About Leadership and Mercy

Moses was a shepherd in the land of Midian. Every day he used to guide his father in law’s herd to the pasture.

One day, at high noon time, when the great sun rode wildly the zodiac, a goat ran from the herd. A little goat.

When Moses noticed the running goat he thought to himself, “all the goats and the sheep are lapping grass together in peace, and you, only you, little goat, don’t find any peace”.

And Moses started running in the unbearable heat of the desert, after the little goat to bring it back to the herd, knowing it’s easy to escape but it’s much harder to find your way back.

Moses ran after the little goat and simply could not catch up with it anymore. When finally the little goat stopped next to a big rock, Moses approached him quietly and saw that the goat was drinking pure water from a hidden stream.

Moses caressed the little goat and said:”My beloved one, I didn’t know you were so thirsty ! Drink, my sweat-heart, drink!

When the goat finished drinking the purified water, Moses commented:”Now, my dear friend, you must be very tired.” and the little goat bleated: “Meh… Meh…”

Moses lifted the little goat softly and carried it up on his shoulders walking back to the herd.

When God saw Moses with the little goat on his shoulders in his daily observation from heaven he said:”Moses, Moses! you who guards the sheep and the goats with infinite love and enormous mercy; you shall guard my people, Israel !”

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The originally Hebrew version of the legend written above, appears in a later commentary of bible stories composed in the land of Israel, probably between the 6th to the 8th century A.D.

The above version is from Exodus Rabbah Lviv addition 1874

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About Eti Shani

Eti Shani was born in Israel and has been teaching Hebrew for more than 10 years with a special interest and experience in ancient Hebrew scriptures and culture. She's also the author of a series of books for novice and intermediate Hebrew learners.

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