Lessons Learned from a Goat

There, they get to eat a mixture of grains whilst being milked — a delicacy, for them. The non-lactating goats only get hay, so the availability of this temptingly yummy food convinces them to enter the milk stand, and additionally, it also provides them with needed nutrients for their milk production.

As it happens, some does are more eager than others to be milked, and they’ll push their way into the stand in front of the others.

Well, last week, while one of the first does was finishing her grain, after being milked, I put out hay for the other goats to eat. One of the other does began to eat that hay, and when her time came to be milked, she refused to enter the stand, since she was already so content. I started talking to her, saying, “There’s better food in the other room. You’ll like it more. C’mon now!”

I had to pull her away from the hay to convince her to come be milked.

Afterwards, I thought about this scenario and how familiar it is to situations in our own lives. There are times that opportunities present themselves; however, we are so preoccupied and invested in our current activities that we don’t let ourselves see the potential of a much greater one. Sometimes we can even feel that HaShem is forcing us towards a particular direction, where we don’t particularly want to go! But, as the lesson with the goats showed me, these twists and turns of life can lead us to a much better place than where we started.

Good Shabbos,
Rabbi Ron

One Comment to “Lessons Learned from a Goat”

  1. Good observation. Goats are willful and challenging, in contrast to sheep which are docile and compliant. It makes sense, as you suggest, that the attributes the two types is used in the Torah as anthropomorphically referring to Jews trapped in a tug-of-war betwiin their own ambition and the will of God.

    PS: A little molasses on the grain does the trick, and also makes the milk sweeter. Especially healthful when the animals are eating low grade food.

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