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Monday, February 26, 2007


Purim is less than a week away.

For my bar mitzvah, I not only read the parasha of the week (Tetzaveh), but Megillat Ester as well. Well, around a third of the Megillah, anyway. And I even threw in a few voices and some musical tricks (for dramatic effect) so that I could use the opportunity to show off. No one actually suggested any of this to me- I just surprised them all with the neat gimmicks I'd imagined. See, I wouldn't aim to do what anyone else could do- I needed to show that I had a unique contribution to offer.

Since it was so much work, I decided after that that I'd only read the Megillah every other year. Each time, I tried to top my previous ambitions, apparently because I hadn't aimed high enough the last time. Each time I added in more voices, improved on the old ones, learned a larger portion of the Megillah, and came up with a few new musical gimmicks. The last time, I intended to finish it off, but ended up handing off the ending to the Rabbi because he asked if he could do it. (I was blessed that he should ask- I wasn't good at the ending at all.) Each time, I took it a little bit more seriously, because the longer you stick with something the more attached you get to it. But I always did the reading in the morning, when there were fewer people listening, as opposed to the big reading in the night.

This is the "other" year. This is the seventh year since starting with this whole project, and so it is the fourth time I am reading, and this will be the first time that I finish the job. I will read all ten chapters, including all the voices called for, and every little gimmick I can think of. And this year I'm doing it at night- this will be the megillah reading for our community.

So here's where I stand.
This is a trial, to see whether I can meet my own improbable goals of offering something to society.

If I succeed, I will have proven to myself that I can accomplish any goal I set for myself, no matter how outrageous. The title="74">glory of the success will encourage me to pursue my other goals, setting me on a hard path into a glorious life of hardships.

If I fail, I will have demonstrated to myself that I'm not good enough in the Real World to achieve the silly dreams in my head. That will start a very gradual process of increasing title="Myst and Mirages">dissatisfaction with the disconnection between the Real World and the one in my head, which will eventually lead me right back to depression. The failure would weigh on my mind, holding me in place right here.

At least, that's how I imagine the situation.

Here's where I stand in Reality.
I thought I had two weeks to go until Purim. So practicing seriously was something that I'd do "some day soon". But then, on Shabbat, my father mentioned that both my parasha and Purim were coming up this week. The parasha is no problem at all- I've done it every year for seven years, so I could read it in my sleep, without any practice. But I thought the Megillah was a week later. And that... I'm not ready for it, not really. There are mistakes all over the place. There are large sections I've forgotten, or that I never knew well to begin with.

Here's where I stand. I've got this one week to get it right. I also happen to be in the middle of the mother of all distractions: a great new The Legend of Zelda experience. (This situation seems title="Tapestry Thread: WHAM!">familiar somehow.)

Here's how I imagine the situation:

I can be a child and live for the present.


I can be an adult and live for the future.

One birthday, I went to Norman's with Benjy. And I told him there that if I could wish for anything, it'd be that I'd never stop changing from one year to the next. I guess I really have changed. Maybe it's time to wake up and acknowledge that there's a hard road ahead, but a road that -God willing- can be passed.

Purim is less than a week away. And I'm going to be ready.



Wow. Congratulations, and good luck.

By the way, normally I wouldn't consider reading in the night because it's right after the fast and there is no way I'd be willing to do this whole thing without having had enough food or drink. But this year, Purim's on a Sunday, which means the fast is pushed back to Thursday so it shouldn't fall on a Shabbat. It's so lovely how everything ties together.

I think you did a great job, personally. I disliked your choice of tunes for the blessings, but other than that, it was a lot of fun.
Although you didn't seem particularly happy when I went to shake your hand....

A non-kehila member was present at your reading, and commented to me afterwards, "Wow, that reading was really different. I didn't know your rabbi was so cool!"
I know I'd be complimented by that, but take it as you will. ^_^

Although you didn't seem particularly happy when I went to shake your hand....

I wasn't particularly happy, because I'd just completely messed up the tune for the ending brakha I'd composed. I was still sort of dwelling on that. Did you not like my starting brakhas either? (They were loosely based on the standard tune.)

But wow- someone thought I was the rabbi? That's weird. But I do take it as a compliment that someone would be struck by how "different" my reading was. That makes me all cold and fuzzy inside.

I should have been more specific, perhaps - the person who commented was a girl, and therefore never saw your face. But yes, she thought you were the rabbi.

No, I didn't like the starting brachot either. Dunno why, they just didn't fit right with me. *shrug*

Okay, that's fine. But I happen to like them, so I'll keep doing them. You can pretend I'm doing the normal, boring ones. :)

Oh, and how could I forget to ask: Who was the girl who thought I was "so cool"? :D

Sorry, I would have told you in the first place, but it's one of my silly principles. See, people frequently don't like you repeating things they said, so I try not to unless I have permission. And since she doesn't live here, I can't ask for permission. u_u Doesn't really matter, anyway. can pretend you know who it is. =P


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