ChaiLights – Gidon Shikler

Gidon Shikler, Music Specialist


Greetings KM family!

This is your resident Music and Tefillah specialist Gidon reaching out to let you know how the first couple of weeks have been going here at KM. First of all a healthy and sweet Shana Tovah is in order for all of you! May we all be inscribed in the book of life!

The first week of school is always an energetic and hectic time, especially since the High Holidays coincide this year right from the beginning of school. This is a good time for change and renewed focus on what is important in our lives. Music is very important in my life and I try to share my enthusiasm and joy with the students. The first week of school is a good time to go over some of the prayers as a kind of review and reintroduction to the Temple Music. I kept things, simple, light and fun that first week as we played some “Wheel of Fortune” style of music games. This involved students guessing the Hebrew letters of songs that we sing during Tefillah and trying to spell out and guess the song that I had written on the board using blank spaces. Once we named the tune (working on our Hebrew letter grammar and spelling) we then sang the songs as one.

This week, being a lead up to Yom Kippur, I decided to take a more mellow and reflective approach to our music session. I Introduced the concept of Yom Kippur not only as the “Day of Atonement” – but more positively as the “Day of at – ONE – ment”. It is such a positive day of being so close to the Most High that I like to think of it as being at ONE with the creator. We then thought about the positive aspects of the day, and what prayer in our tefillah most reflected that sentiment – “Shema Yisrael”! I then led a very simple introduction to jewish music meditation using the “Shema” that we sing as a meditation. Students were encouraged to find a comfortable position – laying on the ground with eyes closed or in their seats, or moving and stretching. I played the song over and over again and had the students concentrate on a good feeling or place that they love to be in. We then rose up and sang together and spoke a briefly about if we felt any different or noticed anything different about our environment. A nice little introduction to musical meditation.

Shanah Tovah u’Metukah and G’mar Chatimah Tovah!!!!

Gidon Shikler