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Was the fair market value of a kid goat really two zuzim? This piyyut is of course allegorical, but, if the value given is highly inaccurate, is the discrepancy in value symbolic beyond the symbolism of the value itself?

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Perhaps the point is exactly that. In the eyes of the nation the Jews' value was minimal. G-d bought us for dirt cheap. –  Menachem May 10 '12 at 22:37
    
@Menachem - fascinating interpretation, but I'd still like to know if the value is wrong, and, if so, by how much. –  Fred May 11 '12 at 0:58
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according to here, a zuz is 3.5078250 grams of pure silver -- aish.com/atr/Ketubah_200_Zuz.html?catid=954644 -- using this website to calculate todays silver prices tells us that 2 zuz equals $6.50 -- silvergrambars.com/calculator/silver_calc.php –  Menachem May 11 '12 at 2:26
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@Menachem Interesting, but considering the vast differences in their economic system, this information only goes so far. The Gemara suggests that a goat may cost four zuzim (Kerisus 27a; Shabbos 152a). Any sources about kid goats, or, more generally, any sources suggesting that young animals have around half the value of an adult? –  Fred May 13 '12 at 23:56
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Good point. As I found out here -- judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/16326/… --, 200 zuz is supposed to be enough to last 1 year, that means one zuz can support someone for roughly a day and a half –  Menachem May 14 '12 at 0:14

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

A colleague of mine reminded me that there is actually a Gemara in Berachos 44b that describes a young healthy goat as a 'bar zuza', meaning it costs one zuz. He explained that although Chad Gadya states that the goat was bought for 2 zuz, there are major commentators (see Haggados of the Vlna Gaon and Chasam Sofer) that explain that the repetition of "Chad Gadya, Chad Gadya" means to hint that the song is actually referring to two goats. This would fit very neatly with the price of 2 zuz. As to the deeper reference and meaning of the two goats, see the above-mentioned haggados.

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+1 Nice! Although the Chasam Sofer mentions that the repetition implies two goats, the Vilna Gaon's commentary does not explicitly mention that the repetition is significant (though he does explain the song by discussing the significance of two kid goats, and perhaps you can read between the lines that he thought this was implied by the repetition). –  Fred May 9 at 21:08
    
Also, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thank you very much for this answer! Hope to see you around. –  Fred May 9 at 21:14

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