Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Printed from chabad.org
All Departments
Jewish Holidays
TheRebbe.org
Jewish.TV - Video
Jewish Audio
News
Kabbalah Online
JewishWoman.org
Kids Zone
Contact Us
Visit us on Facebook
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Rut - Ruth - Chapter 1

Rut - Ruth - Chapter 1

Print
E-mail
Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 1

1. Now it came to pass in the days when the judges judged, that there was a famine in the land, and a man went from Bethlehem of Judah to sojourn in the fields of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons.   א. וַיְהִי בִּימֵי שְׁפֹט הַשֹּׁפְטִים וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ וַיֵּלֶךְ אִישׁ מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה לָגוּר בִּשְׂדֵי מוֹאָב הוּא וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּשְׁנֵי בָנָיו:
Now it came to pass in the days when the judges judged: Before King Saul reigned, when the generations were governed by judges, and this was in the days of Ibzan, as our Sages said (B.B. 91a, Targum ad loc.): Ibzan is Boaz.  
and a man went: He was very wealthy, and the leader of the generation. He left the Land of Israel for regions outside the Land because of stinginess, for he begrudged the poor who came to press him; therefore he was punished.  
2. And the man's name was Elimelech, and his wife's name was Naomi, and his two sons' names were Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites, from Bethlehem of Judah, and they came to the fields of Moab and remained there.   ב. וְשֵׁם הָאִישׁ אֱלִימֶלֶךְ וְשֵׁם אִשְׁתּוֹ נָעֳמִי וְשֵׁם שְׁנֵי בָנָיו | מַחְלוֹן וְכִלְיוֹן אֶפְרָתִים מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה וַיָּבֹאוּ שְׂדֵי מוֹאָב וַיִּהְיוּ שָׁם:
Ephrathites: Heb. אֶפְרָתִים, important people, likewise, (I Sam. 1:1): “the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite,” a palace dweller (Ruth Rabbah 2:5). Look how important they were, for Eglon the king of Moab married off his daughter to Mahlon, for the master said (ibid. 9): Ruth was the daughter of Eglon. Another explanation: Ephrathites: Bethlehem was called Ephrath.  
3. Now Elimelech, Naomi's husband, died, and she was left with her two sons.   ג. וַיָּמָת אֱלִימֶלֶךְ אִישׁ נָעֳמִי וַתִּשָּׁאֵר הִיא וּשְׁנֵי בָנֶיהָ:
Naomi’s husband: Why is this stated? From here they (our Sages) derived (Sanh. 22b): A man does not die except concerning his wife. (And Scripture states, “Naomi’s husband” ; that is to say that because he was her husband and ruled over her, and she was subordinate to him, therefore the divine standard of justice struck him and not her.)  
4. And they married Moabite women, one named Orpah, and the other named Ruth, and they dwelt there for about ten years.   ד. וַיִּשְׂאוּ לָהֶם נָשִׁים מֹאֲבִיּוֹת שֵׁם הָאַחַת עָרְפָּה וְשֵׁם הַשֵּׁנִית רוּת וַיֵּשְׁבוּ שָׁם כְּעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים:
5. And both Mahlon and Chilion also died, and the woman was left [bereft] of her two children and of her husband.   ה. וַיָּמֻתוּ גַם שְׁנֵיהֶם מַחְלוֹן וְכִלְיוֹן וַתִּשָּׁאֵר הָאִשָּׁה מִשְּׁנֵי יְלָדֶיהָ וּמֵאִישָׁהּ:
both… also: What is the meaning of “also” ? First their possessions were smitten, and their camels and their cattle died, and afterwards they too died.  
6. Now she arose with her daughters-in-law and returned from the fields of Moab, for she had heard in the field of Moab that the Lord had remembered His people to give them bread.   ו. וַתָּקָם הִיא וְכַלֹּתֶיהָ וַתָּשָׁב מִשְּׂדֵי מוֹאָב כִּי שָׁמְעָה בִּשְׂדֵה מוֹאָב כִּי פָקַד יְהֹוָה אֶת עַמּוֹ לָתֵת לָהֶם לָחֶם:
7. Then she went forth from the place where she had been, and her two daughters-in-law with her, and they went on the road to return to the land of Judah.   ז. וַתֵּצֵא מִן הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר הָיְתָה שָּׁמָּה וּשְׁתֵּי כַלֹּתֶיהָ עִמָּהּ וַתֵּלַכְנָה בַדֶּרֶךְ לָשׁוּב אֶל אֶרֶץ יְהוּדָה:
Then she went forth from the place: Why is this stated? It is already stated, “and she returned from the fields of Moab,” and from where would she return if not from the place where she was? But Scripture wishes to tell [us] that the departure of a righteous person from a place is conspicuous, and makes an impression. Its splendor has turned away; its majesty has turned away; the praise of a city has turned away, and likewise (Gen. 28:10): “And Jacob went forth from Beersheba.”  
