• Ann Lineberger
  • Column: Parody Play: Hasidic Population of Scranton Thrilled by Popular Country Singer’s New...
Column: Parody Play: Hasidic Population of Scranton Thrilled by Popular Country Singer’s New Hairstyle
Written by
Ann Lineberger
August 2019
Written by
Ann Lineberger
August 2019

Country music duo Dan + Shay's Dan Smyer is letting his black curly locks grown long. Many of his female fans have taken to social media to complain, missing what they describe as his sexy, clean-cut look. But not all of Dan + Shay's fans are upset. The members of the large Hasidic community of Scranton, Pennsylvania are thrilled by the new style, as demonstrated by their high attendance on Saturday night at the Dan + Shay concert. The duo performed at the Toyota Pavilion on Montage Mountain in the Keystone state as part of the worldwide 2019 It Be Country Tour.

"Finally, a suspected practicing Jew who looks like us embraced by the mainstream," said Rabbi Daniel J. Swartz of the Hhagod of Scranton Synagogue. Rabbi Swartz was one of nearly one hundred and fifty members of his congregation who attended the concert, taking over the left section of the General Admission Lawn. Dressed in oversized, lightweight wool suits and large-brimmed felt hats, it was a rare Saturday night out for the men. The loud, opinionated group enjoyed a picnic of baba ghanoush, kaska varnishke, and fried kosher dill pickles while waiting for the concert to start. The picnic was packed by their wives who weren't allowed to attend the show given the modesty clause in their prenuptial agreements.

When Dan appeared on the stage fifty-three minutes after the opening act of singer and songwriter Morgan Wallen, he was dressed sleekly. He wore a black Nike outfit as contractually required by his lucrative five-year arrangement with the famous sportswear company. Strumming the opening bars of 19 You + Me, Dan gave his shoulder-length ringlets a shake, bringing the group of devout, trendell-sporting adults to their feet. 

"We have long felt a kinship with fellow Keystone state natives Dan Smyer and Christina Aguilera," said Richard Snitco, the Hhagod of Scranton Music Director.  Richard is one of the founding members of the Scranton's Hasidic Hipsters, an a cappello group made up of his sixteen brothers.

 “At one point in the concert, Dan appeared to signal to us with a nod as he pulled his hair back and temporarily held it in place,” Richard said. “Two single ringlets spring from his temples.”

“In what felt like the ultimate moment of kinship between the popular crooner and our community, the members of the congregation in attendance went wild,” added the Snitco family’s oldest brother Schmul. “We embraced, temporarily creating a joyful pig pile of sorts, and then formed a spontaneous circle to dance the Horah.” 

The pictures the group of adult orthodox men posted during the concert on the Hhagod of Scranton Facebook page of Dan’s tight, sweaty ringlets shrouding much of his face received the most likes of any of the synagogue member’s images to date. 

Middle Snitco brother Caleb added, "Not since the Kentucky County Clerk made headlines trying to block gay marriage, have tendrils received national attention."

The Hasidic Hipsters will be performing at Poor Richard’s, a Scranton pub located in a bowling alley that was made famous on the television mockumentary The Office, on Saturday night. Usually singing traditional spiritual songs such as "Ashreichem Yisroel" and "Dip the Apple", the Hipsters promised to include a few of Dan + Shay's tunes, including "Tequila" and "Party Girl" that were up for CMA awards last November.  


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