Reflections on the High Holidays by Maxx McClelland

As the new year begins, we can reflect on the recent High Holy Day services at Temple Beth Miriam. First and foremost, it was the first true ‘test drive’ of our Cantor Scott. I feel like he was more than comfortable in his role and I am excited to see what he brings to services this year. To those that haven’t heard him at Friday night services or in religious school, he often has his keyboard with him, which brings yet another flare to TBM.

My experience with this year’s service was a little different than most. At both Rosh Hashanah’s and Yom Kippur’s morning services, I had to opportunity to help teach younger kids how they can still be a part of the service through song. TBM offers a babysitting service where youth group members watch children who are still too young to be able to sit through the entire service. In past years, this service has been lacking in Judaic themes. It has been difficult to entertain small children with Jewish themes. But this year, after playing in numerous services and playing for the religious school students for music with Will Kashdan, we both taught the kids how music can be used to invoke Judaism. We not only taught them some new songs, but added relevance to some songs they already know by tying them with common themes in the average life of an 8 year old. I was glad to be a part of hopefully helping these kids see Judaism in a new, more positive light.

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