Thursday, October 27, 2005

Blessing Ecclesiastes

Apropos of nothing, a quick post. On Shabbos Hol Ha-Mo'ed morning, I attended a Chaim Berlin minyan. I was not expecting the following to occur and it was the first time I ever saw it. They read Koheles from a scroll -- not so unusual, some synagogues read every haftarah from a scroll -- and recited a blessing of "al mikra megillah" prior to reading. I was so surprised that I actually said "Wow" audibly (I don't normally react that way). And then they said a "she-he-heyanu"! Sure, I knew immediately that they were following the practice of the Vilna Gaon. I just had never actually seen it. Cool! It was worth walking all that way in the pouring rain just for that.

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