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Sapari Tama (Won't You Tell) | Batya Segal

This 17th-century Jewish poem (piyut) was written by Rabbi Sa'adya ben Amram and has remained a beloved song throughout history. With both Hebrew and Yemenite Arabic, this beautiful ballad is an ode to the connection between body and soul. It is a testament to how the body and mind are one; our bodies do not limit our soul’s purpose, but rather support it. We must merge these parts of ourselves to fully serve our ultimate purpose. While our souls know the bliss of heaven, our bodies must remain on earth where we may only learn of paradise. When the two are in harmony, we can know peace.

Sapari – Won’t You Tell

Won’t you tell me, pure and innocent one,

Won’t you tell, and we’ll rejoice in Teiman (Yemen)

You’re a princess steeped in wisdom,

But where are you, won’t you tell me?

Oh Se’adya! Then the dove will say

I’m in kingdoms high and far away….

On a ship at sea, my heart will stay

But my spirit’s draped in glory…

In a labyrinth you will wander

Ivory chambers deep to ponder…

From the darkest places under

You will rise, pure one, and hear me.

For in truth, the choice is given

Will you choose the sacred union?

Don’t be thrown off by temptation!

Holy daughter, and may it not trespass my border