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The middle of the circle is where people get hurt. Do not go in until you've mastered the outer circle and the Hand on Shoulder Forward Back Step. More accidents happen the closer you get to the middle. They start breakdancing to Hora moves, arms start flailing, one guy does a wave and somebody gets hurt. Jews move around and body control is lost.
Go to a Hassidic dance with a Rebbe, if you're not ready and don't have training in Hassidic enjoyment, you will get hurt. You have to fight your way into that middle circle, where you get met by four hundred pound bodyguards throwing you out. Choolante strength is a thing. They guard the Rebbe from the heretics who diet on Shabbis.
People go wild in the middle, so be safe. When Jewish people ‘get down’ it gets dangerous.
If you make it to the middle, here are some important dance moves you must know.
The Arm Raise
Part of the traditional Hora dance circle, this is where you lift your arms. Forearms must be facing in, supinated. Forearms facing out is not what Jews do. This isn't a Jewish revival convention.
Jews always dance in supinated form. Even when dancing, your expression should be one of complaint and questioning.
We don't go into the middle of the circle to give high fives. This is not a free-for-all. This is connection back to the early 1700s in the Ukraine. Also known as the Two Hand Lift, this is a favorite amongst Hassidic dancers. The only exception is if you're from Yemen. Then you can pronate.
Arm Raise Hand Open Close
This can be done by one guy. This just looks cool. This is where you take that hand facing in, squeeze and unclench. If you look up, it looks like you're complaining to Gd. You will want to work on the complaint genre of dance.
The Chest Bounce
Somebody had a friend who likes heavy metal and now very small people get injured.
Done by people who never played organized football, you put your arms on the shoulders of the people near you and then jump around in a circle. Just jump. That's the dance. You can do this with as many partners as you want. One partner may be too intimate for the newcomer to the middle circle. This is as close to athletics any devout Jew should get.
The Solo Jump Around
Similar to the Huddle Jump, this is where you let go of the other people and jump by yourself. It's not a very warm dance and makes you feel alone, without community. Unlike the Huddle Jump, where you have the support of your fellow. This dance goes very well in combination with the Israeli Side to Side Jump. Another variation of the Solo Jump, the Israeli Side to Side keeps you in one spot; no aroundness in the Israeli Jump. By combining them, you can go side to side and around in solo form.
This dance is almost as uncomfortable as being forced to dance in front of the bride and groom. Waving your arms in this makes you look like you know what you're doing. It also opens up your dancing radius, by forcing away other people who don't want to get hit.
Arm Interlocked Twirl Around
Similar to the British folk country dance, this is very fun until somebody else steals the person you were twirling around with. Now you're alone. They interlock arms and take your place, sneaking in from the other side. Kind of like musical chairs, I am found wandering around in a circle by myself, with nowhere to go. And many times, I am even asked to leave the circle.
The Hand-in-Hand Spin
Interlock arms with somebody else and go in a circle for as long as you can, until you let go and the other person flies or falls, or until one of you pukes.
Dangerous. Some call this the helicopter because that is also dangerous. And some call it the propeller, because that is the most dangerous part of the helicopter. Either way, you want feet flying towards the outside of the circle. The objective of this dance is to injure other people.
Make sure to initiate this dance when the middle circle is crowded.
The Face to Face Hands on Shoulders
This is for two people who can't move. You brace yourself on the other person and try not to fall.
The One Hand Hold Side to Side Kick
A classic. With the longest name of any dance, this dance's name describes what it is. You kick from side to side, one leg at a time, alternating. To funk it up a little, switch the hands too. This is almost as complicated as rubbing your tummy, while tapping your head.
Again, stretch before this one. And watch out when getting close to it. If you're a spectator, the lack of kick control and athletic ability of the kickers makes this dance almost as dangerous as the helicopter.
The Rebbe Approach
This is more of a still motion where other people force you in different directions. Known to be dangerous in America on Black Friday, the mob does the dance for you.
That is how you become a Chasid. Chasidim beat you on your way into the middle circle. It's part of the initiation process. That is their hazing process for joining their sect. The NaNachs make you jump while saying ‘NaNachNachimNachmanMUman’ 20 times, real fast. The other sects hurt you real bad.
Final Note of Safety
Do not join any middle circle dance if you have any sort of back problem or arthritis. No older Jewish man should be dancing in the middle. The outside of the circle is for you. The Stand and Clap is the dance you should be doing.
Always be careful. When Jewish people ‘get down’ it gets dangerous. Watch out for flailing arms. That is the move, arms go up in the air and somebody gets hurt.
I also suggest you start on strict weight training and powerlifting program before approaching any rebbe.
Next time we will talk about the middle circle dancing in front of the bride and groom, where you embarrass yourself in the Jewish cypher.
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They wanted to clean the silver on the Torah. Instead, they Polished it.
You get it? People from Poland are Polish. They should‘ve polished the silver. Nobody knows what it means. Maybe put a Polish person on it. If you're Polish, we do not mean to offend you. At the Kibbitzer, we are sure that many Polish know how to polish very well.
The Jerusalem Shofar carrying bag and water bottle. Perfect for when you need to blow the Shofar on a Tiyul. (saying something about a Shofar on a hike was where our creativity on this joke came to a halt)