Shemonah-esreh tants (LKT)

This entry is part of the Lexicon of Klezmer Terminology (LKT). The LKT compiles a wide array of source materials that shed light on the historical and contemporary state of knowledge about klezmer music. Each entry includes a number of citations from primary and secondary sources that include or refers to the term in question. It also indicates whether musical notation or sound recordings are included in the source. By clicking on the bibliographic hyperlink at the end of each citation, you get the full reference.


“‘Shemonah-esreh’ Dance”.“Tzvi Fridhaber, scholar of Jewish dance, Haifa, writes to us:... I was approached by Ms. Chava Verbah and she told me of two wedding dances that she recalled from her childhood in the area of Brisk of Lithuania. Her mother told her about a cousin Malkha that would perform at weddings and other family celebrations the ‘tants’ (dance) of ‘shemonah-esreh.’ The dance sometimes went on for close to an hour and succeeded in reproducing all the motions of an extremely pious Jew during the Amidah prayer... The entire prayer was performed in mimicry and in rhythm.” [Brisk, Lithuania, pre-World War II]. Fridhaber 1960, p. 30