Dancing is a means to express joy and happiness. It is a part of the Jewish tradition and culture. Traditional Jewish dances were incorporated into prayer services, praise services, and worship. The ethnicity of the Jews is revealed in these dance forms.
Dancing has been one of their favorite pastimes since ages. In fact, traditional dances are performed after a Jewish wedding, where the bride and the bridegroom are lifted up in a chair by their relatives and friends. Then, a circle dance is performed to complete the wedding ceremony.
Traditional Jewish Dances
- It is performed at weddings and festivals.
- It is the traditional dance of Israel and many other East European countries.
- Horah is also known as the circle dance and is performed to traditional Jewish songs, such as "Klezmer" and "Hava Nagila".
- It was one of the Jewish dances that became popular in North America in the early 20th century
- This is performed at the wedding reception of the last son or daughter.
- Towards the end of the wedding reception, the mother and the father are seated on the dance floor, and the guests dance around them.
- A lively music band accompanies the dance, and the parents of the bride or the bridegroom are lavished with flowers and kisses.
- There is a traditional Jewish custom called "Krenzl".
- This custom is followed when the parents give away their last daughter in marriage.
- The mother is seated in the center of the dance floor, and a wreath of flowers adorns her head.
- All the daughters including the last daughter, perform a lively dance around their mother.
Gladdening of the Bride
- Towards the end of the wedding reception, the guests and the close family members seat the bride in the center of the dance floor and dance around her.
- They also sing songs that praise her. This is a traditional custom of Jewish marriages.
Israeli Folk Dance
- One of the traditional folk dances of the Jews is the Israeli folk dance.
- It is a combination of the various folk dances of Eastern Europe, which were introduced in Israel by the Socialist Zionists in the early 20th century.
- "Mayim" meaning "water", is an Israeli folk dance that is performed to commemorate the discovery of water at Kibbutz Na'an.
- These dances are similar to western dances and are very lively.
- Yemenite came into being when the Jews were not allowed to dance in public in Yemen.
- This dance has stationary hopping and posturing and could be performed in a confined space.
- Today, Yemenite is a popular dance performed by the Jews during weddings and other Jewish occasions.
- This dance has just three steps with a short pause on the last step. It is "quick, quick, and slow". There are, however, many variations in the Yemenite.
Traditional Jewish music and songs accompany these lively dances. It is an ancient Jewish custom that members of the opposite sex do not dance together. However, this view has taken a change in the modern times.