Monday, March 16, 2009

Custom Query-(Closely) Reading the Golden Calf

By the Bray of Fundie

I was a guest for Shabbos in one of the great bastions of Torah Truth. The Baal Qoreh in the Shul where I davened gave the Khet HaEgel=the sin of the Golden Calf portion of the reading the Tokhakha=chastisement/rebuke treatment. I.e. he read that portion more swiftly and in an undertone compared to the rest of the Parsha. To me this was an innovation. I've never heard another Baal Qoreh read it that way. I thought it was cool. After all, if you're going to terror-infuse the effect why not terror-infuse the cause?

I complimented the Baal Qoreh on his creativity. He claimed that he wasn't being creative, that "it's brought in poskim" to read it that way. Engrossed (and I do mean gross) as I was in the post-service Kiddush the man had absconded before I could obtain a source. Minhag curiosity is one thing but Matjes Herring and a piping hot Chulent swimming in grease is quite another.

Do they lein it that way in your Shul? Anyone know which (if any) poskim cite this cutom? Is this an ancient custom making it's way back into the vogue or just another egregious example of G-d's Cossacks "improving" Yiddishkeit again? Does anyone read the Khet HaMeraglim=the sin of the spies this way? At the very least I'd expect Mar Gavriel to pipe in and my gracious host, the Ba'al HaBlog, to provide us with the historically accurate cultural osmosis that's behind this minhag de jour.

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