How to Survive the Horah

horah chitribe

How to Survive the Horah – Jewish Fitness for Wedding Season

We all know that moment when you are dancing the Horah and the chairs come out, if you are a man in the prime of your life you are expected to go forward and help lift up the bride and groom. It’s a wedding so there is no time to concern yourself with the state of your shoulders or back. Ultimately what’s the damage of lifting young lovers for a minute? 

Honestly, probably nothing. 

However, generally speaking the bride and groom are rarely why this article is relevant. After a minute of bouncing the lovers in their seats though, it’s time for the parents. While I always respect my elders, time and kugel can do some things to Papa Morty’s body. Things that may make lifting him over your head a little challenging, especially while wearing tuxedo pants. If you want to make it through the Horah without splitting a seam or dropping the happy couple here are a few tips…

NUMBER 1: Stand near people your size. 

There are always two chairs, try to be in the group of men closer to your height. Lifting is hard enough but having to lift higher than your contemporaries is much harder. If it is a mixed bag, be diagonally across from someone your height. 

NUMBER 2: Use your legs! 

Squat down when you move to pick up the chair and work as a team to get the chair up fluidly. Your back will thank you later. 

horah chitribe

NUMBER 3: DO NOT vigorously shake the chair. 

We are all happy and excited but there is always the one person who is too happy or excited. If you are pumping too intensely the rest of your chevra have to work twice as hard to keep the chair stable. After all, the goal is to keep the people in the chair; it is scary enough up there, no need to make them feel like they are riding a bull.  

NUMBER 4: Avoid that one spot. 

There is one spot that kind of sucks, but if you are the last to the center you may get stuck with it. That spot is directly in front of the bride. If you are unlucky enough to get the spot in front of the bride, close your eyes or turn your head because it’s an uncomfortable position. You are either going to get a face full of dress or see something you shouldn’t be looking at. 

NUMBER 5: If you aren’t helping, get the f*** out of the way

I know everyone wants to be part of the celebration but please don’t pretend to help. If you have one hand pushing on the side of the chair, I’m looking at you Uncle Larry, then you aren’t really helping. It’s okay to help with one hand but you still need to be under the chair. If it is some sort of strange insecurity or an injury just slowly sink back towards the outside of the circle when they bring the chairs in and pretend you got there too late to help. 

Lifting chairs is never easy but these five tips can make the experience more pleasant for everyone. 

jake dermer chitribe

Jake Dermer is the founder of Do It At Your Desk, a company dedicated to helping office workers live healthier, more-active, and pain-free lives. He is also a published fitness writer with a decade of experience in the personal training industry. Jake’s program is the result of years of dedicated effort on helping to dispel the myths around diet and exercise. As well as an avid rock climber and gym goer, he is a proud ChiTribe contributor. Learn more about Jake on his website and read his book today!


More from Jake on Jewish Fitness: 

Climbing in Chicago…Make Aliyah! 

Healthy Passover Snacks 

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Frugel Fitness Advice 2019

The Chosen Studios of Chicago


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Jake Dermer

Jake Dermer

Jake Dermer is a personal trainer and corporate wellness consultant in the Chicago land area. As well as an avid rock climber and gym goer, for more information take a look at his website –