24 Aug

I’m nervous. I don’t want to make a fool of myself.

On Saturday morning at around 9:00 a.m., I will be chanting words from the weekly Torah portion. Well, chanting is what I am supposed to do, but with my voice, that is an optimistic thought. Anyway, I will be doing this in front of a small group, maybe 20 (my wife and children won’t even be there). The portion I am doing is tiny – less than 100 words and will take me (should at least) less than two minutes.

So, there is no real reason to be nervous, but yet, I am.

What’s the worst that could happen? I could butcher the words, sweat profusely, or choke uncontrollably.  Or, I could feel embarrassed and disappointed in myself.

Why am I putting myself through this? Am I a glutton for punishment? Maybe, but I have a reason for wanting to chant the Torah. I’ve never done it before. My bar mitzvah was nearly thirty years ago. I did not read from the Torah but instead read the haftorah. I was nervous. While sitting in front of the congregation, which included all my family and friends, awaiting my moment, I got the hiccups. That helped my nerves. I used to get the hiccups all the time as a child, and they could last for up to an hour. Somehow, I overcame the hiccups and got through the reading. The reading went pretty well, though I could have been louder, if I do say so myself.

Since I became a regular synagogue goer about 15 years ago, I have wanted to read from the Torah. It is an honor and a privilege. I have been especially thinking about taking the leap this summer. I had some time to put into study, and I am not sure when this spare time will come again. So, now I find myself anxiously awaiting Saturday morning. Till then, I am practicing and practicing. Well, at least unlike my bar mitzvah, I don’t have to worry about my voice cracking though I do still get the occasional zit and hiccups.

Uggh, more things to worry about.

Wish me luck.


Posted by on August 24, 2012 in Uncategorized


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43 responses to “Nervous

  1. Jeni

    August 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Though the origin is dubious, I still say … break a leg!

    • memyselfandkids

      August 24, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      I’ll settle for not crakcing people’s ear drums.
      Btw, that is a dubious origing.
      Thanks for commenting and the good wishes.

  2. sweetpea2200

    August 24, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Put it in God’s hands and let Him guide you through your reading

  3. kebibarra

    August 24, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    Luck? You don’t need luck you”ll do amazing!!

  4. Robyn Safier

    August 24, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    should i send my guys to the early minyan to boost your confidence – although jeff might be doing the same for the later one – best of luck – enjoy the experience and i’m sure you will do great

  5. closefamilies

    August 24, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    We are always our own worst critics. Good luck!!

    • memyselfandkids

      August 24, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      You are right about that.
      Thanks for the good wishes.

  6. elskenewman

    August 24, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Good luck, I’m sure you will do yourself proud. And don’t forget to enjoy it!

    • memyselfandkids

      August 24, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      Enjoy it? I didn’t think about that. Well, when it is done and if I have not embarrassed myself, I will enjoy and be proud. In the meantime, keep those hiccups away.
      Thanks for the good wishes.

  7. insanityofmotherhood

    August 24, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    No luck needed. You have done much braver things. Besides if you flub up, everyone will know who you are and it will be the perfect time to tell them about your blog. 🙂

    • memyselfandkids

      August 24, 2012 at 10:43 pm

      I’m not sure flubbing it up will lead to a marketing opportunity, but I like the silver lining and ability to turn a situation around.

  8. Jessie Clemence

    August 25, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Just do it for an audience of One; He’ll never be disappointed in your efforts!

    • memyselfandkids

      August 26, 2012 at 3:56 am

      Thanks. I like that thought.

      • Jessie Clemence

        August 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm

        How did it go?

        • memyselfandkids

          August 27, 2012 at 2:50 am

          It went decently.I wasn’t a star but it felt good to do it. I was decent and will be even better next time should I choose to do it.

          • Jessie Clemence

            August 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm

            Excellent! Although I admit–I’m giggling at the idea of a “Star Torah Reader.” What would that look like? Lots of gesturing? Maybe I need to look this up on YouTube.

          • memyselfandkids

            August 28, 2012 at 2:20 am

            Funny. I mean someone who has an excellent voice follows the proper tune consistently, gets no words wrong, and is loud, clear, brisk, sincere, and passionate.

  9. Karron

    August 25, 2012 at 2:10 am

    It is a blessing to read from holy scriptures, regardless of your faith. I am sure you will do very well, I would be *worried* if you weren’t nervous. Let us know how it goes.

    • memyselfandkids

      August 26, 2012 at 3:57 am

      You are right. It is a blessing.
      I did decent – solid for a first time.
      Thanks for asking.

  10. Jen

    August 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Hope everything went well today!

  11. livenowandzen

    August 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    It’s wonderful that you are taking a risk and putting yourself out there to do something you’ve long wanted to do. Best of luck and congratulations on your achievement!

    • memyselfandkids

      August 26, 2012 at 3:58 am

      Thanks. It does feel good to do something that I’ve wanted to do.
      It’s the way to grow.

  12. Karron

    August 26, 2012 at 2:51 am

    So, how did it go?

    • memyselfandkids

      August 26, 2012 at 3:59 am

      Decently – especially for a first time.
      Thanks so much for following up.

  13. Robyn Safier

    August 26, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Larrry, Once again sorry i wasnt there, but from someone who reads from the Torah and has been reading since my Bar Mitzvah, whatever job you do is better than not doing it, and if anyone comments than if they can do a better job, let them go for it. It’s not easy and you should be commended, as we say Kol Hakavod (All the honor to you)

  14. Lutheran Ladies

    August 27, 2012 at 5:50 am

    I read in church and then stopped because I’d get so nervous and I’d stumble over a word. But you know what I discovered? People didn’t even notice. It’s as though I was the only one who thought anything about it. You’ll do so much better than you think. You’re commended for having the commitment to do it.

    • memyselfandkids

      August 28, 2012 at 2:26 am

      For reading of the Torah portion, people do notice. Not everybody of course. However, it is imperative that each word be read correctly. If read incorrectly, you are stopped and made to go back and reread the word.
      Thanks and I appreciate your recognizing my commitment.

  15. Nancy

    August 27, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I hope it went well! You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself (I’m not good at taking that advice either, though).

    • memyselfandkids

      August 28, 2012 at 2:21 am

      It went decently.
      I am hard on myself. YOu are right it is easier to give that advice than recieve it. Let’s both get better at it.

      • Nancy

        August 28, 2012 at 2:26 am

        Good idea.

  16. patgarcia

    August 28, 2012 at 8:10 am

    I know you did a swell job. Stage fright happens. The way to overcome it is to do what you fear.
    And since you are now on vacation and I am late reading this post, I know you did a swell job.

    • memyselfandkids

      August 29, 2012 at 3:20 am

      It was a solid job – swell is a too much. I was content for my first try.
      I appreciate your confidence.

  17. penneyfox

    August 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Sorry to be tardy to the party but I’m sure you did great! And I’ll be right there chanting with you next month when the high holidays hit.

    • memyselfandkids

      August 30, 2012 at 3:37 am

      Thanks. Not quite great but decent for a first time.
      Good luck to you next month during the High Holidays. Shana tova.

  18. ateachablemom

    August 31, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Am catching up with some posts I missed this week and was happy to find this one. I’m happy your chanting went well and inspired by you taking a risk and trying something new and frightening. Yay you!

    • memyselfandkids

      August 31, 2012 at 4:49 am

      I appreciate that.
      It went decently, and I am very glad I did it.

  19. Raani York

    September 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    GOOD LUCK!!! Even though I don’t think you “need” that. It will be great!!


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