What meaning does the storm hold in the story?
The storm first carries religious significance. Coming on suddenly and catastrophically, it can be seen as an act of God, perhaps working to save Zlateh from her fate with the butcher. Regardless, it is an example of dualism in the story: at first, it signifies grave danger for both Aaron and Zlateh, but ultimately leads to greater affection, friendship, and redemption for both of them.
What is one value that "Zlateh the Goat" teaches?
Patience is a virtue that is highly regarded in this text. Throughout the story, for example, Zlateh is described as being patient. She calmly tolerates human idiosyncracy and wild nature alike, with only a small blip of negativity at her darkest hour. Similarly, Aaron is described as talking patiently with Zlateh, even when her only response is "Maaaa." This characteristic, shared by both humans and animals, is portrayed positively throughout "Zlateh the Goat."
What is the significance of the story being set around the time of the Jewish festival of Hanukkah?
Hanukkah is a holiday that centers on themes of redemption and miracles. These themes are echoed through "Zlateh the Goat," as Zlateh is saved by the storm from a fate of certain death. This aspect of redemption is compounded by the surreal experience of surviving the storm by sheltering inside a haystack—a Hanukkah miracle.