The Fades Rant

I'm the Fades, and I rant b/c i have some time to. I dont know..i'll talk about many things on this blog. Religion, girls, life. Thats about it. So really, I'll talk about 3 things.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Gelilah Guy

I've noticed that there are a grand total of ZERO comments on my previous entry which discusses the various elements of a "favor". Should I take this to mean that no one is interested in this topic? Perhaps no one is reading this blog anymore and everyone has forgotten about me. Or perhaps I'm not funny anymore. No matter, I will continue to rant starting now:

I used to be good at this thing called "going to morning services" or "minyan". Now, I don't go as often as the glory days (years 2001-mid 2003), but I still try to put together some good streaks. For example, during the 10 days of repentance, I made it to every morning service except for that was pretty good. Anyway, I'm not so hard on myself for this lazy behavior because I have rollover minyans from the glory days. What are these rollover minyans, you might query? Well- rollover minyans is a system I thought off back in the days of Reishis. I decided that I should be allowed to miss one morning minyan a month. Now, since there are some months I haven't missed any minyans from back in the day, I have all these rollover minyans stored up for now. And I am cashing in baby. Now that I think about it, I think it was that I could miss one minyan a week or maybe one a day. Yeah...that makes more sense.

Anyway, it seems now that every time I show up for these services I am offered the honor of "Hagbah", or lifting up the ToYrah using only the power of your wrists. I think that this is happening to me b/c G-d is playing a practical joke on me. I have a bunch of normal fears- clowns, bees, long-term relationships, the dark, fruit, but I also have this one fear that isn't very normal. I am afraid of Hagbah. There. I said it- and i feel better. I'm simply not a Hagbah guy, I'm a Gelilah guy. In fact, I'm pretty good at Gelilah, and I once was able to dress the Toyrah in under 8 seconds. Granted, that was one of those small Toyrahs that kids sometimes have for some weird reason but still. Also, I have been know to perform 3 Gelilahs in one service! This obviously occured on everyone's favorite- Shabbos Rosh CHodesh CHanukah, but you all knew that.

Why am i so afraid of Hagbah anyway? It is a culmination of other fears- it stems from the fear of the unknown and the fear of failure and public embarrasment . All 3 of these factors come together to cause my fear of the Hagbah process. Hagbah is not something I have ever had the chance to practice, and so I don't know if I can even do it. Sure, my friends "chief" and "kogz" would sometimes spend random afternoons going to the Beis Medrash and taking out all the Torahs to practice Hagbah, but I had better things to do with my time like watching the Steve Harvey show. (hey steve!) As a consequence, I missed out on all this potential Hagbah practice, and now I am paying the price. By the way, re-runs of the steve harvey show are still available on BET- subscribe now.

I also just don't think I'm physically capable of this feat of wrist strength. I need not look any further than the activity of bowling to prove that I simply don't have strong wrists. I once went on a date to a bowling alley that cost like 45 dollars a round or whatever its called. A frame? I don't know, who cares, not the point. First of all, the girl, who appeared to be of averege female strength, was able to choose a ball that was much heavier than mine. I chose a 7, which is the same size ball I chose when going on bowling trips with ruach day camp 15 years ago. But this girl was able to choose like a 9 or 10. Secondly, she was able to bowl the right way, with the straight wrist s, but everytime I gave it a go my wrist would strangely turn and the ball would be sent to the gutter. Overall this date was a debacle for me, and it made me question my manhood. Luckily, I was able to stare at the girl's rear end every time she bowled, so the date was pretty good. But I think she knew I was doing that because my mind, like my bowling ball, was in the gutter.

Anyway- bottom line: Hagbah, like the mundane act of bowling, requires strong wrists. Clearly, I lack that. (and i'm not even getting involved here with the cases of "uneven Hagbahs" i.e - where one side is much heavier than the, I am so afraid that the Torah is gonna drop during those dangerous Hagbahs. Am i the only one?) Since I lack the physical wrist power, I must stick with my Gelilah talents. Although, maybe if I am staring at a girl's rear end, I shouldn't be allowed to do Gelilah either.


  • At 2:42 PM, Blogger mugsy682 said…

    two things:

    1. How do you fit your stumpy fingers in a 7 pound bowling ball? My fingers are not even half as fat as yours and I can't get my hooves in anything smaller than a 15 pounder.

    2. I actually did not have th eopp. to be a part of Hagbah practice. I was usually eating non kosher food at hofstra during such time. I do think however, that after this past weeks Hagba that I did at gabe Hanauer's afruf (mazel tov) I should be in the Hagba version of cooperstown. I, as u know, am a righty and I did the always daring "bereshis hagbah" where the entire scroll is on the left. Now that is hall of fame material.

