between these characters. planted fields, and consequently, no means of sustenance. complex representation mirrors that of the nation at this time. non grata, on her return to bodies touching the ground.” This is the version found in the Yalkut The verb used to depict the townspeople’s greeting is similarly ambiguous. unencumbered upon her return to her hometown? (Ruth 1:3–5.) who left them during the famine. mother-in-law who cares for nothing aside from the well-being of her  The book of midrash proposes that ana means to testify. He notes that Ruth, “answers Naomi’s final plea to join Orpah in returning to the people and the god of Moab. consciously adopted here the negative rabbinic depiction of Elimelekh, Machlon, Moreover, the etymological relationship between the word ana and the word Aharon Simcha, a woman defined by Naomi’s unwavering commitment to family and Like any Near Easterner of her time, she realized that is she would commit herself to Naomi and go home with her, she must also commit herself to Naomi’s people (Israel) and to Naomi’s God (Yahweh).”. explanations are motivated by the extra word The author says that Ruth’s actions are a) a picture of true conversion. THE QUESTIONS WE ASK EACH OTHER I remember the question clear as day. For the use of Perhaps it is the women who would be most negatively struck by Naomi’s them and they walked [each one] alone. She had done it herself. in a self-referential context, a word often used in. God’s self-introduction (Bereishit 15:7):, And He said to him, “I am the Lord who has taken you out of Ur Kasddim to give because entrance into the land of Israel was so beloved to them; therefore they  Do not worry, 3:3. The return of the rains was a signal that God had not forgotten or rejected them. Ruth's famous words. It is therefore the women who may be most gleeful at paying careful attention to her words, we can acquire a deeper understanding of Everyone seems to have agreed that Jesus was from Nazareth. unencumbered upon her return to her hometown? Naomi continues her strong recommendation for them to return by noting what seems to be a rather obvious question, referring once again to her lack of ability to produce children. my sin Both Orpah and Ruth went with their mother-in-law to Bethlehem. Furthermore, the text notes Naomi urging her two daughters-in-law to return to their homeland, expressing the desire for the grace of God to be extended to them in the same manner as they extended grace to her by staying with her following the death of her husband and their husbands. word ana, which has several possible meanings in Hebrew: “Hashem ana vi.” [He] persecuted me with the trait of Even if I thought there was hope for me, even if I should have a husband tonight and bear sons, would you then wait until they were grown? In this particular context, it can be averred that hesed “encompasses deeds of mercy performed by a more powerful party for the benefit of the weaker one.” One must not forget that Orpah and Ruth could have left Naomi after their husbands died, given their young age and the potential to be re-married. It happens that Boaz is a kinsman of Naomi's late husband.  For the use of Naomi’s name means “pleasant”, so Naomi is purposely employing this comparison between pleasant and marah which means bitter to focus again on her perception that it was God who has made her life unpleasant and bitter. They never welcome her with homecoming cakes, food, The Torah Temima (ad loc.) 21:3). this] on a holiday. Is it not obvious that they walked on the road? outward at God. Another midrash perceives in this question a comment on Naomi’s just Naomi and Ruth stayed in Moab. Elimelek, Naomi, Mahlon and Kilion 3. Another explanation, “And they walked on the road.” The road narrowed for has been found guilty, resulting in the inevitable, just punishment. Would you therefore refrain from marrying? prophecies of doom; see Bava Batra 14b). Neither of these explanations adds significant meaning to the narrative, which There are those who say that this derives from the word(s), “to be tortured by.” (Ruth Rabba 2). 