Ruth

Ruth

with commentary by Rabbi Tuly Weisz

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Introduction

To most Jews, the Book of Ruth immediately conjures up thoughts and memories of the holiday of Pentacost or Shavuot, which falls out every year towards the end of May or early June. Shavuot is one of the three central pilgrimage festivals and is the day when the Jewish people experienced revelation and received the Torah from God on Mount Sinai. Out of all the books in the holy Bible, why specifically do we read Ruth on the day we commemorate the giving of the Torah?

 

The giving of the Torah was the single most important moment in the history of civilization – not just for Jews, but for all of mankind. Long ago, the Sages wondered why, if the Torah is so holy, it wasn’t given in the Holy Land? Why was the Torah given in a desert, and not the Land of Israel? The ancient rabbis explained that since Israel is the Jewish homeland, had the Torah been given in Jerusalem, it would have belonged exclusively to the Jewish people. Therefore, God chose to transmit His moral code on a barren mountain in the ownerless desert to emphasize that His Word is for everyone equally, because His instructions are the key to universal survival.

 

In the Book of Ruth we read about the Moabite princess Ruth who forges her own path to Mount Sinai through her relationship with her mother-in-law Naomi. Ruth is associated with the holiday of Shavuot because, with great self-sacrifice, she finds her way to the ultimate truth of the Torah. As she movingly declares to Naomi, “thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God” (Ruth 1:16).  This redemptive experience leads Ruth to become the matriarch of King David’s royal lineage, and the ultimate ancestress of the Messiah, who will bring the whole world to recognize the Lord and the Torah He gave on Mount Sinai on the holiday of Shavuot.

Rabbi Tuly Weisz

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About Rabbi Tuly Weisz

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Rabbi Naphtali “Tuly” Weisz attended Yeshiva University (BA), Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (Rabbinic Ordination) and the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law (JD), and served as the Rabbi of the Beth Jacob Congregation in Columbus, Ohio. Upon making Aliyah, Rabbi Weisz founded Israel365 and serves as the publisher of Breaking Israel News. He is also the general editor of The Israel Bible.

Email: rabbituly@theisraelbible.com

Courses:
Genesis/Bereishit
Exodus/Shemot
Ruth/Rut
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Comments ( 3 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • My dear jewish friends I just feel so utterly enthusiastic when getting contact with You Jewish scolars and teachers of the Holy scriptures…!!! My English it not perfect, no, far from it, but I’m very sure, that with help of the Holy One of Israel my Englis is getting better and better – all the time. Giving thanks to HaShem every day for that.

    And the Lord willing I’m going to do many questions…and comments as well. And I will introduce myself a little bit as well. My dear Friends, as for me, “Your people is my people, and Your G-d is my G-d”, just like Ruth the Moabitess!
    Loving and blessing You all, Yours in HIS NAME, Esa Heiska

  • I am trying to learn to read Hebrew scripture not good at it though the number 1,4 and 7th words on the second verse look out of place along with number 5,8 and 12 on fourth verse in the Hebrew . When I clicked on one it showed the English word Shem that I believe is more close to the Hebrew spelling though I thought Shem would start with a shin. Thank you for providing this site to help me to learn the scriptures in Hebrew. Pam C.

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