Rebbetzin Malka Steinberg Saks a”h, Composer of “The Little Bird is Calling”

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This week, Rebbetzin Malka Steinberg Saks a”h passed away.

Rebbetzin Saks was the wife of Rav Moshe Saks, dayan in Yerushalayim, and the founder of the Bnos Rochel School for Girls in Yershalayim and Beit Shemesh, but that might not be why you know her. Or know something about her. Chances are that you are more familiar with the lyrics of a song she wrote. It’s a song that’s such a classic, a song that will stand out in the annals of contemporary Jewish music.

The song is called: The Little Bird is Calling, a parable that depicts Klal Yisroel’s journey through exile and its ultimate redemption.

This week, the composer of its poignant lyrics passed on to a better world.

Rebbetzin Saks wrote The Little Bird is Calling while at Camp Bais Yaakov in 1947 when she was just fifteen years old. The tune to which it is sung was composed by Leonid Shokhin. The lyrics are magnificent:

The little bird is calling,
It wishes to return.
The little bird is wounded,
It cannot fly but yearn.
It’s captured by the vultures,
Crying bitterly,
Oh, to see my nest again,
Oh, to be redeemed.

The little bird of silver,
So delicate and rare,
Still chirps amongst the vultures,
Outshining all that’s there.
How long, how long it suffers,
How long will it be,
When will come the eagle,
And set the little bird free.

The little bird is Yisroel,
The vultures are our foes,
The painful wound is Golus,
Which we all feel and know,
The nest is Yerushalayim,
Where we yearn to be once more,
The eagle is the Moshiach,
Whom we are waiting for.



  1. Truly a classic, and so beautiful. Thank you for including the original words (though I think it’s “outshines” rather than “outshining,” which fits better and continues the grammatical flow).


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