8. And Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, "Go, return each woman to her mother's house. May the Lord deal kindly with you as you have dealt with the deceased and with me.   ח. וַתֹּאמֶר נָעֳמִי לִשְׁתֵּי כַלֹּתֶיהָ לֵכְנָה שֹּׁבְנָה אִשָּׁה לְבֵית אִמָּהּ יַעַשׂ יְהֹוָה עִמָּכֶם חֶסֶד כַּאֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם עִם הַמֵּתִים וְעִמָּדִי:
9. May the Lord grant you that you find rest, each woman in her husband's house," and she kissed them, and they raised their voices and wept.   ט. יִתֵּן יְהֹוָה לָכֶם וּמְצֶאן ָ מְנוּחָה אִשָּׁה בֵּית אִישָׁהּ וַתִּשַּׁק לָהֶן וַתִּשֶּׂאנָה קוֹלָן וַתִּבְכֶּינָה:
10. And they said to her, "[No,] but we will return with you to your people."   י. וַתֹּאמַרְנָה לָּהּ כִּי אִתָּךְ נָשׁוּב לְעַמֵּךְ:
11. And Naomi said, "Return, my daughters; why should you go with me? Have I yet sons in my womb, that they should be your husbands?   יא. וַתֹּאמֶר נָעֳמִי שֹׁבְנָה בְנֹתַי לָמָּה תֵלַכְנָה עִמִּי הַעוֹד לִי בָנִים בְּמֵעַי וְהָיוּ לָכֶם לַאֲנָשִׁים:
12. Return, my daughters, go, for I have become too old to marry, that I should say that I have hope. Even if I had a husband tonight, and even if I had borne sons,   יב. שֹׁבְנָה בְנֹתַי לֵכְן ָ כִּי זָקַנְתִּי מִהְיוֹת לְאִישׁ כִּי אָמַרְתִּי יֶשׁ לִי תִקְוָה גַּם הָיִיתִי הַלַּיְלָה לְאִישׁ וְגַם יָלַדְתִּי בָנִים:
for I have become too old to marry: that I should marry someone and bear sons, that you should marry them, for they are not forbidden to you and you are not forbidden to them as far as the prohibition against marrying the wife of a brother who is deceased, for she does not require a levirate marriage because Mahlon and Chilion were not halachically married to them because they were gentiles, and had not converted, and now they were coming to convert, as it is stated (verse 10): “[No], but we will return with you to your people.” From now on, we will become one people.  
that I should say that I have hope: for even if my heart told me that I have hope to marry again and to bear sons.  
Even if I had a husband tonight: and more than this, even if I conceived male offspring tonight.  
and even if I had borne sons: or even if I had already borne sons.  
13. Would you wait for them until they grew up? Would you shut yourselves off for them and not marry? No, my daughters, for it is much more bitter for me than for you, for the hand of the Lord has gone forth against me."   יג. הֲלָהֵן | תְּשַׂבֵּרְנָה עַד אֲשֶׁר יִגְדָּלוּ הֲלָהֵן תֵּעָגֵנָה לְבִלְתִּי הֱיוֹת לְאִישׁ אַל בְּנֹתַי כִּי מַר לִי מְאֹד מִכֶּם כִּי יָצְאָה בִי יַד יְהֹוָה:
Would you wait for them: Heb. תְּשַּׂבֵּרְנָה. This is a question: Would you wait for them until they grew up? This is an expression similar to (Ps. 146:5): “his hope (שִּׂבְרוֹ) is in the Lord his God.”  
Would you shut yourselves off: Heb. תֵּעָגֵנָה. An expression of being bound and imprisoned, like (Taanith 3:8): “He made a round hole (עָג עוּגָה) and stood within it.” Others interpret it as an expression of עִגוּן, anchoring, being unable to marry, but that cannot be, for if so, the “nun” should have been punctuated with a “dagesh” or it should have been spelled with two “nuns” .  
for the hand of the Lord has gone forth against me: Said Rabbi Levi: Wherever it says “the hand of the Lord,” it refers to a plague of pestilence, and the classic example is (Exod. 9:3): “Behold the hand of the Lord will be.”  
14. And they raised their voices and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, but Ruth cleaved to her.   יד. וַתִּשֶּׂנָה (חסר א) קוֹלָן וַתִּבְכֶּינָה עוֹד וַתִּשַּׁק עָרְפָּה לַחֲמוֹתָהּ וְרוּת דָּבְקָה בָּהּ:
15. And she said, "Lo, your sister-in-law has returned to her people and to her god; return after your sister- in-law."   טו. וַתֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה שָׁבָה יְבִמְתֵּךְ אֶל עַמָּהּ וְאֶל אֱלֹהֶיהָ שׁוּבִי אַחֲרֵי יְבִמְתֵּךְ:
Lo, your sister-in-law has returned: Heb. שָּׁבָה. In this word, the accent is above (on the first syllable) under the “shin,” because it is in the past tense, but [in the verse] (Esther 2:14): “and in the morning she would return (שָּׁבָה) ,” the accent is below (on the last syllable) on the “beth,” because it is the present tense, and so it is in all similar cases.  
