Thursday, 12 November 2009

Quality vs. Quantity - Torah Reading

This is an outgrowth of a discussion on the Mahpach group re: strategies for Torah Readers

The thrust of the discussion was how to combine two goals which often conflict

Goal 1
To get a higher quality of accuracy and detail in Torah Reading

Goal 2
To be more inclusive. To afford more people the opportunity to read the Torah

My comments below are tangential to those goals, not essential. Upon reflection, I realized I was articulating a bit of my Hashqafa RE: Quality vs. Quantity and so I am sharing it with the readership.

Nehemiah Klein:

Remember the ba'al koreh was instituted because not everyone was able to read on their own, which means not everyone feels the motivation or interest to learn it properly - that is fine, just like I am not a mohel. The answer is to teach kids and even adults the importance of accuracy.

My Response:
The analogy breaks down a bit
"Mohels" are almost always professionals
While with Torah Readers, every Bar Mitzva boy wants to do "be one of the boys" and "there's the rub"

And so I would prefer the bar mitzvah boy to do
1 or 2 aliyot with "hyper-accuracy"
As opposed to doing the whole parshah with mediocrity.



The peer pressure to lain the entire parshah is tremendous. I think it's worth resisting in favour of a more highly concentrated effort to teach the minutia of how to lain at a more "granular level". Once mastered, it will empower young men in their future laining endeavours.

As such, I advocate sacrificing quantity for the sake of quality

My 2 cents

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