So I’m still catching up with a backlog of blogs I’ve been meaning to write. Here’s another little adventure.
A couple of weeks ago my school took us on a tiyul (trip) to Neot Kidumim, the “Biblical Landscape Reserve.” It’s about what it sounds like–a reserve with lots of the plants, animals, etc. that were found in the Bible and an effort to tie things all together. So you can see, like, an ancient threshing floor, or an ancient mikveh, or how oil was made, that sort of thing. We saw a lot of trees, a bunch of cisterns, a well, and an ancient wine press:
Much more exciting, though, was when they brought us to the goats and the sheep! We did a little study about the role that shepherding has in the Torah (and psalms, natch) and then they had us do a little excercise where it was our job (“us” being the group broken up into smaller groups and competing against each other to do this in a short amount of time) to herd the sheep and goats from one part of the field to another. Much harder than it looks! They are stubborn critters who do not follow just anybody. Coaxing with food/leaves, it turns out, helps. Everybody likes a bribe. Also you figure out who the leader is and you get him to go in your direction–that’s really the easiest way to move them.
It was, in some ways, the best excercise in practical rabbinics that I’ve had since starting rab school.
I determined during this event that A) My Azazel preoccupation is real: I love goats and want one! They are swell! and B) goats are somehow Jewish in a way that sheep are not. Dunno why, but I think it’s true.
>I determined during this event that A) My Azazel >preoccupation is real: I love goats and want one! They >are swell! and B) goats are somehow Jewish in a way >that sheep are not. Dunno why, but I think it’s true.
Of course they are! I’ve wanted goats for years. Some day I’ll live someplace where I can have a couple (I’m partial to Nubian goats which are small and rather delicate looking, making obvious their relationship to…); I think that the reason that they’re so Jewish is because unlike sheep, they’re related to deer, and you know the Jewish deer fetish… check out ×©×™×¨ ×”×©×™×¨×™× and don’t forget the rather appalling comment about why Torah is like a deer. I’m not even posting the citation on that one, but ask any chacham – they’ll know what I’m talking about. If they have any decency, they’ll blush when you ask.
OTOH, sheep’s milk makes tasty cheese. Goat’s milk is good, but a little tangy for my taste sometimes.
I mean, it’s not like Judaism doesn’t have a goat fetish anyway….
I am SO intrigued about this Torah/deer comment, now. Don’t believe that I’ve heard it… Will be fun trying to decide who at school I want to ask about this. Heh.