“Makhts Of!”, Yiddish Purim Song performed by The Jewish People’s Philharmonic Chorus
Traditional Yiddish Purim song
Choral arrangement: Binyumen Schaechter (2018)
Funded by a grant from the Marinus and Minna B. Koster Foundation
Jewish People’s Philharmonic Chorus / JPPC
דער ייִדישער פֿילהאַרמאָנישער פֿאָלקסכאָר
Binyumen Schaechter, Conductor
בנימין שעכטער, דיריגענט
Filmed live in performance
October 14, 2018, Merkin Concert Hall, NYC
from the encore concert of
“To Everything There Is a Season: The Year in Yiddish Song” (World Premiere: June 10, 2018, Merkin Concert Hall)
Videography: Asaf Blasberg: http://asafblasberg.com
Post-Production: Avi Eisen, Leyzer Gillig, Libi Miransky, Binyumen Schaechter, Paulette Schneider and Sam Zerin
“Makhts of” (also known as “Makht oyf!”) describes the Purim equivalent of trick-or-treating on Halloween. This is a traditional Purim song. As with many traditional Yiddish songs, the title, lyrics, and number of verses vary from one source to another.
The version of the title and the first verse in this video are from the earliest known published version of the song in Y. L. Cahan’s “Yidishe folkslider mit melodyes” (Yiddish Folksongs with Melodies), first published in 1912. In that collection, a note indicates that the song was transcribed in Warsaw. The second word in the title, אויף, can be transliterated as “if,” “of,” “uf,” and “oif” or “oyf,” and we have chosen to transliterate it and pronounce it as most Warsaw natives would: “of” (rhymes with “stuff”).
The additional verses sung in the video were taken from “Yontefdike teg: Song Book for the Jewish Holidays,” 1985.
You can view this video either with subtitles in English plus transliterated Yiddish (the default) or with Yiddish in the Yiddish alphabet. For the Yiddish only, click on Settings in the lower right corner of the YouTube video player. To disable subtitles, click on CC.