Found 32 Search results

  1. The Roots of Megillat Ruth: Lot and Avraham

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Ruth the Moabite if s descendant of Lot, who chose to separate from Abraham and move to Sodom. While he escaped the fate of Sodom, his family adopted the faulty Sodomite sexual and moral culture. While Ruth is a descendant of Moab, she chooses to join the nation of Israel, offering a tikkun to Lot’s actions, and to the rampant immorality of the Israeli nation in the era of Judges.

  2. 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.

  3. What's in a Name?

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    Names of biblical characters are often an integral part of the story. This lesson will explore the meaning of names in the Book of Ruth: Elimelekh, Mahalon, and Kilyon, Naomi and Ruth.

  4. Megillath Ruth: Paradigm of Kindness and Mother of Kingship

    Part 1

    Dr. Yael Ziegler |

    This series will look at Ruth in its Biblical contexts. The end of the Megilla lists the lineage of King David, who is Ruth's progeny. Is monarchy a biblical ideal? Ruth exemplifies chesed, and often goes far beyond what we would expect from regular people. It provides a hope of counteracting the danger of tyranny which often comes with monarchy by ensuring that David is genetically pre-disposed to extreme chesed and unselfishness.

  5. In Those Days There was No King in Israel: Ruth as Remedy for the Book of Judges

    Part 2

    Dr. Yael Ziegler |

    This shiur provides an overview of Sefer Shoftim. While Megillat Ruth is set in the days of the Shoftim, it cannot be part of the same book, as Ruth is the complete antithesis of Shoftim. Shoftim, full of corruption, moves in a downward spiral toward societal and religious breakdown, and Ruth, replete with leadership and chesed, moves toward righteous monarchy.

  6. Ruth and Orpah, Abraham and Lot: The Power of Choices

    Part 3

    Dr. Yael Ziegler |

    Why are Chazal extremely critical of Orpa? Looking back at Lot’s separation from Avraham, we see that catastrophe followed Lot’s decision to live in cruel Sedom. Orpa, his descendant, returns to a corrupt and immoral society. Ruth chooses to return to Avraham’s path from which Lot broke away, and she becomes the vehicle to bring the Israelites back to the way of Avraham.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. 

  14. 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. 

  15. 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. 

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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. 

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  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. Megillat Ruth - Structure and Overview

    Rabbi Dr. Yehoshua Reiss

    The Book of Ruth describes the transition from starvation and death, described in the first five verses of the book, to the hope and redemption of the final five verses describing the generations leading to the birth of David, King of Israel. The main theme of the storyline is driven by acts of hessed (kindness), leading toward redemption performed by the antagonists of the story. 

  26. Biblical Allusions to the Story of the Akeida

    Dr. Avigail Rock |

    Stories in Tanakh often allude to other stories by using identifying words or phrases, which is meant to teach the reader a deeper meaning about the story by connecting it to a previous episode. The story of the Akeida is alluded to no fewer than eight different times throughout the Tanakh. What are those stories and what are these references trying to teach us? By closely examining each of the stories we can gain a deeper understanding into the message of the story and learn about showing devotion to God in the correct way. 

  27. To Leave or to Remain: Lot vs. Ruth

    Rabbi David Silverberg

  28. "Olam Chesed Yibaneh" - A Comparison of Ruth and Iyov

    Rabbi Amnon Bazak

    Megillat Ruth stands out: this wonderful story is completely brought about through the actions of man without any involvement of God - neither in speech nor in action. What is the message that Megillat Ruth is coming to express?

     We will compare Megillat Ruth to the book of Iyov, which has many similar details to the story of Naomi. With this comparison as our background, we will be able to distinguish the essential difference between them.

  29. Redemption in Megillat Ruth

    Rabbi Yaakov Medan

    In Megillat Ruth there is a meeting between the House of Yehuda and the family of Lot. he punishment exacted of Yehuda is similar to that which befalls both Lot and Elimelekh. The tie that binds these cases is that in all three stories there is almost a total loss of family, but at the last minute a solution is found through the act of yibbum. 

     The theme uniting the three is the resurrection of the name of the dead on his property. This is redemption, and this is the goal of the House of David – to reestablish the People of Israel on its land.

  30. Three Forms of Redemption in Megillat Ruth

    Dr. Yael Ziegler

    In the fateful nighttime encounter on the threshing floor, Boaz is startled to find someone lying at his feet:


    And he said, “Who are you?” And she replied, “I am Ruth, your maidservant. Spread your wings (khenafekha) over your maidservant, for you are a redeemer.” And [Boaz] said, “…And now, even though truly I am a go’el, there is a go’el who is closer than I. Lie here tonight and in the morning, if the redeemer shall redeem you, good, but if he shall not desire to redeem you, I myself shall redeem you, I swear by God. Lie until the morning.” (Ruth 3:9-13)


    What is the meaning of Ruth’s request that Boaz spread his wings over her, and her statement that Boaz is a redeemer? Targum, Rashi, Ibn Ezra, and Ramban assume that Ruth’s request for Boaz to spread his kanaf over her is a request for marriage. 

    Nevertheless, it is less clear what Ruth means when she states plainly, “For you are the go’el.” In what way does this relate to Ruth’s previous request? Is it also a bid for marriage, which Ruth terms her redemption, or does this refer to Boaz’s ostensible duty to buy Naomi’s property?



  31. Ruth and Boaz: Models of Commitment

    Rabbi David Silverberg

  32. To Life! A Model of Female Biblical Heroism

    Dr. Yosefa (Fogel) Wruble

    תאריך פרסום: 2023 | | 56 minutes

    This lecture looks at different ways women are represented in Tanakh, By comparing the narratives of Esther, Rut, and Tamar, we'll gain a deeper understanding of the different ways women wielded power in the biblical world and what meaning that can provide us with today.