PRONUNCIATION: LAHK yeh-ROO-shah-lah-yeem TRANSLATION: For you, Jerusalem SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from Dani Dassa, one of the leading Israeli dance choreographers now living in the United States. Dani taught the dance at the 1970 San Diego State College Folk Dance Conference and at the 1980 Folk Dance Symposium. BACKGROUND: Lach Yerushalayim was choreographed as a salute to Jerusalem, Israel, the oldest capital city in the world. Jerusalem is situated approximately 32 miles from the Mediterranean Sea on the end of a flat ridge. On one of the world's ancient trade routes, "every wanderer, every conqueror, every traveller who has trod the central route of [old] Palestine from north to south must have passed through the table-land of Jerusalem." The city has been a world pilgrimage spot for many of the world's religions, and access to the city's holy places has been promised by the government of Israel since the Old City section was annexed after the War of 1967. One of the actions in the dance (hands up with palms forward) represents praying at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem -- the sole remaining wall of Solomon's Second Temple. Since the Diaspora (the Great Dispersion), Jews all over the world have yearned to return their homeland and embrace the Wailing Wall. The choreographer is Dani Dassa, the lyrics are by Amos Etinger, the music is by A. Rubenstein. MUSIC: Israeli Dances (LP) DAN-005 FORMATION: Open cir of mixed M and W with hands joined and held down in "V" pos. METER/RHYTHM: 2/4 STEPS/STYLE: YEMENITE STEP R: Step R swd (ct 1); step up onto ball of L in back of R (ct &); step R onto full ft down and across in front of L (ct 2).
YEMENITE STEP L: Step L swd (ct 1); step up onto ball of R in back of L (ct &); step L onto full ft down and across in front of R (ct 2).
The two steps above are often simply referred to as "Yemenite R" and "Yemenite L."
MEAS MOVEMENT DESCRIPTION 1-2 INTRODUCTION - No action. I. TRAVELLING IN LOD 1 Facing and moving to R in LOD, step L (ct 1); hop L (ct &); step R (ct 2); hop R (ct &). 2 Close L to R bending both knees (ct 1); jump up from both (ct &); land on L (ct uh); step R leaning over from hips (ct 2); step L fwd with body still bent fwd (ct &). 3 Straightening up, step R (ct 1); hop R (ct &); step L (ct 2); hop L (ct &). 4 Yemenite R (cts 1&2); hop R (ct &). 5-8 Repeat action of meas 1-4 ending facing ctr. II. WAILING WALL 1 Facing ctr and releasing handhold, leap L swd (ct 1); step R across L, leaning fwd with R shldr and R hand extended across body (ct &); step L back in place, straightening to face ctr (ct 2); hop L (ct &). 2 Step RLR, making one full CW turn to the R (cts 1&2). 3-4 Repeat action of meas 1-2. 5 Facing ctr with hands fwd, just above shldr level, with palms fwd and elbows bent, step L swd (ct 1); rock R swd (ct 2); rock L swd (ct &). 6 Rock R swd, bending knees and leaning body fwd as hands come down near hips with elbows still bent (ct 1); close L to R with body still leaning fwd with knees bent and hands coming up again but with palms facing each other (ct 2). 7 Still leaning fwd with knees bent, clap hands (ct 1); clap hands (ct 2); clap hands straightening knees slightly (ct &). 8 Step R swd, bringing hands out and downward (ct 1); close L to R without wt (ct 2). 9-15 Repeat action of meas 1-7. 16 Straightening body, turning to face to R in LOD, and taking a low "V" pos handhold, step R fwd in LOD (ct 1); close L to R without wt (ct 2). Repeat entire dance from beg. Before dance begins for the third time, jump on balls of both ft in place four times for one meas of musical interlude (cts 1&2&). Repeat entire dance from beg, except that Fig II, meas 16, is danced as was meas 8 with dancers remaining facing ctr. This is followed by four more meas of music with the dancers continuing to dance the action of meas 15-16 three more times (meas 17-19), followed by a 20th meas in which the dancers, straightening up, clap hands (ct 1); snap fingers throwing hands high and outstretched (ct &); pause (ct 2).
Lach Y'rushalayim, bein chomot ha-ir
Lach Y'rushalayim, or chadash ya-ir
B'libaynu, b'libaynu, rak shir echad kayam
Lach Y'rushalayim bayn midbar vayam
For you, Jerusalem, surrounded by your walls.
For you, Jerusalem, a new light will shine.
In our hearts, only one song exists.
For you, Jerusalem, between the desert and the sea.
Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes