Found 25 Search results

  1. The Days of the Judging of the Judges

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    The Book of Ruth references the era of the Judges – but to which judge, specifically, is the book referring? Midrashic text make various suggestions (Ehud and Shamgar; Devorah and Barak; Ivzan), which highlight the difference and similarity between Ruth and stories from the Book of Judges. Comparing and contrasting these stories creates important insights about the characters, values, and objectives of the Book of Ruth.

  2. Introducing the Hero: Who is Boaz Part I

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    The introduction to the character of Boaz highlights his relationship to Elimelekh, and the fact that he is a “Gibor chayil” – an important, moral, and ethical man, creating hope for positive change.

  3. Introducing the Hero: Who is Boaz Part II

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Boaz’s first words in the book are “Hashem imachem” – “God be with you.” This introduction describes Boaz’s deep religious conviction. Why does Boaz arrive in the field in the first place? Perhaps the purpose of his visit is to examine whether his workers are maintaining Torah laws in the field? His treatment of Ruth is surprising – Boaz is the first to acknowledge her presence, while the people of Bethlehem and the reapers ignore her. Boaz’s behavior is a symbolic correction of prevalent behavior in the era of Judges.

  4. Shimshon, David and Boaz: Passion and Restraint

    Part 6

    Dr. Yael Ziegler |

    David, the royal progeny of Ruth, and Shimshon, the last shofet in Shoftim, have some striking similarities. Comparing the two, and examining the critical differences separating the king from the failed tribal champion, highlights the importance of Ruth and Boaz in serving as an antidote to the problematic period of Shoftim.

  5. The Rebirth of Hope

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Naomi's surprise at Ruth's success in bringing home food from gleaning leads to suspicion in Ruth's behavior. Ruth's revelation that Boaz was responsible for her success gives new hope to Naomi. Ruth and Boaz are paralleled as two characters that embody selfless kindness to others.

  6. Ruth the Moavite

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    A contrast exists between the Midrash's portrayal of Ruth's inborn modesty and the simple reading of the text which portrays Ruth's learning process with regard to modesty. Naomi embraces Ruth as a partner. Ruth and Naomi deal with two challenges of survival: the short-term one of obtaining food and the long-term one of continuity of progeny.

  7. Naomi, Tamar, and Lot's Daughters: Continuity at All Cost

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    God - through Boaz - is the provider of food and children. Naomi's plan to seduce Boaz is beneficial for Ruth and for herself. The immodest plan that Naomi develops is based on the biblical precedents of the daughters of Lot with Lot - the progenitors of Ruth - and Tamar with Yehuda - the progenitors of Boaz.

  8. An Immodest Proposal

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Naomi crafts a plan for Ruth to seduce Boaz in contrast with the reputation that Ruth is attempting to develop for herself. Despite the temptation, Boaz chooses to control his desires and asks "Who are you?" thereby identifying Ruth as a person, and thus acting differently than Lot and Yehudah.

  9. Boaz's Extraordinary Restraint

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Boaz demonstrates the ability to avoid temptation, in contrast with Shimshon, who succumbs to temptation. Shimshon squanders the opportunity to save the nation in the era of the Judges. Boaz's restraint leads the nation out of the darkness of the Era of the Judges, enabling the establishment of the House Of David.

  10. I am Ruth: Self-Identity and Transformation

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    The relationship between Ruth and Boaz is based on mutual fulfillment of responsibilities and not on love. Ruth crafts Naomi and Boaz's words together in order to confidently claim that Boaz is her redeemer. The veracity of Boaz's claim that there is a growing public of appreciation of Ruth is discussed.

  11. Ruth's Redemption

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Ruth's request for Boaz to act as a redeemer may be a request to buy the family land or a request for marriage. The personal redemption of Ruth alludes more deeply to the national redemption from the chaos of the Judges period to the stability of the Monarchy of King David and to the future redemption. 

  12. Ruth: The Woman of Valor

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Ruth, who is called a woman of valor is compared to the Woman of Valor in Proverbs 31. Boaz's desire to keep Ruth's visit a secret is intended to protect Ruth's reputation, to prevent the desecration of God's name or to protect Boaz's reputation. The practical and symbolic nature of Boaz's gift of six barleys is evaluated. 

  13. Ruth and Naomi: Resolution

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    In Ruth and Naomi's final conversation, Naomi expresses cautious faith in a quick resolution. Boaz's inquiry "Who are you?" actually means "What are you? Married or single?" Ruth alters Boaz's words in order to bridge between Naomi and Boaz foreshadowing King David bridging between the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. 

