How about a cuppa Adon Olam
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High Holy Day hitHigh Holy Day hit

How about a cuppa Adon Olam

A mash-up of the catchy trend with an 11th century Jewish hymn is pitch perfect for tens of thousands on YouTube

Renee Ghert-Zand is a reporter and feature writer for The Times of Israel.

The members (left to right) of Listen Up! — Noah Mishkin, Steve Singer, Kevin Kirshenbaum, AY Karsh (photo credit: Courtesy Listen Up! /Rine Photographics)
The members (left to right) of Listen Up! — Noah Mishkin, Steve Singer, Kevin Kirshenbaum, AY Karsh (photo credit: Courtesy Listen Up! /Rine Photographics)

It’s almost Rosh Hashanah. So, of course, that means a new crop of holiday videos is making its way around the Internet.

One that’s clearly hit a sweet spot is by Listen Up!, a Jewish vocal band out of Chicago. The group has melded Adon Olam, the 11th century hymn, with “Cups,” the breakout song from “Pitch Perfect,” a popular movie released earlier this year. The result is a fun watch and listen, as well as the first viral video for the 20-year-old band.

“We are really delighted. We are plotzing from the reaction,” says Steve Singer of the hits the video has been racking up (over 26,000 views since it was posted yesterday). Singer, a pharmacologist and father of three, is one of the a cappella group’s four members. The others are radiologist Kevin Kirshenbaum, businessman Noah Mishkin, and videographer and professional singer AY Karsh.

Listen Up! posts videos of almost all its performances and rehearsals on its YouTube channel, but this is the first of their clips to garner such widespread attention. The band, whose members range in age from late 20s to 50, has been performing its own brand of Jewish harmony and humor all over the United States and Canada since 1992.

“We are what the Maccabeats will be in 15 or 20 years from now,” Singer jokes.

The idea to cross Adon Olam with Cups originated with Singer’s 15-year-old daughter (she appears in the video).

“She’s been teaching us all how to do the [rhythm] thing with the cups,” her father said.

So, they combined an Appalachian folk song made newly famous by actress/singer Anna Kendrick with one of the most commonly known Jewish prayers and ended up with a High Holy Day hit.

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