Let My People Know

"Seven fundamental features of our identity"

The Shepherds are more than archetypal figures.

A more fitting description is that we, as their descendants, have undergone their influence and have integrated part of their personalities. 

The Seven Shepherds are not figures or role models, but rather seven facets, or seven fundamental features of our identity. 

These Shepherds do not roam the fields; they roam our souls. 

In a sense we are their descendents in the flesh–or in spirit.

Regardless, they are our spiritual fathers, and we "carry" their genes. 

They are the building blocks of our heritage and our spiritual genetic background. 

This said, why are they called Shepherds? 

Some were indeed shepherds, and this was, at times, the primary reason they were chosen to lead. 

This is particularly true of Moses. 

The Midrash tells us that just before God appeared to Moses in the burning bush. 

Moses was chasing a lost sheep,and God said to him: "You will lead Israel because you have mercy over a flock.” (Exodus Rabbah 2.)

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
Fom The Seven Lights by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz