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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:

Hine Ma Tov
手足情深
How Good


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

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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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Hora Medura
營火圓環
Dancing ‘round the Campfire

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

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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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Nigun Atik
古之歌舞
Ancient Melody


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

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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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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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Eretz Eretz
念故郷
Longing for the Homeland


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

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

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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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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…

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


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

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

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

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


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

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We meditate on who is the “Master of Life 生命主宰”.

Steps of Master of Life were adapted and modified from Eretz Israel Yafa:

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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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Rotza Lirkod (She wants to dance)

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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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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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