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10. Sarah and Hagar

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Music by Linda Hirschhorn © 1987

Lyrics by Linda Hirschhorn © 1987, inspired by Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb's poem My Sister as it appeared in Broadside, 1985

Lead Vocal: Linda Hirschhorn

Guitar: Nancy Vogl

Bass: Joy Julks

Qanun: Mimi Spencer

Percussion: Carolyn Brandy

This song brings to the twentieth century the two Biblical women, Sarah and Hagar, both of whom had children by Abraham. Hagar's son, Ishmael, is said to be the founder of the Islamic nations. Here, Sarah and Hagar meet and talk with the hindsight of what has happened to both their peoples and the oppressions both have suffered. They realize that it is time for the Palestinians and the Israelis to talk to each other.

I am calling you, O Sarah, this is your sister, Hagar,
calling through the centuries to reach you from afar.
Here is my son Ishmael, your sister's son alive.
We share the sons of Abraham, two peoples, one tribe.

Yes, I am your Sarah, I remember you, Hagar.
Your voice cuts through the distance, no, you can't be very far.
It was I who cast you out, in fear and jealousy;
Yet your vision survived the wilderness to reach your destiny.

But it wasn't till my Isaac lay under the knife
that I recognized your peril, the danger to your life.
I tremble now, O Hagar, for our peril's still the same:
We will not survive our danger till we speak each other's names.

We must hear each other's prayers, sing each other's songs,
and share the dream of one homeland for which our peoples long.

Note: A different version of this song with revised lyrics is available on the album Heart Beat

© 1987 Linda Hirschhorn, Kehila Publications (BMI)
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