Let My People Know

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz “The different types of men.”

The Baal HaTanya classifies the different types of men.

Some men are of the nature of sheep, others of the goat, and others like the ox.

The sheep is an innocent animal and is easily led.

There is something of holiness in its capacity for self-renunciation and its incapacity to do any harm.

The goat is more lively and liable to cause trouble.

The ox may actually be dangerous.

On the other hand, when the ox is harnessed to the plow, it can be very useful.

The sheep cannot draw the plow, but it can be offered up as a sacrifice.

It has no inner force, and, alas, it is only force that can be harnessed.

Some men may have an external show of force (like the goat), but it is only a show, and quite useless.

Certain animals make sounds that are loud enough to be heard far away, even though they themselves are small and insignificant.

The lion’s roar, however, is an expression of real strength.

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz