Our favorite purveyors of Ashkenazi grandma chic are back with a new Yiddish bop and we are obsessed. Obsessed, I tell you!
Vibers, the Israeli duo of Michal Karmi and Yael Tal, have a new remake of a Yiddish standard — this time with a version of “Chiribim Chiribom,” the whimsical Yiddish classic popularized by the iconic Jewish duo the Barry Sisters back in 1961.
Karmi tells me that the song is such a classic that the group felt that they had to cover it. When I saw their video for “Bey Mir Bist Du Shein” last year, I didn’t know it was possible to top its poolside, bubbe-glam aesthetic, but these ladies… these ladies! They have truly outdone themselves with this new song and video.
“Chiribim Chiribom” is a wonderfully nonsensical song — the title itself is just a mishmash of Yiddish-y syllables. Its lyrics weave in lines about Purim, Hanukkah, tales of Hasidic miracles and the Wise Men of Chelm into perfectly delightful rhymes. And now, Karmi and Tal give the iconic song the incredibly humorous and glamorous video it deserves. I love everything about this video — the pantsuits, the pearls, the fancy evening wear, the melodica, the acting and the copious amounts of hairspray that send me right back to my grandmother’s bathroom vanity. It’s so perfect I could plotz.
The video was shot in the parking garage of Beit Rubinstein, a landmark Israeli skyscraper. It depicts an illicit exchange — the kind that often happens in abandoned parking lots (in movies and TV shows, at least). But this exchange does not involve drugs, and the wads of cash (comprised of 200 NIS bills) are carried in a fabric grocery cart usually reserved for your friendly neighborhood septuagenarian. The illicit substance the ladies of Vibers are dealing in the video? It’s extremely potent chrain — that’s right, the Ashkenazi horseradish paste that is customarily eaten with gefilte fish.
The video opens with a mafioso-type man, flanked by two suited bodyguards, who is sucking on a lollipop while awaiting the Vibers and their goods. He’s played by celebrated Israeli comedian Sharon Taicher — who also happens to be Karmi’s spouse — and the handsome young suited actors at his side are Gil Weiss and Erez Oved (from the Israeli show “Your Honor”).
Just like their previous video, the duo is chauffeured in a classy convertible. They’re wearing colorful pantsuits and they shellac their updos with large gold bottles of aerosol hairspray. They then offer the men a steel suitcase filled with Vibers’ branded chrain.
Taicher sniffs the horseradish from his pinky finger — you know, the same way one would sample another powerful substance. He then tries it on a plate with gefilte fish and promptly passes out. His bodyguards, believing the condiment to be poisoned, fight our big-haired protagonists with cutlery, while the Vibers counter-attack with the aforementioned hairspray.
But then, miracle of miracles! It turns out that he was just momentarily knocked out by the very powerful chrain — and they all break out in delightful dance moves worthy of TikTok virality. (Someone please make these ladies TikTok stars so they can bring us even more Yiddish music!)
Of course, it’s not just the video that’s great — the song is fun and catchy, too. The duo has woven in some fun electro-pop touches to the jazzy classic, but the klezmer clarinet is the star of the show. They’ve just given it some extra pep!
Vibers aren’t the only one to recently revisit this popular Yiddish ditty. Earlier this year, Ukrainian Jewish duo the Alibi Sisters, who fashion themselves after the Barry Sisters, used it to audition for Ukraine’s version of “The Voice.” They had three out of four judges turn for them — because, of course! Who can resist “Chiribim Chiribom”? We certainly can’t!
Yishkoach, Vibers, for this incredible video. We can’t wait to kvell about what they do next!