T'Filat Sarah      Sarah's Prayer


for Bat Ami Segal on the occasion of her Bat Torah

22 Cheshvan 5768, November 3 2007


When our first mother Sarah lay down to die

she felt the earth beneath ready to welcome her return

but her soul was not at rest

Sarah was very old and she had been made tired

by all that she had lived on earth

yet she could not let go


she whispered

I may not leave this place

I do not understand I may not let go

You who named me with a life of tent

always a full measure overflowing

and who blessed me with my rising star of a son

Bless me in my dying with answer for how else may I let go

Only you will make it so


I am here


And G-d heard Sarah and sent an angel to her

that same angel who had spoken to Hagar in the oasis on the road to Shur

and this angel took Sarah's hand


Your work is not finished princess said the angel

Come with me to where the wash of heaven promises to make you pure of the world and all that it has asked of you  

Come with me to see


So Sarah let herself be carried by the angel to the shore of eternity

And she arrived to the end of her time and to her last breath

And she saw backwards all the days of her royalty

And all those whose tents had billowed beside her own

And she saw amidst all those who leaned toward her

one who had turned away and would not look at her

She saw the other mother whose belly had received the seed of Abraham 

And Sarah felt a great yearning for her

And her soul traveled to the soul of she who had been Hagar


I am dying she said to Hagar

Do not turn away from me as I did you


And Hagar answered


Palm to palm feel the heat of our hands rising in anger

Your little one grown into a nation

And mine too


Leave me be


I may not said Sarah

for you hold my last breath and I may not let go

and I have something to ask of you


Then Hagar looked down to Sarah's breath between her hands

It was fragile

It was a longing

and lo it was a bridge of light between them

Then Hagar said

Let you love Ishmael and me

Face to face I am with you now

Let my pain be your pain and your joy be my joy

Mouth to mouth

Take your breath

Dare to heal my wound with a kiss

And Sarah asked

Could a kiss bring balm to bitter

for our selves and for our children?


So Sarah came close and Sarah kissed Hagar

and she breathed in all the love and all the bitterness that had been born

between them

And Sarah wept loudly and long

until she saw a light calling her to come up and stand


Then Sarah said

A prayer is in my heart

and a light is calling me

Will you hold me up

for this is what I have come to ask of you

And Hagar answered with her arms

sustaining She who had been her  pain

and Sarah sent out her prayer


Oh Children of Abraham

Beloved sons and daughters of Hagar and Sarah

Remember that you are brothers and sisters

Do not turn away from each other

in anger or strife but strive together

Promise never to grow the harming with your own life

and keep your hearts soft and open

Teach your children to look with a kindness

and no fear

so that the land beneath your feet is theirs too to share and dance upon

May your joys be each other's joys

and your hurting be diminished

Remember Sarah who did not see the whole way

and caused therefore a suffering

No more no more

Live your lives brave to find the whole way


El Shaddai

Bless this holy land that we have walked on with our own living albeit hurtfully

Bless all our children

And may their pains give birth to your greater light


Oh Children of Abraham

Dare to be

a Lamp of Peace for nations everywhere

El Shaddai May it be so


Then Hagar whispered

Peace to you sister I have done my part

and Hagar faded away but the scent of her lingered there like roses


And our mother Sarah laid down on the shore of eternity with the angel holding her

And the scent of roses all around her

And she sighed her last breath out with the essence of her like lilies pure and clean

And she said Hineini and I may let go now yes

And Shechinah's arms reached down yes and tenderly took Sarah's soul home



Ken Y'hi Ratzon   


                                                                   Dale Adams Segal

                                                                    Bracha Sivanah




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