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.

43 thoughts on “Nervous

  1. 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

    • 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

    • 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.

  6. Hi,
    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.

  7. 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!

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