MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Eight-year-old Asher Engleman inspired the crowd at Congregation Lev Torah on Saturday when he marched to the bimah and belted Adon Olam with all the stage presence and determination of a future Broadway star.
“I just knew it was going to be my big break,” Asher said, after leading the prayer in front of the whole synagogue for the very first time. “I knew I had to sing like the whole world could hear me.”
This is why he chose an original melody for the prayer, and one particularly difficult, range-wise, Yankee Doodle.
He attended synagogue that day in a Macy’s boy’s department blue jacket and a Spider-Man zip-up tie. He had been practicing his Adon Olam for a few weeks, according to his sister Leila, who debuted her own Adon Olam three years ago, to the tune of “I Want It That Way,” by the Backstreet Boys.
After a beautiful three minutes, during which Asher’s voice only cracked twice, he stepped down from the bimah with a huge smile on his face. To his dismay, there were no talent scouts or casting directors in the crowd on Shabbat.