When sheep fly! Meet the SA woman moving the 'biblical' flock to Israel

15 May 2016 - 02:00 By BONGANI MTHETHWA

A South African woman is behind a move to repatriate Jacob sheep, the world's oldest and oddest breed, from Canada to Israel. The dappled goat-like sheep are biblically significant. They have been extinct in Israel for almost 200 years.Jacob sheep appear in the book of Genesis in the Bible and were given to Jacob by his father-in-law as wages. The wool was used to make Joseph's multicolour coat.Jenna Lewinsky, formerly of Durban, and her Israeli husband, Gil, own the largest flock of Jacob sheep in Canada. They were recently given permission to export sheep to Israel. The animals will be settled on the Golan Heights.Jenna said they would export the sheep by air on August1 after the lambing season.story_article_left1She said that after a visit by Israel's ambassador to Canada, Rafael Barak, to the flock in February this year, the Israeli government gave the go-ahead.The couple's sheep migration has been reported on in the New York Times, the Guardian, the Jerusalem Post, the Boston Globe and the Times of Israel.The New York Times said the flock "consists of some of the last heirloom Jacob sheep on Earth", adding that enthusiasts say the Scriptures claim the sheep followed the Israelites to Egypt and then spread out across the world.The report said Moorish traders brought the sheep to Spain, where British merchants took a fancy to the breed.The Lewinskys started their flock with four sheep taken from a heritage park in Vernon, British Columbia. "After we discovered the uniqueness of the breed, we took it upon ourselves to save as many pure-bred Jacob sheep as we could," said Jenna.She said the sheep should be the national animal of the Jews.

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