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Table Talk: Ruth Print E-mail

SeedsThe Kiss that Wasn’t: “Orpah kissed her mother-in-law and Ruth stuck with her.” (Ruth 1:14) This teaches us that Orpah went and had relations with 100 man and a dog. (Ruth Rabbah 2:20) How did the rabbis derive from Orpah’s kiss that she would sink so fast and so low? What are the implications for false declarations of love and devotion?



Breaking The Law For God

“Behold Boaz arrived from Bethlehem, and he said to the harvesters, “God is with you,” and they said to Him, “May God bless you.” (Ruth 2:4) It was ordained that a man should salute his fellow man with the use of God’s Name as we see with Boaz. “It is time to work for the Lord; they have made void Your law.” (Psalm119:126) Rabbi Nathan says: “They have made void Your law because it was a time to work for the Lord.” (Berachot 54a) Although we are extremely careful not to say God’s Name in vain, Boaz and his generation decreed that we should greet each other with God’s Name in order to be constantly aware of God. (We say Shalom Aleichem - “Shalom” is one of God’s Names.) How many laws were “made void” in order to help Israel survive? Hint: Two were made void to allow you to read this.


Three Great Heroes

Joseph did not complete relations with the wife of Potiphar. Palti ben Laish, who was given David’s wife Michal as a legal wife, planted a sword in the center of his bed and said, “whichever one of us turns to the side to be with the other shall be killed by the sword. Ruth, an unmarried woman, and therefore permissible to Boaz, lay at his feet the entire night but he did not touch her. Who is considered the greatest hero of the three?

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