I know I haven’t done one of these in a long while, and seeing as today is Thursday, and the system in my office went down for a while, I figured I’d see who else was on my PITYI list. Today (as the title reads) we have the Incredible Hagbulk.
Aside from having a lot of common people, every Young Israel has a number of common items. One of them is a Torah that weighs as much as an automobile. In this case, there is generally one person in the shul who can manage to lift it for hagba without needing an icy/hot patch afterwards. (Not really, but the gabbaim seem to think that there is only one guy who could do the trick – most of the young men can do it, but because the gabbaim have known them since they had to be brought out of shul by their fathers when they were crying, it never dawns on them that they possess the physical abilities to lift heavy objects, ESPECIALLY since the gabbai himself can no longer lift anything remotely close to that – not that I’m bitter.)
Anyway, there is always one guy who seems to be holding the Torah before musaf every week. For a visual, just picture the Sefer Torah being opened about 17 columns apart, and a large man doing a lutz with it. There will always be someone either shaking his head or yelling out not to do that; there will always be someone who (still) doesn’t trust that this guy’s got it, and will rush to his side to make sure nothing falls. The best part is that g’lilah is usually given to the one kid whose photo hanging in his mother’s living room is life size, and can barely reach the bottom of the Torah. It just ends up being fun to watch.
The Incredible Hagbulk is generally tall and broad. However, I know one who is average hight, but very broad. He doesn’t daven regularly in my shul, but whenever he comes, he knows what he’ll be getting. One time, I had the (mis?)fortune of being gabbai in my shul. I decided to have some fun byreversing the roles. I gave hagba to a guy who I knew could do it, but normally gets g’lilah due to his size, and I offered g’lilah to a really big guy. He declined. Oh well, I guess he never learned how.