16. And Ruth said, "Do not entreat me to leave you, to return from following you, for wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people and your God my God.   טז. וַתֹּאמֶר רוּת אַל תִּפְגְּעִי בִי לְעָזְבֵךְ לָשׁוּב מֵאַחֲרָיִךְ כִּי אֶל אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ וּבַאֲשֶׁר תָּלִינִי אָלִין עַמֵּךְ עַמִּי וֵאלֹהַיִךְ אֱלֹהָי:
Do not entreat me: Heb. תִּפְגְעִי, do not urge me.  
for wherever you go, I will go: From here our Sages derived that a [prospective] proselyte who comes to convert is told some of the punishments [for violating the commandments], so that if he decides to renege, he can renege, for out of Ruth’s words, you learn what Naomi said to her: “We may not go out of the boundary [of 2,000 cubits on all sides] on the Sabbath.” She replied to her, “Wherever you go, I will go.” “We are prohibited to allow a female to be secluded with a male who is not her husband.” She replied, “Wherever you lodge, I will lodge.” “Our people is separated from the other peoples with 613 commandments.” [She replied,] “Your people is my people.” “Idolatry is forbidden to us.” “Your God is my God.” “Four types of death penalties were delegated to the beth din (court) [to punish transgressors].” “Wherever you die I will die.” “Two burial plots were delegated to the beth din [to bury those executed], one for those stoned and those burned, and one for those decapitated and those strangled.” She replied, “And there I will be buried.”  
17. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. So may the Lord do to me and so may He continue, if anything but death separate me and you."   יז. בַּאֲשֶׁר תָּמוּתִי אָמוּת וְשָׁם אֶקָּבֵר כֹּה יַעֲשֶׂה יְהֹוָה לִי וְכֹה יוֹסִיף כִּי הַמָּוֶת יַפְרִיד בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵךְ:
So may the Lord do to me: as He has commenced to harm [me], for His hand has gone forth against me to slay my husband and to cause me to lose my property.  
and so may He continue: if anything but death separates me from you.  
18. And she saw that she was determined to go with her; so she stopped speaking to her.   יח. וַתֵּרֶא כִּי מִתְאַמֶּצֶת הִיא לָלֶכֶת אִתָּהּ וַתֶּחְדַּל לְדַבֵּר אֵלֶיהָ:
so she stopped speaking to her: From here they derived that we do not overburden him and we are not overly meticulous with him (i.e., with a prospective convert).  
19. And they both went on until they arrived to Bethlehem. And it came to pass when they arrived to Bethlehem, that the entire city was astir on their account, and they said, "Is this Naomi?"   יט. וַתֵּלַכְנָה שְׁתֵּיהֶם עַד בּוֹאָנָה בֵּית לָחֶם וַיְהִי כְּבוֹאָנָה בֵּית לֶחֶם וַתֵּהֹם כָּל הָעִיר עֲלֵיהֶן וַתֹּאמַרְנָה הֲזֹאת נָעֳמִי:
And they both went on: Said Rabbi Abbahu: Come and see how dear the proselytes are to the Holy One, blessed be He: Since she decided to convert, Scripture compared her to Naomi.  
that the entire city was astir: The entire city became astir. They had gathered to bury Boaz’s wife, who had died on that very day.  
Is this Naomi?: Heb. הֲזאֹת. The “hey” is vowelized with a “hataf” because it is in the interrogative. Is this Naomi who used to go out in covered wagons and with mules? Have you seen what happened to her because she went out from the Holy Land?  
20. And she said to them, "Do not call me Naomi; call me Marah, for the Almighty has dealt very bitterly with me.   כ. וַתֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶן אַל תִּקְרֶאנָה לִּי נָעֳמִי קְרֶאן ָ לִּי מָרָא (א במקום ה) כִּי הֵמַר שַׁדַּי לִי מְאֹד:
21. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why [then] should you call me Naomi, seeing that the Lord has testified against me, and the Almighty has dealt harshly with me?"   כא. אֲנִי מְלֵאָה הָלַכְתִּי וְרֵיקָם הֱשִׁיבַנִי יְהֹוָה לָמָּה תִקְרֶאנָה לִּי נָעֳמִי וַיהֹוָה עָנָה בִי וְשַׁדַּי הֵרַע לִי:
I went away full: with wealth and sons. Another interpretation is that she was pregnant.  
has testified: Heb. עָנָה, has testified against me that I dealt wickedly before Him. Another explanation: The Divine Standard of Justice has humbled me, as (Hosea 5:5): “And the pride of Israel shall be humbled (וְעָנָה).”  
22. So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter-in- law, with her, who returned from the fields of Moab-and they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.   כב. וַתָּשָׁב נָעֳמִי וְרוּת הַמּוֹאֲבִיָּה כַלָּתָהּ עִמָּהּ הַשָּׁבָה מִשְּׂדֵי מוֹאָב וְהֵמָּה בָּאוּ בֵּית לֶחֶם בִּתְחִלַּת קְצִיר שְׂעֹרִים:
at the beginning of the barley harvest: Scripture is speaking of the harvest of the Omer.  
Print
E-mail
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
FEATURED ON CHABAD.ORG