  14. Boaz and Ploni Almoni

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Who is the main character of the book – Ruth or Naomi? Elimelech and Naomi deal with the problems of famine and children in ways that represent the era of the Judges, while Ruth and Boaz's solutions represent a new way. The potential redeemer is nameless because he refuses to establish his deceased relative's name.

  15. A Matter of Law: Elimelekh's Field

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Boaz convenes a public transaction at the gate of the city. Naomi's field might have been sold before leaving for Moav or upon her return. It appears that her land is being sold at the present time. Boaz makes a questionable link between the sale of the field to the marriage to Ruth.

  16. Perpetuating the Name: The Levirate Marriage

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    While no legal link exists, Boaz links the buying of the land to the marriage of Ruth in order to maintain the name of the deceased – by producing a child who will inherit the land. The end of the book of Judges is full of nameless characters. Boaz maintaining names sends the Nation to its Davidic destiny. 

  17. Boaz: If the Shoe Fits

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    The significance of the Narrator's parenthetical remark is examined. The removal of the shoe might be an act of property transaction, symbolic of a spiritual state or a legal symbol in a transaction against the spirit of the law. The identity of the owner of the shoe is debated but the text appears to be purposefully ambiguous.

  18. Redemption, Acquisitions, and Blessings

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    The Go'el refuses to redeem, leading to his abrupt removal from the story. The term Go'el now refers to Boaz. The use of the term "kana" in relation to marrying Ruth parallels the term for redemption, and relates to God's redemption in the Exodus. This lesson examines the poetic structure and content of the people's blessing to Boaz.

  19. A Blessing on Both Your Houses: Rachel and Leah

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Elimelekh's abandonment of his personal and national house and Ruth and Naomi's homelessness come full circle with Ruth entering Boaz's house. In the book of Judges the national house is threatened with collapse. Ruth is likened to Rachel and Leah who together symbolize unity. Her union with Boaz will establish David's kingdom, which will unify the Nation.

  20. Naomi's Child: The Movement toward Kingship

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    In Ruth and Naomi's struggle for food and progeny, God gives both through his agent Boaz. The story is filled throughout with blessings symbolizing the end of the accursed era of the Judges and the ushering in of the blessed Davidic dynasty. Boaz and Ruth disappear from the narrative leaving only Naomi's character.

  21. Linguistic Mirroring

    A Harmonious Story, Part I

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    The structure of Ruth is a chiastic one. Repetition of key words and phrases is one of many linguistic techniques used. Boaz and Ruth's shared trait of kindness stages them as the main characters. Ruth as the initiator and Boaz completing the task come together to create the Davidic dynasty.

  22. Actions and Rewards

    A Harmonious Story, Part II

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Ruth’s decision to accompany Naomi to Bethlehem does not produce the expected negative results. Ruth's determined kindness devotion to Naomi ultimately lead her to receive kind treatment from Boaz. The tragedy at the outset is resolved and the harmonious nature of the book paves way for the Monarchy of King David.

  23. Yiftah's Legacy

    Rabbi Michael Hattin

    Yiftah, like Gideon, faces harsh criticism from the tribe of Ephraim due to their lack of inclusion in the battle against Ammon. However, as opposed to Gideon, Yiftah's reaction is violent and destructive. His rash and reckless words were his undoing, condemning both his kinsman to the slaughter as well as his own daughter to death.

    The chapter concludes with the mention of three minor judges who seem to hail from the north of the country. The town of Beit Lehem mentioned in the context of Ivtzan might be in the territory of Zevulun. However, Hazal identify Beit Lehem with the town in the territory of Yehuda and Ivtzan with Boaz from Megillat Ruth, giving us a glimmer of hope in this otherwise dark and tragic era.

  24. Levirate Marriage in Megillat Ruth

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Ruth and Boaz's union is not a Levirate Marriage, but Levirate Marriages are alluded to many times and share a common theme to Boaz's redemption of Ruth. The union, at a great personal cost, establishes an heir for the deceased and cares for a widow who due to her Moavite ancestry is deemed commonly as unsuitable. 

  25. Names in the Fields of Bethlehem

    Shani Taragin | 3 minutes

    Rabbanit Shani Taragin focuses on a contrast in the second chapter of Ruth. Boaz is introduced by name, and reflected in his name isthat there is strength in him: perhaps not military strength, but valor, which we see in the kindness he demonstrates to Ruth. On the other hand, the naar who attends the gatherers is not kind to Ruth in his description of a strange selfish woman. Ruth notices that Boaz is different. Those who recognize others deserve a name, but those who don’t have their names omitted in the Book of Ruth.