Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Forbidden Pastures II

By Rabbi Daniel Travis

Avraham said to Lot, “Let us not have friction between me and you, and between my herdsmen and yours. We are brothers, after all.” (Bereshith 13:8)

The previous essay discussed the problems inherent in working as a shepherd. It seems difficult to reconcile this with the fact that some of the greatest leaders of the Jewish people, including Moshe Rabbeinu and King Dovid, were shepherds before they assumed their leadership positions. Even more astonishing is that, as our Sages tell us, their background as shepherds actually enhanced their performance as leaders of the Jewish People. How could an occupation which has such a miserable reputation produce such outstanding individuals?

In fact it was because King Dovid and Moshe Rabbeinu were shepherds that they were chosen for their positions. As shepherds they had an opportunity to show that they were concerned about each and every individual, a characteristic which is a prerequisite for being a Jewish leader.(1) How can this be reconciled with the monetary debts that our Sages say a shepherd will almost inevitably incur?

Both Moshe Rabbeinu and King Dovid were meticulous about grazing their sheep only on uninhabited desert lands where none of the pasture area was privately owned. By doing so they were able to avoid the basic halachic pitfall of shepherding. This practice demonstrated their trait of absolute integrity, which is a fundamental necessity for someone in a leadership role. It was because of both the care that they showed to their flocks and the honesty they displayed while tending them that they eventually merited to become the leaders of the Jewish People.(2)


1. Heard from Rav Shlomo Brevda

2. Yalkut Shimoni, Shemoth 169


Text Copyright © 2006 by Rabbi Daniel Travis and Torah.org


 

ARTICLES ON YISRO AND TU BESHVAT:

View Complete List

No Free Lunch
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770

Torah Study and the New You
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5769

The Death Of Humanism
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5762

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Kingly Honour
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

Ten Commandments: Ten of the Best!
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5768

Miracle VS Miracle: Part One
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Planting the Seeds of Eternity
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5757

Divine Authenticity of Torah
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

How Many Torahs are There Anyway?
Shlomo Katz - 5760

> Men of Truth Recognize the Falseness of Honor
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

What Did Yisro Hear That Prompted Him
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5773

Why 2K And Yisro
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

ArtScroll

Reliably Respected
Rabbi Yechezkel Freundlich - 5772

Can You Trust Man?
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Seeing the Sounds
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5761

The Birth of the Blues
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information