    Happy birthday and return my call

  • At 4:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    After not having done Hagabah in close to 3 years, I was asked to do Hagbah 3 times during Tishrei. Once was on shabbos mincha when I did gelilah in the morning. The next two were over the shmini atzeres/simchas torah marathon. Weird stuff.

    Btw, welcome back, Fades!

  • At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    how would one strengthen his wrists? -d

  • At 7:12 AM, Blogger scwitt said…

    having bore witness to mugsy682's hagba i would cast my vote in favor of his induction to the hagba hall of fame.

    does the current woman read this blog?

    and drinking from large beer mugs will help strenghten your wrists

  • At 7:44 AM, Blogger mugsy682 said…

    thanx scotty

  • At 7:32 AM, Blogger Danny the Manny said…


    You left out a lot of important information from your write-up about hagbah vs. gelilah. Hagbah has its advantages because you get the whole obligation out of the way at first. Granted, some guys take it a bit too far, showing off their muscles with how many columns they can stretch it out. But at least once they sit down, they sit like kings. However, the main drawback is that on the Sabbath they must sometimes get stricken with the disease of having to hold the Torah after their pauper has finished clothing the naked Torah. You really have no idea what goes on in the aron kodesh once pesicha is finished. Disney or Pixar needs to make this their next top priority. It would help shed some light on why you sometimes, upon opening up the gates of the aron kodesh, Torahs can be seen quickly pulling their covers down to a tznius hemline. But really, it's super vital to always ask if there is going to be a kid who will hold the Torah throughout the haftarah. You can miss many a kiddush club if you don't plan accordingly. Which is why those few shuls I have seen that had automatic holders built into the bimah are so genius. It keeps people accepting hagbah.

    In terms of gelilah now, it's a disaster in and of itself. First of all, if you accept gelilah at a daily minyan tha starts 7 a.m. or earlier, everyone volunteers their help if you struggle to set back the pace of the davening by 10 seconds. All of a sudden, everyone cares so deeply to be at work on time, or even early. But they absolutely need the Torah to continue on to yihalilu, so if you take a few extra seconds, you hold up the entire minyan. And as my 6th grade rebbe once said "it's not just 10 seconds, but it's everyone's 10 seconds, and that adds up to like one and a half minutes of bitul zman." You definitely don't want that hanging over your head. So at these minyanim, it's probably better to decline gelilah. Unless of course you don't mind a million gabbai's hands and second row guys' hands flying in there to "help" you finish up the job faster. It's basically a rule that if you're wearing a tallis, you get to participate in gelilah. Gelilah is not an individual responsibility, it's communal.

    Then there's the other issue with gelilah in cities or minyanim you're unfamiliar with. The wraparound tie can change. The velcro is easy, as are the metal snaps. But that oldschool string thingie that some Torahs have, it's just not designed to be long enough to be wrapped around 3 times and left with enough thread to get the sailor's knot to complete itself with full Mickey Mouse ears. I've actually backed out of gelilah before once I spotted the wrap that goes along with that Torah. We need to therefore faze out those strings, and make the move in the direction of the velcro or the metal snaps. The strings are the social rejects of life that Charles Darwin picked on in the schoolyar for sucking at gelilah.

    Then there's one other point: keeping the tallis firmly planted on your broad shoulders while performing surgery/car maintenance on the Torah scroll. If it wasn't hard enough to reach up, then reach around, then reach up and all the way down to the bottom, you have to be coated with the armor of an Eskimo smurf while you're going about your business. So in order to prevent the tallis from dropping, you go about it a bit more awkwardly and gently in order to keep it in place. But that slows you down a bit, and then the flying hands start to make their appearances.

    And lastly don't forget about those crowns and sceptors that get attached to some Torahs. Does the yad chain go around one or both of the rolling pins? I think the Ruv paskined that you should use both arms when giving yad.

  • At 10:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think there should be a posted limit on acceptable length for comments. Methinks Manny's has crossed the line into "rant of his own".

  • At 11:00 AM, Blogger Danny the Manny said…

    Ummm....Mr. Feder. Anonymous has responded three times already on this post. He's hogging it. Other people want to get a turn, too. Tell him he's exceeded his alloted limit.

  • At 12:18 PM, Blogger scwitt said…

    i think a post on mannys dancing is in order...

  • At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    fades, check this

  • At 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    the fades bowling date

  • At 7:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sometimes people try too hard.

    I'm surprised that in either of the 2 rants there is no mention of the only true danger of gelila, when the Torah parchment starts to sag.


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