TOWNSEND, TN — While campers aged 8 to 14 were finishing their lunches of soy chicken nuggets, ominous whispers started to pass between the campers closer to the front of the dining hall. In just moments, the news had reached even the bunk forced to sit next to the supply closet in the back: the rabbi was pulling out his guitar.
“We were just sitting there, talking about what we wanted to do while we ditch the glassblowing activity,” said Lila Katz, 13, “when I looked up and saw Rabbi David quietly taking his guitar out of its case. He had this weird little smile and wouldn’t look any of us in the eye”. Campers on the scene described watching in horror as Rabbi David plugged his sticker-covered acoustic guitar into a speaker at the front of the room.
“All we wanted was to say birkhat and go to the lake” said Sadie Rafferty, 13, “We were really just hoping that he was getting ready for a group who had music next. But then… he put that little earpiece microphone thing on.”
It was reported that after strumming an extremely loud G chord, the Rabbi spent a full 47 seconds saying “Shhhhh” over the microphone, although the room was silent after about twenty. Without warning or introduction, Rabbi David began with a subdued Shir Halleluyah that crescendoed into him excitedly jumping around by himself while campers reluctantly mumbled along. After a fifteen-minute long set, only about six out of the fifty campers in the room were standing up and dancing. The campers were eager to leave after the last song was finished – a drawn-out Heveinu Shalom – but were reminded they had to stay for a ten-minute Birkhat, complete with synchronized hand signals and dancing.