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 TERUMAH:

View Complete List

Job Placement
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Saving Face
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5768

A Place To Grow
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

It's All About the Effort
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5763

'Who Goes Hither...Friend or Foe'
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

The True "Gift" of Life
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5760

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Taking in the Most Generous Way
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

The Power of Unity
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

Guaranteed Dividends
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

ArtScroll

It Will Be Fixed, Part III
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

In Memory of Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

Filler Diamonds
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5761

> The First Building Campaign
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5775

Gds Context in This Existence
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5772

Where the Torah Does Dwell
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5771

Feeling Inspired
Shlomo Katz - 5761



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