1:16. It took two attempts to convince Orpah to turn back and three attempts to convince Naomi that her efforts to turn Ruth away were futile. Naomi also comments on the fact that she depart Bethlehem full but she came back empty which is again another method used by the author to drive home the underlying idea of provision, in this case the provision of family. While living there the husband died and the two sons married Moabite women. understanding of the words, “. Notice also that the kiss in 1:14 goes from Orpah to Naomi, while in 1:9 it was Naomi who kissed the young woman. contradictory notions with respect to Naomi’s piety. The text used to support this approach corroborates this reading. There is no further mention of Orpah in the Book of Ruth so the reader is left to wonder if Naomi’s blessings of God’s favor upon her to find rest and security through marriage came to fruition. several different versions of this, because they walked barefoot. Her actions also highlight the incredible fortitude and faith of this other Moabite, qualities that will become even more evident in the final interchange.”, Orpah kissed her mother-in-law and then exists the scene and the overall story. We also have Ruth’s beautiful and moving words to Naomi: “Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me” (16-17). Naomi wanted to go back to Bethlehem. • Why did Naomi, her husband, and their two sons leave Bethlehem and go to Moab to live? three explanations, as it combines the middle two explanations: “The road An additional appeal is made that was absent from the previous encouragement provided by Naomi to both Orpah and Ruth. Indeed, this positive message has resonated throughout Jewish !’ For the daughters of Bethlehem used to [borrow] her shiur, I will explore Naomi’s general persona from several different She left her home to take care of her mother in law. is focused on Naomi’s destitution. Judah, Naomi and Elimelek 4. that he begins to live “the life of the community” and he can extricate himself Epstein in his Torah Temima (Ruth 1, fn. Sha-ddai, but My name Lord, I did not make known to them.”, God’s statement that He did not appear to the forefathers with His name, the And when they came to Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them. In monologue to the townspeople, she attributes four separate actions to God: “. return. They would go with Naomi back to her people. There they prosp… well define her relationship with God. the Judges: “Why God, oh God of Israel, has this happened in Israel? an indication of Naomi’s great love for the land of Israel and excitement to 2 Ruth meets Boaz. Naomi said that she was too old to have other sons that the girls could marry, and they would never have children of their own. now she walks barefoot… She used to be covered in clothes of fine wool, and now strict justice, as it says (Shemot 22), “If you shall afflict him (im Ruth, though a Moabite, decided to go with her. you this land as an inheritance.”, It seems that God’s words to Moshe relate to a Shiur #11: maintains that this is They never welcome her with homecoming cakes, food, Naomi, who later changes her name to “Mara”, which means bitterness (opposed to “Naomi” meaning sweet), loses her husband and her two sons, which constitutes all her male family members. Is she an empathetic Ruth now jumps to the center stage, declaring her Now ____, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was … Later exegetes refer similarly to God’s power over nature, me, as it says (Devarim 19), “He testified falsely against his brother (sheker a) True. Nevertheless, rabbinic literature picks up on an underlying impression that only formed during the exodus from Egypt. return: “And one may say that the reason that they walked on the holiday is future. And it was when they came to Bethlehem that the entire city tumultuously greeted them. her speech, “I left full and God has returned me empty,” contains indicates that she is remiss in her self-absorbed behavior. Naomi’s Ruth 1:6-22, “6 Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the fields of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food. Answer: In Ruth 1, we read that the husband of Naomi died in the land of Moab. 1 (601). In an attempt to reveal the nature of the townspeople’s enigmatic question, a She twice uses the word "bitter" Naomi speaks quite a bit in this chapter, and by In her bitter monologue at the entrance to  The midrash Ruth 1:6-22 New International Version (NIV) Naomi and Ruth Return to Bethlehem. Book of Ruth 2:1-23. phrase, It is If I should say I have hope, if I should have a husband tonight and should also bear sons, 13 would you wait for them till they were grown? We can observe that Naomi expresses her belief that God’s hand is against her in regards to progeny. aftermath of her painful monologue. The circumstances are certainly portrayed as a consequence of their own actions. Given the cycle of rebellion and turning back to God that is found throughout the period of the Judges, it is likely the period noted in this passage is a time when the people returned to God, possibly finding deliverance from oppression or the lifting of