The Red Tent in song

I still get emails, and even the occasional letter, about The Red Tent. Nearly all of the communication comes from women, and lately from high school students — some of whom were assigned the book, others who found it on their own.

Since there is a lot of birthing in The Red Tent, as well as accounts of women of the ancient world either trying to get pregnant or prevent pregnancy, over the years I’ve heard from nurses, ob-gyns, and midwives. I’ve always been very touched to hear that they feel the novel affirms and honors the work they do.

Several have mentioned the “birth song” attributed to the midwives of Shechem — but written by me. (Always remember; this is fiction.) The lyric has been set to music a few times and most recently by Dulcy Sacan, a midwifery student at the University of Pennsylvania. The song was used in the sound track of a video entitled, “Why I become a Midwife,” and won a contest at the recent American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) 55th annual meeting in San Antonio. The testimony of her classmates — expressing their passion to support women’s health — brought tears to my eyes.

Dulcy sings on the four-minute video.


  1. Katherine on June 5, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Hi there. This is an unrelated comment to your post, but I just wanted to let you know that I reviewed your book, Good Harbor, last night. I liked the book.

    I am a book club leader, and we have greatly enjoyed The Red Tent. You can read the review here:

  2. Lois on June 6, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I just finished The Red Tent for the 3rd time, it’s like comfort food to me, I read it every few years, and always take something new from it. Some books are like that. Thank you.

  3. Cynthia on June 20, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Here in Australia, I was unable to get a copy of The Red Tent, but finally found one at Amazon. Have for years longed to read it, and loved it when I did. Lent it to a friend, who suggested that maybe you are not Christian. Your love of, and understanding of both the Jewish people, and of the Bible come through your writing,but now I ask, are yo a Christian. I am asking because I am a Christian, and also a Bible teacher, and my friend has aroused my curiosity.

  4. zoe on November 21, 2016 at 10:14 am

    My beautiful friend Rosa Zaragoza has made a version in Spanish, called Sabemos Parir

  5. Heidi on April 29, 2023 at 11:28 pm

    I tell people if I could show people the color of my soul this book would be how I’d do it. I love this book deeply. I’m going to get a line from this birthing song tattooed. I am wondering if you can go into some more detail of the line about water and salt. Is it just to say there is nourishment? Or is there another meaning?

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