Things I remember: it was set in Israel, described two brothers - Abe [Abel? not sure about their names] and Eli; Abe had a permanent frown because of something that happened when he was a kid, Eli was a rogue who later became estranged from his family; Eli had a calf which he carried on his shoulders every day, even when it grew into a bull. I think it was set sometime after WWII; possibly it contained love scenes, but I was 11 and paid more attention to the guy carrying the bull.
Googled for various combinations of bull, Israel, brothers, Eli and Abe, but didn't get useful results. Anyone able to help me out?