar (loose translation in an attempt to turn it into something resembling English):
"His holy name is [list of synonyms of praised]"
(reader and cong--) "Blessed is He..."
"Greater than..."

vs.

"His holy name is [list of synonyms of praised]. He is more blessed than ..."

neither is theologically troubling.

even if they don't make a pause between the broches of chazores hasha"tz

The ends of sentences deserve something of a pause; if nothing else, it gives a chance to breathe.
 
between the broches of chazores hasha"tz

Lipman, why chazores, and not chezores? Doesn't your transliteration scheme usually use |e| for chataf-pathach?
 
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