Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
The Schmooze

How ‘Bas Kol’ Became a Viral Hasidic Hit

A version of this article first appeared in Yiddish in the Forverts

It’s rare today for a Yiddish song to become a sensation. It’s even more rare for one to go viral on Facebook and Twitter.

But that’s just what happened recently with the new music video for Chaim Shlomo Mayes (Mayesz)’s dance-hit “Bas-Kol” (Divine Voice/Bass Voice). The film, shot at a wedding, is quite cool.

For those already familiar with Mayes’ previous hits with musical partner Dudi Kalish, the music itself isn’t particularly surprising. The two Israeli Hasidic singers and music producers have been releasing remakes of popular Israeli and American songs in Hasidic Yiddish for years now. Instead of singing about sex, money, lost loves or other profane topics, the Kosher reincarnations of these pop hits are filled with words of spiritual encouragement.

The music video for “Bas-Kol” was created to promote the song in the Hasidic community but became a sensation outside of its targeted niche.

Many Israelis who chanced upon it were surprised by the video because they apparently had never seen Hasidic men behaving that way before. In fact, such scenes are quite commonly seen at contemporary Hasidic celebrations, albeit, usually not with such enthusiastic dancing.

Dudi Kalish and Chaim Shlomo Mayes are famous singers and composers who work in nearly all contemporary musical genres such as rock, rap and pop, as well as in more traditional Hasidic styles. Although they have become totally mainstream within the Hasidic world in the past few years their album “Rap in Yiddish,” which was released 8 years ago with music copied from such popular singers as Madonna, 50 Cent, and Michael Jackson created a massive scandal. Of all the songs on the album — called “Rap in Yiddish” — the song “Telephone,” a remake of this Michael Jackson song, is most worth checking out.

It’s also worth hearing Kalish’s song “Yesterday was Good,” which was set to the music of Shlomo Artzi’s hit “Moon.” The new Hasidic version of the song was a surprise hit in Israel, even getting mainstream airplay among typical Israeli Hebrew-language pop music.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.