Why I used a bullhorn during services last night [dispatches from Kutz]

Here at Kutz, staff week is in full swing. As usual, we all do jobs that aren’t actually our jobs. I’m the AV guy, but last night I was given the chance to be involved with services.

So I had a cool idea. I was thinking about the Barchu. It’s a call to worship, right? A call! Not a mumbled nigun thing or a mumbled chanted response thing.

I was also thinking about when you’re in Israel (or any mid east country, for that matter), you can hear the Muslim call to worship five times a day. It’s unavoidable. You damn well know when it’s time to pray in a Muslim country. So why isn’t the Barchu a wakeup call of equal force?

So I talked about that briefly before we began to daven. And then I lead the Barchu with a bullhorn.

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11 Responses to Why I used a bullhorn during services last night [dispatches from Kutz]

  1. Jason Rosenberg June 18, 2009 at 5:21 pm #

    But, you left out the most important parts – what was the reaction of those present, and what did YOU think of it? Was it pure kitsch, or did it “work” on some level?

    • David A.M. Wilensky June 19, 2009 at 6:33 am #

      I was a little afraid in the moments immediately following that it was pure kitsch, Jason.

      However, after talking to the pray-ers who were there, several loved it or said it gave them something to chew on. So that’s something.

  2. Jesse June 18, 2009 at 10:03 pm #

    I like. We should think about doing this again in the summer. See you tomorrow.

    • David A.M. Wilensky June 19, 2009 at 6:34 am #

      Oh, we will do it again. Dan and Danny seem pretty interested in my help doing interesting things with services, so we’ll be doing all kinds of hair-brained things.

      And you won’t see me today. The A-Team has Shabat off.

  3. Jill June 18, 2009 at 10:10 pm #

    We’ve done this at URJ Camp Coleman, or at least something similar. One staff member is in the main office and over the all-camp announcement system (the “Haksheivu Machine” we call it) they lead the first line in the call-and-response prayer. It’s pretty cool. (We have to use walkie-talkies to communicate the right moment across the lake from the chapel to the office.)

  4. Larry Kaufman June 18, 2009 at 10:45 pm #

    Want to explicate the difference between a bullhorn and a ram’s horn?

    • David A.M. Wilensky June 19, 2009 at 6:36 am #

      My first thought was actually to use a shofar before the Barchu, but the megaphone (to use a different term) offered me an ability that the shofar didn’t. Also, I couldn’t find a shofar.

  5. Laurie Franklin June 29, 2009 at 11:50 am #

    I could barely get through leading the Barchu on Kabalat Shabbat this past week without honking like a horn…but I managed! Ever see Bob Gurland perform with Jon Hendricks (the jazz great)? He does a mean horn sound with his hands cupped around his mouth and improvs brilliantly while so doing! That’s what I was thinking about o Erev Shabbat!

  6. Saraht June 30, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    Bravo! think its a fab idea – keep it up!


  1. Why I used a bullhorn during services last night [dispatches from Kutz] | RJ Blog - December 5, 2011

    […] by David A.M. Wilensky(Originally posted on “The Reform Shuckle“) […]