|The Benefits of Shepherd Life|
FEATURED PHOTO: A flock of sheep pasturing outside of Jerusalem (Shutterstock).
|This, then, is the line of Yaakov: At seventeen years of age, Yosef tended the flocks with his brothers, as a helper to the sons of his father’s wives Bilha and Zilpa. And Yosef brought bad reports of them to their father|
Genesis 37:2 (The Israel Bible™)
אֵלֶּה תֹּלְדוֹת יַעֲקֹב יוֹסֵף בֶּן־שְׁבַע־עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה הָיָה רֹעֶה אֶת־אֶחָיו בַּצֹּאן וְהוּא נַעַר אֶת־בְּנֵי בִלְהָה וְאֶת־בְּנֵי זִלְפָּה נְשֵׁי אָבִיו וַיָּבֵא יוֹסֵף אֶת־דִּבָּתָם רָעָה אֶל־אֲבִיהֶם
Hear the verse in Hebrew
AY-leh tol-DOT ya-a-KOV yo-SAYF ben sh’-va es-RAY sha-NAH ha-YAH ro-EH et e-KHAV ba-TZON v’-HU NA-ar et b’-NAY bil-HAH v’-et b’-NAY zil-PAH n’-SHAY a-VEEV va-ya-VAY yo-SAYF et di-ba-TAM ra-AH el a-vee-HEM
It is no coincidence that so many biblical heroes are shepherds. This simple profession is excellent spiritually, for two reasons. On one hand, the abundance of time for quiet reflection and meditation allows the shepherd to develop an intimate relationship with Hashem.
On the other hand, a shepherd who excels in his work acquires a deep sensitivity to the needs of each and every sheep in his flock. What Yosef learned as a young shepherd enabled him to become a paradigm of leadership for all future generations in the service of God and the service of man.
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