This is the third year of the Midnight Selichot Jam, initiated by Ben Z. who was and remains passionate about this pre-High-Holiday tradition at UAlbany. This was also the first year with a new team of musicians, after a number of our Jamming Night regulars graduated this past Spring. Thanks to Grant H. Avi S. and Eli O. for starting up a new generation of great music at Shabbos House. In keeping with Mike H.’s “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” last year’s perfect message for midnight Selichot, we did that again this year. People really got into the music, thanks to smartphones and wifi for picking up quickly on notes and lyrics. (Next Jamming Night will be on the Saturday Night of Sukkot). The music finale ended with a heartfelt “Hamalach HaGoel” traditional bedtime lullaby.
Selichot Night was the debut of the new Popcorn Machine, gift of the Class of 2013 to Shabbos House. In addition to the popcorn, the bright light and display added a lot to the cafe night atmosphere. New for this year was a Yogurt-Bar with cut-up fresh fruit toppings, and a variety of granolas. The Choco-Fountain returned this year, with marshmallows, pretzel rods, pineapples, bananas and strawberries.
About 25-30 of us stayed on for the Selichot prayer. Ben gave it his all, with a dramatic and dynamic rendition of the Selichot prayers, climaxing with a joyous Kaddish and a lively dance at the end with most participants. What an uplift and start to the High Holiday season!