The Book of Ruth is an Old Testament book belonging to the third section of the biblical canon the Tanach, known as the Ketuvim, or Writings. … The book is named for its central character, a Moabite woman who married the son of a Judaean couple living in Moab.
The Book of Ruth is one of only two books of the bible to be named after women (the other is Esther). Even though it’s small, this remarkable book contains many principles with a profound impact on our lives today.
In the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) Ruth stands with the Song of Solomon, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther; together they make up the Megillot, five scrolls that are read at prescribed times on Jewish religious festivals. Ruth was the festival scroll that we had for Shavout, the Feast of Weeks, 50 days after Passover.
One of the most inspiring messages of the book of Ruth is that a person who displays selfless compassion will be rewarded in the end. At the beginning of the book, readers are introduced to Naomi and her two daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah.
Ruth, a woman who after being widowed remains with her husband’s mother. … Where you die, I will die—there will I be buried.” Ruth accompanies Naomi to Bethlehem and later marries Boaz, a distant relative of her late father-in-law. She is a symbol of abiding loyalty and devotion
Here is a quick synopsis of the Book of Ruth. To start out, a woman by the name of Naomi packed up and moved from Judah to Moab due to a terrible famine that was affecting her family. She and her husband moved there with their two sons, who eventually took wives (Ruth and Opah) while living in Moab.
Tragically, Naomi lost her husband and two sons. Broken and empty, Naomi decided to move back to Bethlehem in Judah. Her daughter-in-law Ruth came with her since she had also lost her husband. Keep in mind that Ruth was a Moabite woman, and she was now moving to Judah as a foreigner. This was a big deal in their culture, but she was committed to Naomi as her daughter-in-law, and she wanted to follow after the G-d of Israel. Ruth steadfastly stayed with her Mother-in-law and uttered her famous words that she would stick with Naomi through thick and thin. Her sister-in-law left and according to tradition became the Great grandmother of Goliath who King David later kills.
While in Judah, G-d worked out an amazing plan for a man named Boaz to take Ruth as his wife, give her a child, and provide for her and Naomi. What’s remarkable about this plan was that Boaz was qualified as a “kinsman-redeemer” to take her as his wife.
What in the world is a “kinsman-redeemer” you may ask? Well, they had a custom in those days, based upon Deuteronomy 25-6 that directed that a relative of a man who dies should marry that man’s widow in order to perpetuate his lineage through this woman.
According to G-d’s remarkable sovereignty, it turned out that Boaz was a relative to Ruth’s husband who had passed away; so, he was qualified to marry her and perpetuate his lineage. So, even in the midst of Ruth and Naomi’s awful affliction, God still had a plan to take care of them. Pretty cool, right?
There are important applications that jump out:
1) God is concerned about all people regardless of race, nationality, or status.
Ruth was not a Jew. She was a Moabite. Even though many discriminated against her, G-d loved her just the same. G-d does not discriminate, and He/She loves all people just the same.
2) Men and women are both equally important to G-d.
G-d cares about men and women all the same. We are all one in His eyes. While most false religions that have been constructed over the centuries often elevate men and dishonor women, Judaism is the one religion that consistently honors men and women at the same level. There is no difference in His eyes.
3) There is no such thing as an unimportant person in G-d’s eyes.
At a surface level, few saw Ruth as an important person. She was from Moab, which was a nation that originated from an incestuous encounter between Lot and one of his daughters (see Genesis 19:30-36). She was a poor widow. She was living in a foreign land away from her birth family.
But G-d saw her as important and His plan for her life culminated in her becoming a part of the lineage of King David (as the great-great-grandmother to King David). G-d’s plan typically involves using people who are considered to be underdogs or unimportant or unimpressive from man’s perspective. His strength is made perfect in our weakness
4) G-d uses “little” things to accomplish great plans.
What an amazing plan G-d had for a series of “little” things that all added up to important pieces in G-d’s big plan. God intended for Ruth to be a part of the story of the lineage of King David. So, He pulled together events such as the famine, Naomi’s relocation to Moab, their return to Bethlehem, Boaz’s bloodline, and many other events just to ensure that Ruth could be a part of His plan. The other book named after a woman, Esther, has many similar little things that add up to big things. And G-d does that same thing in our lives today! All the events of the CoronaVirus are part of his/her plan
A Mother’s Love
Miriam begins to notice that whenever her 5 year old daughter Sarah is asked her name, she answers, “I’m Mrs. Freedman’s daughter.”
So one day, just before bedtime, Miriam says to Sarah, “Bubbeleh, whenever anyone asks you what your name is, you shouldn’t say, ‘I’m Mrs. Freedman’s daughter.’ You should proudly say, ‘My name is Sarah.’ Sarah is such a beautiful name – the Torah even tells us that another lovely Sarah was the wife of Abraham and the mother of Isaac.”
“OK, mommy,” says Sarah.
Later that week, a rabbi is visiting Sarah’s class at school and as soon as he sees Sarah, he goes over to her and says, “Hello, aren’t you Mrs. Freedman’s daughter?”
“I thought I was,” replies Sarah, “but my mommy says I’m not.”