Shepherd: ISTOCK

Jewish shepherds have been in the news recently. Yehiel Indor was grazing his flock in the area between Oz Tzion and Burqa on Friday, August 4, when he was attacked by a mob of Arabs. Indor suffered a serious injury to his head, one Arab was shot dead, and the incident received much press..

On June 20, 2023, four Jews were murdered by Arab terrorists at the Eli Junction. Among them were Harel Masoud and Nachman Mordoff HY”D, both of whom were Jewish shepherds.

Harel Masoud was just 21 when he was murdered. He had just been released from the army and dedicated himself to doing God’s holy work of redeeming and settling the barren parts of Israel. Nachman Mordoff was only 16 when he was killed, and he was already up in the mountains with his flock, doing the hard work that our forefathers endured in the service of God.

Nachman Mordoff
Nachman MordoffCourtesy of the family
הראל מסעוד הי"ד על רקע זירת הפיגוע
הראל מסעוד הי"ד על רקע זירת הפיגועצילום: נדב גולדשטיין/TPS ובאדיבות המשפחה

Photo: Harel Massoud Hy"d. Background: the site of the terror attack Credit Nadav Goldstein TPS

The Bible tells us that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and David were shepherds. You don’t find many Jewish shepherds anymore, but they’re the stalk that Jews are made of. They’re the ones who suffer the blistering heat by day and the freezing cold by night, as Jacob said to Laban, to herd their flocks in the Land God promised us, while surrounded by our enemies.

Our Jewish shepherds put all their resources into their flocks, leading them over rugged terrain to graze, guarding them by day and by night under the watchful eyes of enemies who wish to strip them of their livelihoods and their lives. They sleep in the fields under makeshift canopies, without the amenities of running water or electricity, without the basic shelter that most of us take for granted, and they hardly make a living from it.

That is why we don’t have many Jewish shepherds anymore, and why we should hear more good things about them. Truth be told, these Jews don’t do it for the money. They are shepherds for Israel, and they do it for God, to redeem His Land. Our Jewish shepherds place themselves at the front lines in the battle for Israel. They place their lives on the line and endure great pain and sacrifice for us. They deserve our support and appreciation.

Guarding the Land

You see, you can spend a fortune sending an army to carry out military drills in the Negev or in the Judean Hills, to maintain a Jewish presence in the more barren regions of Israel, but at the end of that expedition or patrol, those Jewish soldiers will return to a base somewhere else, and the Land will remain open to hostile encroachment.

The Europeans, along with many other nations, decided that the mountains of Israel do not belong to us. In their eyes, the Land belongs to the nomadic Arabs who traversed it with their herds over centuries of its desolation since their arrival here, or it belongs to an imaginary Palestinian Arab nation that never existed, or it belongs to the monks and descendants of Crusaders who claimed it for themselves. For them, the Land should belong to anyone else or to everyone, as long as it doesn’t belong to the Jews, and they have limitless funds and political influence to achieve their objectives.

Their objective is to fragment and weaken Israel, to make certain that we remain subject to world powers and dependent upon their sympathies, not independent of them and dependent upon God.

We have a court that throws Jews off their legally owned Land, but protects Arab squatters and trespassers. The European Union funds illegal Arab construction on state Land, in areas given to Israel even in the Oslo Accords,and then pressures Israel to do nothing about it, while countless foreign organizations and governments are constantly on our backs to limit the Jewish presence in Israel, to expel and arrest our own people, and to seize their homes and assets.

Enter the Jewish shepherd. One Jewish shepherd, with the hooves of his herd, can achieve the same goal as a company of soldiers spread out over a field, or as an entire Israeli high-rise community, which secures only a small portion of Land. And since those soldiers cannot remain a permanent fixture on that field, or that city could legally be overrun by Arab residents and workers, our lone Jewish shepherd can at times do a better job for us all on his own.

Feet on the Ground

Our patriarchs took Canaan with their feet and with the hooves of their herds. They walked all about it, constantly moving from place to place, to establish their presence over wide spaces. G-d commanded Abraham: "Rise, walk in the land, to its length and to its breadth, for I will give it to you." And then the children of Israel came and received their inheritance. The Land was split up into many parts and each family received its lot, to live on and work that Land; to maintain a permanent presence there.

Today we have neither. The Israeli government has claimed all the Land as our ‘safe keeper,’ but Jews are lessees of only fractions of that Land. We also lack the shepherds and herds who would traverse the uninhabited regions and maintain a Jewish presence there. We lack foreign and even domestic recognition of our rights as Jews to the Land of Israel. Without the feet on the ground, we are in a most precarious condition.

This is what our few and pioneering youth have seen and perceived and they have stepped up with a solution. Do not see them as simple-minded shepherd kids. They are rugged, fierce, idealistic and brilliant. They are manning the mountaintops of Israel. They are patrolling its rugged canyons. They are doing the crucial work that the government and its people are unable and perhaps afraid to do, and they are doing it all on their own. They are doing it all for us. We should thank them. And we should encourage them.

Yshai Amichaiis a father of six and an author with a legal education, whose books advocate upholding the Torah as a national Constitution. He may be contacted at: [email protected]for information on how to help.