Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sunday - Monday, Sept. 27-28 (Yom Kippur)

Today was a long (315 miles), tiring drive. I had trouble keeping my eyes open despite the numerous No-doz (caffeine) tablets I was taking. And, unfortunately, I did not have enough time to pull over and take a nap. I was trying to get to Reno, Nevada, in time to celebrate Kol Nidre (the start of Yom Kippur).

I made it to Temple Emanu-el in Reno, where I'd made arrangements to attend Kol Nidre and Yom Kippur services, at 5:55 pm. Kol Nidre services started 6:00. That was a very quick change from shorts into a skirt and blouse!

This was a much smaller Synagogue than the one in Salt Lake City. They don't have a rabbi or cantor but had imported a cantor for the High Holidays. He was very young and "baby-faced" but had a very good voice. He looked about 22. (I was to find out later, he WAS 22!).

The Kol Nidre service lasted almost 3 hours. Then when I went to try to find the campground I had picked, I found all the streets leading to it were blocked off. There was a big motorcycle convention of some sort in Reno, just ending that Sunday night, but the streets were still all blocked off. I picked another campground (not in the middle of town) and put the address into my GPS. This one I was able to get to, but it was after 10:00 by the time I got parked.

On Monday morning I drove back to the Temple. They had Yiskor in the morning which I liked better than having it late in the afternoon. At 1:45 they stopped for a break. I went out to the Roadtrek and immediately fell asleep. The afternoon services began at 5:00 and went until 7:40 pm. The Cantor admitted he was "stalling" and adding extra things so we wouldn't be done until one hour after sunset, which, I found out, was when you were supposed to break the fast, not at sunset like we always did at home. After the final Shofar call, we all went into the social hall for a wonderful dairy break-the-fast dinner. After filling my plate at the buffet line, I randomly picked a table to sit at. After talking for a bit with my table mates, it turned out they were the parents of the cantor. They are members of Temple Emanu-el and their talented son David, who lives in New York, was invited (hired?) to come chant the High Holiday services. They told me that after his Bar Mitzvah he had decided that he really liked reading the Torah and chanting and so he studied privately with a cantor and learned all the melodies, etc. He went to Brandeis and led the Hillel High Holiday Services the whole time he was there. His "day job," as his father called it, was as an account analyst for some company in New York. He does High Holiday cantoring just "for fun." Anyway, I thought that was all very interesting and quite a bit different from the usual clergy I've seen officiating at High Holiday services. He (David) joined us at the table a little later. Also a bit strange to hear the Cantor being called "David" and acting like a regular kid sitting next to his parents.

I went back to the campground after the dinner and went to sleep (relatively) early; fasting all day really knocks me out.

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