(viewed from the back and then the front)

Starting position: Stand with heels together, toes a little apart, weight evenly distributed on both feet and knees slightly bent, arms slightly curved at your sides with palms facing backward.

1. Sink your weight onto right foot and lift left heel slightly off the ground as you bring hands back-to-back in front of body.

2. Shift weight to left foot and lift right heel slightly off the ground as you turn fingertips inward toward body, then upward toward the sky and raise back-to-back hands until fingertips reach neck height with palms facing to sides.

3. Shift weight to right foot and lift left heel slightly off the ground as you turn palms first toward your body, then toward each other, then slide back of left hand under right palm as you turn your head to the left and raise your elbows to the sides so that forearms form a straight line parallel to the earth with overlapping hands in front of chin.

4. Form a Zayin by lowering your face between left wrist and shoulder.

5. Slowly shift weight to left foot, lifting right heel slightly, as you point fingertips of both hands forward so they are side-by-side, palms facing downward.

6. As you move head forward and lift it upward, circle fingertips downward and inward toward the body, and then upward toward the sky with elbows lowered and hands back-to-back in front of neck.

7. Shift weight to right foot, lifting left heel slightly, as you slowly lower hands until fingertips are at waist height and then let arms separate to the sides, keeping elbows slightly bent.

8. Lower left heel and shift weight evenly onto both feet as you turn palms toward the back with a circular motion until they come to rest at your sides with fingertips pointing toward the earth.

9. Repeat full sequence starting with opposite foot and sliding right hand under the left palm as you turn your head to the right in Step 3; then repeat sequence eight more times on each side.

"Continuous Alternating Zayin": Form a Zayin with head on left side, and then after completing the movement on the left side in Step 7, instead of closing in Step 8, go directly from Step 7 to Step 1 and repeat the entire sequence on the opposite side, beginning by lowering your left heel, sinking weight onto left foot, and lifting right heel slightly as you bring hands back-to-back in front of body. Alternate sides until you have formed 18 Zayins; then after the last sequence to the right side, lower the right heel and shift weight evenly onto both feet and close as described in Step 8.



Zayin appears to be hiding from reality
Yet in truth pauses to reflect within the comforting embrace of the Infininte,
Like a bird nesting on a narrow windowsill,
Drawing warmth from the heated room during a cold winter storm.
Alternating heels lifting slowing from the earth and returning just as slowly
Set the beat for the upward circling of back-to-back hands
Which turn in front of the neck so palm faces palm
Before one hand slides gently smoothly under the other,
As elbows spread outward and forearms stretch in a line
That provides a shield for the soon to be lowered head,
Which, when lowered within the cleft of the raised elbow
Completes the form of a Zayin,
And brings to mind that ancient cleft
That allowed a glimpse of Hashem's after-Presence
And opened the channels of compassion for all time.
As fingertips rotate forward, the head also moves to face the future,
Still shielded, but preparing to emerge upright with renewed courage
As fingers circle inward and then gradually descend,
Drawing the memory of the promise into each cell
Until whatever fear remains dissolves into trusting Emunah.

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