Avraham Hertzlich is indeed one in a million. To leave the United States and become a shepherd in Israel on the hills of Samaria is indeed unique. But he has one powerful argument which ought to be explored. Were all of our forefathers truly shepherds? The answer is yes – they basically were. But does the reasoning that he gives that they are able to think clearly explain the core of the idea of being a shepherd? Perhaps. It is definitely a powerful idea if it is true.
Shepherds are not only people who spend nearly all of the waking hours outdoors. They are people who connect with nature with every fiber of their being. But more than that, they spend their live tending to sheep – for hours – every day. This brings a person into a state of mind that is one of giving – not taking. Sheep are stubborn, but they will follow when lead properly.
King David followed our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the field of shepherding. This prepared him well for the job of leadership of a stubborn Jewish people. In many ways, any parent is also a shepherd. What we do to our children is to help shepherd them from one stage of life to the next. Most of the time, they need little else than a guiding hand, some direction, and a gentle tap every now and then to stay on course. Avraham Hertzlich and our forefathers understand this better than anyone else.