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The sun is shining, the tide is receding, and I am enjoying a sabbath by the sea.

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The gentle whisper of the wind and the rhythmic sound of the waves, echo the soothing voice of the Creator of the Universe.

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The glistening light illuminates on the surface of the sea, looks like millions of sparkly stars dancing on water.

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Sabbath-ing by this splendid scenery, my soul recounts the oceans of blessings that this Lord of the Sabbath has bestowed upon me…

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indeed they are as numerous as the grains of sand on the seashore!

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The incoming tides splash over my feet; and I frolic joy-freely with the swirling waves…

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on this day of relaxation by the serene seascape in front of me.

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Nirkod LaShalom

We are enjoying Season III of Hine Ma Tov Communal Worship Dance.

This lovely song/dance Nirkod LaShalom will be our theme dance for this season.

Nirkod in Hebrew means dance; la Shalom means for peace.

The lyric of Nirkod LaShalom ((Let’s dance for peace 为和平而起舞) has been translated to at least 35 languages: http://www.nirkodlashalom.com/

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The followings are the dances we have nirkod-ed so far; one newcomer commented that we had “a spirit lifting and fun dance class!”

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Balada Lama’ayan
泉水之夢
Ballad of Spring

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Ashrei Ha’ish (幸福人生 A Blessed Person (Psalm 1)

Teach:

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David Melech Yisrael
仁愛牧者_大衛王
Shepherd David’s Lullaby

Lyric:
http://hebrewsongs.com/?song=davidmelechyisrael2

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Ilu Tziporim
啼鳥– 飛鳥祕語
If only birds would tell (Ecclesiastes 10:20)

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Ani Ma’ Amin
堅信不移
I firmly believe

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Ein Od Milvado
除你以外
The Lord alone is God (Deuteronomy 4:35)

Teach:

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Dance:

Lyric:
http://hebrewsongs.com/?song=einodmilvado

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Eliyahu Hanavi
先知以利亞
Prophet Elijah

Teach & dance

Lyric:
http://hebrewsongs.com/?song=eliyahuhanavi

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Anshei HaGeshem
雨人
The Rain People

Lyric:
http://hebrewsongs.com/song-ansheihageshem.htm

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Tzoek Chazak
鼓樂暄天
Screaming Loud

Teach

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T’filati (祈禱 My Prayer)

Lyric:
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/song-tfilati.htm

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El Elohei Shamayim (天上的父神/宇宙之主 God of Heaven)

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Sonata (奏鸣曲)

teach

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Teach of Nirkod LaShalom by the choreographer:

Dance

 

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Hine Ma Tov

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A friend (Anna)and I have been taking Israeli Folk Dance lessons for the past four years. Since the weather is getting brighter, sunnier and warmer, ’tis a perfect time for some exercise; Hence we decided to start a 3-month communal worship dance recreational program, focusing mainly on Israeli Folk Dancing.

The name of our circle dance is called “Hine Ma Tov” which in Hebrew means “Behold, how good” based on Psalm 詩篇133:1.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
看哪、 弟兄和睦同居、 是何等的善、 何等的美!

The followings are the joyful dances we are learning:

(edited on November 22, 2017)

After the weekly dancing, our Hine Ma Tov class has mastered most of the basic steps of Israeli Folk Dance, such as Maim (Grapevine), Tcherkessia and Yeminites.

Our dances are getting more intricate, graceful and flowy; and the feet of our dancing queens are happily…

Waltzing through the graceful dance of “Katonti” — I’ve been humbled/unworthy to receive God’s mercy 我不配(Genesis 創世記 32:10)


Lyric:
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/?song=katonti

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Sonata 奏鳴曲

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Sulam Ya’akov (Jacob’s Ladder 雅各積高的梯子)

Ashrei Ha’ish (A Blessed Life ~ 蒙福人生 (Psalm 1)

Lyric:
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/song-ashreihaish.htm

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Ma Navu 何等佳美 — How Beautiful

