Limmud NY Notes: The ballpoint pen saga’s poetic conclusion and some other observations from a Hadar service

I went to Limmud NY 2011 and wrote a lot of posts about it. Here’s a guide to them.

The whole ballpoint pen service rating system thing started at Hadar on Yom Kippur when I was asked to stop taking notes in the margins of my siddur and asked to put a kipah on when I went up to dress the Torah. That full story can be read here. It’s big fun.

Shirat Hayam, from sofer.co.uk

So I arrived on Shabbat morning to the Traditional-Egalitarian service (read: the Hadar service) on time for the beginning of Pesukei Dezimrah. A Hadar Fellow, Hannah something (also mentioned here), offered me the fourth aliyah. Given that it was Limmud NY and not actually Hadar, I fully intended to take notes as I usually do. And I did.

It turned out that this was the coolest aliyah of the year. I got to bless before and after the read of Shirat Hayam. It was big fun. The gabbai was Will Friedman (also mentioned here and here). Halfway into the aliyah, I realized that there was a ballpoint pen behind my right ear, as there usually is. Also, my head was naked.

It has come full circle, friends. And it feels good.

Also, Ethan Tucker (also mentioned here) read the fifth aliyah. Since I got to stay up there during the fifth aliyah, I noticed something interesting–Ethan does not use a yad when he reads. Rather, he uses one of his tzitzit. I thought it was pretty badass, or at least as badass a thing as one can do while reading from a sefer Torah.

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7 Responses to Limmud NY Notes: The ballpoint pen saga’s poetic conclusion and some other observations from a Hadar service

  1. William Friedman January 18, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    I’m pretty sure his use of tzitzit as a pointer was simply because we were yad-less (other than our own, that is).

    • David A.M. Wilensky January 19, 2011 at 1:13 am #

      I asked a friend I was sitting with who knows him better than I and she seemed to think he does it regularly, but you could be right.

  2. Alex January 18, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    that said, I still think it’s badass.

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    […] The ballpoint pen saga’s poetic conclusion and some other observations from a Hadar service is about the beautiful, joyous conclusion to the Hadar ballpoint situation and about how I got to have the coolest aliyah of the whole year. And about how Ethan Tucker reads Torah like a badass. […]