At the request of some of the congregants from the synagogue I attend, a few of us got together to research some different tunes to some of the prayers we sing during the services. I decided to write a new tune for the above prayer, the prayer for peace.                                                                       

As I was writing the music, a number of incidents occurred - the flotilla attempted to break the Gaza blockade, ethnic cleansing erupted in Kyrgyzstan, bombs exploded in Iraq and Pakistan killing women and children, a lone gunman went on a rampage. Because I was constantly thinking about the music and the words to the song at that time, I was much more affected by these incidents than usual, probably because with the constant media barrage of tragic events, I had become desensitised to a certain degree. I felt sad but also helpless - how could I respond to such a series of events? I decided to create a dance as well as the song, fashioning the dance around my perceptions of the process of looking for and finding peace.

I decided that hands had to be held, as ultimately, peace is achieved by uniting. The thought occurred that the road to peace is not always comfortable, so I decided that hands would be held at shoulder height to symbolise discomfort. At one stage whilst I was creating the dance, some shuttle diplomacy occurred in one of the theatres of hostility .I had images of diplomats zig-zagging from one country to another, trying one strategy then another, being unable to decide which was the best course of action, advancing, then retreating whilst feeling despondent. This is reflected in  part 1 where we zig-zag both in and out of the centre symbolising that the search for peace is not always straightforward, and when  we step back from the centre of the circle,  heads are turned away to symbolise sadness.

Part 2 of the dance is about not knowing which way to turn to find peace - looking first one way, then the other - then joining together to look again without being able to predict the outcome. This unpredictability is shown by the non symmetrical step pattern after the turns. The finger snaps are my symbol for peace

The dance ends on a positive note. After the last turn to the left, we join hands in the conventional hand hold to symbolise that we are now comfortable with the idea of finding peace together. Since the outcome is now predictable, we step along the circle this time in a symmetrical pattern, then walk forward together towards peace.

This is a dance to be done in one circle. If there are too many people for one circle, the the inner circle should face the outer circle, so that at the end of the dance, the circles walk towards each other in the final steps towards peace.

My son Simon recorded the music - performing all the instrumental and vocal parts beautifully.