The weekly Torah portion this week was "Chaye Sarah", which tells of the death of the matriarch Sarah. Sarah had a hard life and the portion conveys this both explicitly and in hints.
The name Sarah is one of the most common names in Israel. The song that we chose to present tells of a girl named Sarah, and her disappointed love. The song was written by the troubadour Nahum Sternheim (1879-1942). It was popular and was recorded by the singer Diana Blumenfeld in New York in 1949 as well as by other singers.
The song tells of the secret love between Sarah'leh, the daughter of a tailor named Bure'leh (Baruch), and Shlomo'leh, a scholar. The two dream of one another day and night. However, years pass and Sarah'leh does not get married. Her father, the tailor, takes her to a miracle worker for advice and for a blessing. During the meeting, the wise man recognizes the girl of his dreams. At the end of the song Shlomo'leh expresses his wonder at the ways of fate, but Sarah'leh doesn't recognize him and continues to carry the dream of her youth in her heart.
In contrast to the sad lyrics, the tune is catchy, symmetrical and happy. It became very popular in the 30's of the 20th century in Europe and later in the United States.
This song is dedicated to Prof. Dov Noy (who, together with Dr. Gila Flam, edited a book of Nachum Sternheim's songs) and to Sarah Taylor who worked at the National Library until this week.