When the Jewish people were exiled from the land of Israel, their sheep followed.
Now one couple is determined to get the biblical sheep, known as Jacob Sheep, back.
Jenna and Gil Lewinsky are the directors of Friends of the Jacob Sheep and they are on a mission to get the sheep returned to their original lands.
“After the Jewish exiles the sheep lost contact with their Jewish owners and have endured their own exile over the ages until the present day,” the Lewinskys wrote in a recent J-Post op-ed.
The sheep are said to be the descendants of Jacob’s original flock which he split with Laban in Genesis, creating a lineage of sheep that always produced speckled offspring.
As a result, the Friends of the Jacob Sheep say the animals, which are now found in Canada, belong to the Jewish people and should be in Israel.
“While other sheep breeds exist in Israel, only one was given to the Jewish people specifically; Jacob earned them as wages from Laban,” the Lewinskys contend.
The Friends of the Jacob Sheep are hoping to import the sheep from Abbottsford, British Columbia to the Golan Heights, where they say they want to open up a heritage park so that the biblical animals can once again roam in Israeli pastures.
So far, however, they have been unable to convince Agricultural Minister Uri Ariel that importing the sheep is a good idea.
The Canadian couple is not willing to give up their fight to help the sheep make ‘aliyah’ anytime soon, however.
According to the Lewinskys, importing the sheep is not only about having them back on the land, it is also about conserving the biblical breed.
“The Jacob sheep have a very sad story because their numbers are dwindling in Canada,” the couple told J-Post back in June. “Israel currently only has Awassi sheep, which originated in the Syrian-Arabian desert. The Jacob sheep are an artifact of ancient Israel and proves that the story of Jacob and Laban took place.”