The Ram’s Special Mitzvah
By Rochell Weisfogel
Once there was a farmer by the name of Moshe who had an Ayil. Do you know what an Ayil is?
It’s the Hebrew name for a Ram.
This Ram, or Ayil, was fenced up all day with no one to talk to or to play with.
Every day Farmer Moshe would come carrying two buckets. One bucket was filled with water and one was filled with food. He would unlock the gate, put the buckets inside the fence, and then lock the gate again.
Every day, the Ayil waited patiently for his food and water, but he was very sad. He wished he could be helpful to someone or do something more than just stand behind a fence.
One day, Farmer Moshe was carrying the buckets of food and water to the Ayil, as he always did. He unlocked the gate and turned around. He saw that his neighbor’s house was burning. Fire was coming out of the windows. Farmer Moshe dropped the buckets and ran to help his neighbor.
What did he forget to do? You’re right. He forgot to lock the gate!
The Ayil saw that Farmer Moshe was very busy putting out the fire and getting everyone safely out of the burning house. The Ayil knew this was his lucky day. He ran out of the open gate and over the hills, so the farmer could not find him.
On the other side of the hills was a city. In the center of the city was a shul. The Rabbi stood on the steps of the shul, calling the people of the city together. He was very worried. He had a big problem and needed everyone’s help.
The Rabbi said: “Please listen, everyone. I was getting the shofar ready for Rosh Hashana tomorrow night when I saw a big crack in it. We can’t blow the shofar with a crack in it. We don’t have enough time to send away for a new shofar. What shall we do?”
No one had any idea what to do. Suddenly, the crowd saw the Ayil poke his face around the corner of the Shul. He wanted to see what was going on and why all the people were gathered there. The Rabbi stood on the steps of the Shul in shock. The people looked at the Ayil and softly petted him. They asked him if he could help them for Rosh Hashana by giving them his horns.
The Ayil was so happy he could help someone. He had always hoped for this when he lived behind Farmer Moshe’s fence.
The people cut off the Ayil’s horns – no, it didn’t hurt him at all -- and drilled a hole in the middle of each one, sanded them down and polished them. The Rabbi and the other people were very happy at Rosh Hashana that year with their two Shofarot. If they had trouble blowing one, they blew the other.
You’re probably wondering what happened to the Ayil. He had a whole town taking care of him, and a whole new look for the Jewish New Year.