Lyric taken from Isaiah 52:7
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/song-manavu.htm

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“Ilu Tziporim (If only birds tell ~ “啼鳥” 飛鳥祕語 ` Ecclesiastes 10:20)

Lyric
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/song-ilutsiporim.htm

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Eretz Eretz (念故郷 Longing for the Homeland)


Lyric:
http://hebrewsongs.com/?song=eretzeretzeretz

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Maim Maim 水舞 Water dance (Joy of Salvation Isaiah 12:3)

Lyric:
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/?song=mayimmayim

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Tzadik Katamar
義人要發旺如棕樹
Righteous as Flourishing Palm Trees (Psalm 92)


Lyric:
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/?song=tzadikkatamar

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Balada Lama’ayan
泉水之夢
Ballad of Spring


Lyric:
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/song-baladalema’ayan.htm

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Hine Ma Tov
手足情深
How Good


Lyric:
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/song-hinehmatov.htm

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Lo Ahavti Dai
愛的不足
Haven’t loved enough


Lyric:
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/song-odloahavtidai.htm

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Shaalu Shalom Yerushalayim
为耶城的和平祷告
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122)

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Amen
阿門

http://www.hebrewsongs.com/?song=amen

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Hora Medura
營火圓環
Dancing ‘round the Campfire


Lyric:
http://hebrewsongs.com/?song=horamedura

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Nigun Atik
古之歌舞
Ancient Melody


Lyric:
http://hebrewsongs.com/?song=nigunatik

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David Melech Israel
大衛王King David of Israel/
仁愛牧者摇篮曲/A Shepherd’s Lullaby

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Our purpose for this dance-xercise is for people to 一!喜!舞!禱!
Experience God together through joy-filled dancing and worship!

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We are reminded that God is watching over us from Heaven:
Tfilah (SHMOR NA ALEINU)– A Prayer for God to watch over us 求主眷顧我們

Lyric
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/song-tefilla.htm

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We rejoice in dancing before the King of kings…as King David,Prophetess Miriam did…

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New Dances for Hine Ma Tov Season II (Oct to Dec 2016)

Zohi Artzi(This is my Land 這是我的家鄉 )

Meaning of lyric
http://hebrewsongs.com/?song=zohiartzi

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Erev Shabbat (Shabbat Eve 安息日前夕)

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Be’Ahavah Uvemilah Tovah (with Love and Good Words)

Lyric
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/?song=beahavahuvemilahtovah

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Yevarechecha (The Lord bless you based on Psalm 128:5-6 天降福星)

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Ani Ma’ Amin (I believe in the coming of the Messiah 堅信不移)

Lyric:
http://www.hebrewsongs.com/song-anima’amin.htm

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Ima Im Hayiti Yachol (Mother, if I could…)

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Rotza Lirkod (她想跳舞 She wants to dance)

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田野的樹都歡呼 Trees of the field will clap their hands
http://jgospel.net/family-faith/hymns/%E6%96%B0%E6%AD%8C%E9%A0%8C%E6%8F%9A-%E7%94%B0%E9%87%8E%E7%9A%84%E6%A8%B9%E9%83%BD%E6%AD%A1%E5%91%BC.c68600.aspx#

Isaiah 55:10-12 New International Version

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field
will clap their hands.

music tree

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Bucket List

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I did not know the meaning of bucket list until some friends braved their courageous souls to go sky-diving and taking up the challenge to hike the strenuous trail of Machu Pichu, and crossing out their bucket list one by one.

Wiki definition of bucket list:”a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.”

Well then, my bucket lists are few and simple. One of my wish is always wanting to take part in a flash mob.

I am always amazed at how it is being carried out so randomly and bring such sheer delight not only to the passerbys and audiences but to the participants as well.

Opportunity came a while ago, where a few of us signed up for a special flash mob event.

It was truly a fun-tastic experience to surprise the audience with our colorful, energetic and uplifting dance called “Oleh Oleh”, in Hebrew means “Going up”.

Oleh Oleh (GOING UP)

Light and azure are in the sky
and suddenly the day appears
Clouds turn to water,
a rainbow rises in the sky

A variety of shades and a light of the sky
that colour the world
And it’s many times more beautiful,
and it makes everyone smile

Chorus
Going up! We’ll sing together
When the joy blossoms in the heart
Going up! We ll sing together
Great and small, like a rainbow in the clouds…

Lyrics taken from https://www.google.ca/search?q=oleh+oleh+hebrew+song&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr,ssl&ei=sSE8Vda-H8SyoQTasIHYBA

Now I can say that I have participated in a flash mob; One item off my bucket list!

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Watching birds flying over the water and into the evening sky is freeing and calming.

I would often pause and enjoy the flying moment.

This image taken by the beach reminds me of a beautiful Hebrew prayer song and worship dance called T’filati.

The lyric is taken from Psalm 55 on casting our burdens to God and trusting Him to free us like a flying bird.

T’filati (My Prayer)

Ha’azina Elohim T’filati (Listen God to my prayer)
Ve’al na titalam Mitechinati (And don’t over look my plea)
Mi yiten Li kanaf kayona (Who will give me a wing)
A’ufa li ve’eshkona (So I can fly and live like a bird)
Ani el Elohay ekra (I will call God)
Vehu Yoshi’eyni (And He will save me)

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Communal Worship Dance

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One of the best ways to rejoice and celebrate with children is through Communal Worship Dance (CWD). CWD is any form of group dancing, such as line dance or circle dance, for the purpose of worshipping God.

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The other day I was leading CWD with the children. I noticed that the boys enjoyed the circle dance very much; perhaps because the foot-work was of a lively bouncy and marching-style, rather than the girly-ballerina-type.

One of the dance steps we used a lot is the basic communal “grapevine” dance steps. The children told me that they have learned these steps in school during their Physical Education classes and in their extracurricular dance lessons; In fact the “grapevine” steps are similar to the drill steps they learned in soccer called “karaoke”.

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We had a great time rejoicing and celebrating before the Lord. It was very heartwarming to see everyone hold hands and hang on to each other resulting in such a fun atmosphere. The image of togetherness as bounded by the Spirit of God reminds me of what the psalmist describes, of “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity” (Psalm 133:1).

To top it all off, we had colorful toppings of our choice to sprinkle over big scoops of ice-cream.

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Here’s one of the rejoicing and celebrative CWD we did to one of my favorite Christmas songs Come On Ring Those Bells.

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The dancing tree

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Somehow on every spring season, there is at least a plant that I am attracted to, this time it’s the blossoming pink tree.

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Up close, one could see dainty and miniature ballerinas dressed up in dazzling pink tutus swaying with flair on the branches.

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Though I never desire to be a ballerina with puffy pink dance-ware, these fairy-like ballerinas do remind me of a ballet-like dance I learned recently at the Israeli folk dancing class.

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When the new dance was first introduced, I almost wanted to give up learning due to the many twisting and turning that caused my head spinning with dizziness.

But when the instructor mentioned that the dance is about a tree story, I suddenly become very alert, for I love anything related to trees. The instructor had turned my “mourning” into “dancing” mode^^

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The title of the dance is called “Ilan”, in Hebrews means “tree”.

When the choreographer first heard the song, he was instantly drawn by the captivating melody.

And when he learned about the parable behind the song, he was even more intrigued by the music. The parable is about how a blessing tree which blessed others, was being blessed extravagantly.

Since then, the song and the story had been dancing in the choreographer’s head and a year later, the dancer unleashed the music through all those swaying, twirling and arms stretching dance motions.

Here’s the story behind the dance.

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After I learned about the interpretation of his dance, I began to pay close attention to each of the movements.

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And now with my arms stretched out reminiscent of branches, I am imagining myself whirling gracefully with the ballerinas in pink tutu on a breezy spring day.

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Ilan by Elad Shtamer, the choreographer.

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I have always wanted to learn how to worship dance.
I do teach many action songs with the children in Sunday School; but not worship dance yet.

My journal entry on May 1st was:

Teach my feet to dance,
Teach my soul to dance,
Teach my spirit to dance,
and teach my heart to dance, Lord.

Amazingly, the next day (May 2nd), I received a newsletter from Messianic Dance Camps International promoting their annual dance camp at Malibu, I felt a tug at my heart.

Worship Dance camp? Malibu? What a combination; what an adventure; what an opportunity from the Lord!

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People asked about my excursion to the dance camp.

It’s too amazing to be put into words; I needed to sink in the feeling, the rush, the excitement…one needs to be there to experience the extravaganza!

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Anyhow, here’s an attempt at capturing the wondrous weekend:

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I learned to twirl flags gracefully like a butterfly, swinging left to right and right to left (thankfully, I didn’t get spun up in a cocoon!).

I learned to handle the tinkling tambourine with gentleness and with rhythm.

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I learned to do circle dance with great enthusiasm letting the circle hands and melodious music carried me away like a butterfly.

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I also learned the elegant terms that described the dance steps… Debka, David, Ashrei, Klezmer, Miserlu.

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Thanks to our wonderful worship dance instructors who passionately embraced us into the celebrative circle dance.

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Our intensive dance camp included midrash teachings, a taste of Israeli Krav Maga, many creative and flavorful worship dances, live musical worship by artists whom I had never heard before… Corry Bell & Lev Shelo, Kendra Martin, The Lumbrosos, Zemer Levav.

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Praise God for a time of tranquility.

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And a great time of fellowship over food, and breathtaking scenery overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

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This extravagant dance camp was like enjoying a cruise vacation on a paradise island!

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One of the most memorable time was dancing at the beautiful bluff at Malibu.

I loved the feel of the soft and dried green grass tingling under my bare feet.

I enjoyed the breeze blowing through my hair and my clothes.

I delighted in the warm sun and the gentle wind kissing my face.

I was lost in wonder, gliding away, imagining myself as one of the characters from the Sound of Music.
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pepperdine 2013 malibu bluffs

Praise be to Lord of the dance for the joy of twirling away at the bluff on the Wings of the Wind!

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Praise God for training our feet to dance and to worship Him.

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I have bought the above dance dvd to worship God and in hope to lead others to dance as the spirit leads.

http://messianicdancecamps.com/home

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Dancing with the Jews!

Today is Day of Purim.  

According to the Bible, thls joyous celebration of Purim was established by Queen Esther.

A day to remember their deliverance from being annihilated by the plot set up by “an adversary and enemy, the vile Haman”. (Esther 7:6)

A day of fasting and lamentation; a day of joy and feasting and to help the needy in their community.

“These days should be remembered and observed in every generation by every family, and in every province and in every city. And these days of Purim should never fail to be celebrated by the Jews — nor should the memory of these days die out among their descendants.” (Esther 9:28)

I’m always fond of ‘Purim’.  One time while studying the book of Esther, the college professor brought in some noisemakers for us to play. 

He wanted us to shake or twirl the noisemakers whenever the word “purim” was being read aloud.

It was a totally fun and loud class for he wanted us to experience the celebrative spirit of the Jews on Purim day.

I love Jewish dance and always wanted to join the dance.

Perhaps today is a good start and so I joined some friends at the Cultural Center to learn this celebrative dance.

Many came to celebrate Purim with fanciful outfits and our dance instructor dresses up as a baker!

The Purim celebration always include the traditional goodies called ‘Hamantaschen’ aka “Haman’s ears”.

The name was said to derive from the old practice of cutting off criminals’ ears before they were executed by hanging.  
In the book of Esther, Haman the villian was impaled on the high pole set up by himself which he intended to use on Mordecai the Jew.

To better appreciate the feast of Purim, one has to read this historical narrative from the book of Esther. It is a captivating and empowering story with the Invisible God acting sovereignly behind the scenes.

Here’s a great animated illustration on Purim.

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