The Boston Camerata celebrates The Sacred Bridge

The Sacred Bridge
December 3, 2011 8:00 pm – Longy School of Music, Cambridge, MA
For tickets and prices, visit
Back by popular demand, a second interfaith celebration, a holiday program unlike
any other. Discover with The Boston Camerata the common musical roots of Jewish, Arabic, and Christian
religions, and the astonishing and beautiful interactions among these traditions.
Joel Cohen and The Boston Camerata are joined by members of the Sharq Arabic Music

The Sacred Bridge
as performed in concert by The Boston Camerata

I. Songs of exile
Anonymous (Sephardic, Jerusalem) Boray ad ana/Criador hasta cuando Creator, why have you imprisoned your Dove? Why have you put her in chains? She is alone, without her children, crying Father, Father, Father…

Al naharot bavel (Psalm 137)
By the rivers of Babylon, There we sat down, yea, we wept, When we remembered Zion. Upon the willows in the midst thereof We hanged up our harps. For there they that led us captive asked of us words of song, And our tormentors asked of us mirth: ‘Sing us one of the songs of Zion.’ How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?

II. The Sacred Bridge
Anonymous (Gregorian, Ashkenazic) In exitu Israel/ B’tset Yisrael
(Psalm 114, Latin and Hebrew versions)
When Israel came forth out of Egypt,The house of Jacob from a people of strange language;/Judah became his sanctuary, Israel his dominion…

Obadiah the Proselyte (12th century) Mi al har horeb (Eulogy of Moses)
Who other than Moses stood on Mt Horeb at sudy? Who other that Moses led my flock in the desert, bringing them forth water? To the heavens he came to God. Know, my people, ‘That your light has come. The Glory has shone upon you.’

III. Jewish Minstrels in the Christian Middle Ages
Mathieu le Juif (13th century) Par grant franchise
I must sing to you, unfaithful lady who torments me. False lovers make true love perish; I have served you faithfully, yet you mock me. Why have you thus betrayed me? For your love I have forsaken my Law, my God. May God make your face so wrinkled and old that all will hate you, save me!

Sueskint von Trimberg (13th century) Wa heb’uf
(melody: Der Wilde Alexander, 13th c.)
What sorrow is now thrust upon me, now that my noble patron is gone. Now I must flee the court, let my hair and beard grow long. I shall live in the old Jewry, with a long coat and hat. Slow shall be my walk, and sad my song.

Isaac Gorni (13th century) A poet’s life (translated from the Hebrew)
IV. Jewish folksongs of the Mediterranean
Anonymous (Morocco) En ciudad noble y encina (instrumental)

Yo hanino, tu hanina
I am Hanino, you are Hanina, these shall be our names, and the children born to us, Aman, will be like the moon and the sun, Derman, like the moon and the sun…

Morena me llaman
They call me the dark one, but I was born fair; I lost my color from travelling so much. Clad in green and scarlet, the betrothed girl speaks thus to her beloved. A ladder of gold and ivory was made for them to climb…The king’s son calls me the dark one, and if he summons me, I shall go.

Anonymous (Balkans) La rosa enfloresce
The rose blooms in the month of May, and my heart saddens with the pains of love. The nightingale sings and sighs… Come quickly, O thou my soul, or else I shall die. Carpentras (18th century) Eftach sephatai berinah (Circumcision)

I open my lips with happiness. We shall sing tomorrow at dinner. I will praise God Highest on the tambourin and the violin… May the child being circumcised today become a wise man; may the exiles and the wanderers be returned; may the redeemer of Zion come!


V. Songs of Mystical Spain
Anonymous (Sephardic) Respondemos, Dio de Abraham
Answer us, O God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in our hour of death.

attributed to Alfonso el Sabio (1221-1284) Virgen madre groriosa
King of Castille
Vigin Mary, full of Glory, Sainted wife and daughter of God, who can glorify you?

Anonymous (Sephardic) Kaddish (instrumental)
Alfonso el Sabio Madre de Dios, ora por nos
Mother of God, pray for us on this day of judgement, when the trumpets shall sound and the dead shall be raised.

Alfonso el Sabio Des oge mas quer eu trobar (instrumental)
Gran dereit (instrumental)

Anonymous (Sephardic, Balkans) Cuando el rey Nimrod
As King Nimrod raised his eyes to heaven, he saw the star above the Jewry, announcing the birth of Abraham, our much loved father.

attributed to Abraham, cantor of Gerona (12th c.?) Ahot ketana
The little sister [i.e. the Jewish people]prepares her prayers and intone her praises. O God heal her sickness, and may her misfortunes cease from now on.

Alfonso el Sabio Muit e benaventurado (instrumental)

Anonymous (Sephardic) El nora alila
O God, grant pardon to the people of Israel; raise your eyes to those who are yours; may Michael, Elijah and Gabriel proclaim the joyful news of redemption.