NauenThen

Not exactly the Olympics

September 6, 2015

I agreed to learn—in three weeks—a three-column, 63-sentence Torah read (Deuteronomy 28:7–28:69). That's the longest single read in the entire Torah, and I feared I was building Rome in a day.

All I did until yesterday, when I chanted it, was work on it. I practiced when I got up throughout the day, on the train to the Adirondacks and sitting by the lake, & on the train back.

Because most of what I read consists of curses, one reads it sotto voce—which means most of the congregants can't even hear it very well.

And then it was over. My synagogue is Conservative, so no photos or recordings. It was OVER.

A lot of work for my 15 minutes of execution.

I thought of how people spend years aiming toward their Olympic moments, and what it must feel like afterward, win or lose. For me, the stakes were much lower, of course. Afterward, I went home and crashed.