Usually, a bar/bat mitzvah student starts lessons with a cantor, rabbi, or tutor about a year in advance. About 13 months in advance, DB started nudging me about calling or emailing our cantor to get lessons going. But Skater was in basketball, on two teams (not my choice), and it didn’t seem fair to pile that on as well. Then basketball ended and play rehearsals began. And I couldn’t seem to get to it. I finally emailed the cantor in May and (and I say this with mad love for her because I’m about as good at returning phone calls and emails) I got a return email yesterday. Could Skater come that evening? Um, okay.
So we sat down with her yesterday evening. They started with learning the leader’s part for Musaf. She taught him the Shabbat nusach (tune) for the reader’s repetition of the Amidah because they sing the weekday tune at school. He listened, repeated the wordless tune, then proceeded to chant the Musaf with incredibly few corrections. “Okay, that was seven minutes,” she laughed, “That was your tuition at work right there!” She added that it was helpful that our family are regulars at Shabbat services. (Since Skater’s usually in the hallway with friends by Musaf, I’m not so sure…)
I am so proud of my boy, who gets Judaism in his neshama, his soul. If any one of my kids is headed to the clergy, it just might be him. And I thank every one of his Judaics teachers, because really they were all in the room with us last night. (If you are at all thinking about day school, GO FOR IT!)
Cantor reassured us that with this fabulous head start, he is not behind at all starting lessons nine months in advance, and skipping July. DB was relieved. And Skater is actually looking forward to practicing Musaf at camp!
And to my critics who thought I was vapid worrying about the party planning, :-p to you. Last night was worth any DJ, any dress I might buy, any new suit he might get to celebrate all the studying that went into that one half hour of sheer kvelling.