Meals with the Maccabeats

Meals with the Maccabeats

They arrived in drips and drabs. A few in the morning and the rest at 23:30 at night, having experienced the worst of South African roads. The journey from the Kruger National Park was a perilous one for them with the pot-holed roads gifting them with two flat tyres.

They were tired and hungry; they were shaken and a little perturbed by the “what ifs” of the experience, but they entered our home with the energy and enthusiasm that we have come to expect from them.

Sinai Indaba 2014 had brought them to South Africa and that was their first priority. Chaim, musical director, had received a text from the organisers requesting a video clip be produced as soon as they arrived.

The fact that they had been on the road since 13:00, was not a deterrent and before any food could be enjoyed, the video clip was made, uploaded to YouTube and only then could they relax somewhat. They were here to work – and work they did.

The Maccabeats were formed in 2007 as Yeshiva University’s student vocal group. They have recently emerged as both a Jewish music and a cappella phenomenon, with a large fan-base of more than 20 million.

They are young and “cool” and they attract a massive following wherever they go. They have performed around the world and were invited to the White House to perform for President Barack Obama.

Wherever we went over the few days that they were with us, huge crowds followed them and I was amazed by their patience and the care they took in talking to people, in signing autographs and allowing photos.

These are not divas. In fact, in many ways it was like having extra college kids in the house and we found ourselves making sure that they had jackets when they went out, that they had eaten properly and that they were up in the morning for appointments (something that was not easy to do)!

And through all this, they sang and they practised and they sang and they worked… They are passionate about their trade and openly express gratitude that they are doing what they love best. And this is what I believe has made them the success that they are.

We might have hosted them, but to have the background music of our home being that of the Maccabeats preparing for their show, was our privilege.

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