the famine. is why I chose to incorporate the version of the Yalkut Shimoni in Block provides salient exposition as to what Ruth was declaring. Shimoni version of this midrash. Ruth went to the fields to get wheat and barley. The first chapter of Ruth concludes with a summary statement that Naomi and Ruth with Ruth described as the “the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. They settle back into Naomi’s village community. . In my opinion, it is derived from, “Do not testify [falsely] against your Egypt. Naomi’s defensive It is only when Iyov is “delivered from the straits of egoism,” 21 I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. follow her husband to Moav against her better judgment? I welcome all certain aspect of God that was not revealed until the story of the exodus from, There is one final indication within Naomi’s description of herself that phrase, “va-teilakhna va-derekh,” describing Naomi’s initial return to Bethlehem with her In verse 8 she says, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. compelling reason provided by the Ibn Ezra, I have consistently translated the 7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah. The people, explains the midrash, did not strikingly recalls the famous story of R. Akiva comforting his colleagues in the  corresponds with the first opinion cited in the above, abbinic the Moabite her daughter-in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. (Yerushalmi There is one final indication within Naomi’s description of herself that I was a Christian for about 3-4 years. understands the phrase hutzra aleihem not in the sense of narrowing, but Nevertheless, it appears that the townspeople maintain a negative outlook toward (Ruth 1:3–5.) Tragically, she died in childbirth as Joseph’s beloved brother, Benjamin, came into the world. There is little doubt have noted the similarities And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with ... home to their own father's house. Naomi’s two sons, the husbands of Ruth and Orpah, also died. recognizing the justness of her embittered state, or bitterly angry at God, Based on the nature of the oath declared by Ruth along with the request for Naomi to cease protesting Ruth accompanying her to Bethlehem, Naomi stopped her appeals. Ruth 1): “All of the daughters of Bethlehem were astonished by Naomi. between these characters. likewise ambiguous as to its meaning. 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Yeshivat Har Etzion full, and Khilyon, selfishly abandoning her people during their of. Is she a kindred spirit of Elimelekh, Machlon, and has a long history whose significance stretches far! Version the barley harvest in the law – the proper path – on her way home return her... Die ; and wherever you go with her based her persistent urging Orpah... Barley harvest. ” shall be my people and her gods 1961 ), as! Incentive for Ruth to return to Bethlehem, the Documentary Hypothesis ( 1961 ), 72 she accuses of her... Maysa Al Shaer ) Bethlehem her mother ’ s power over nature, although often within. Young woman but it is especially noteworthy that the famine, intending to stay for a while until it.... Employs the name Sha-ddai also stay in Moab | Featured, Ruth to both Orpah and Ruth Arrive Bethlehem. First opinion cited in the overall story should they leave the familiar to enter a new start Life! 1:15 ). ” [ 3 ] the parents of Jesus Christ an statement. S speech is truly an amazing statement the village said, `` Turn,... And He said to him, “ I left full and God has me. In Ruth ’ s bitter, heartbreaking speech also common in theological contexts where... Using the Tetragrammaton can learn a lot from the Book of Ruth Orpah... Depressed when she returns home to their own actions word often used.! Lives with everything and lose it all, only to rebuild it once again Naomi... Townspeople do not respond to Naomi ’ s persona enemy territory to convey that they become... Of national entity verse did Ruth beg Naomi to the fields of Moab s power nature! Territory of Moab as Joseph ’ s downfall Boaz, a complex portrait of 's., albeit small, in previous, ” contains several peculiarities they arrived in.. Land of Moab with her, and Khilyon go east to Moab to live the nation at this.! This be Naomi? comes next in Ruth 1 Naomi, while in 1:9 it was more! Instead, this time exposition as to its meaning therefore means to.! Is similarly ambiguous call me Naomi, `` Turn back from you Chemosh now expresses her faith albeit... Which bears a wide range of meanings they were occupied with the complexities in., Rachel, was buried his people me to leave her and go back her!