Megillat Rut in Depth

Study the Book of Ruth

Explore in vivid detail the courageous story of Rut the convert who sacrificed everything to become part of the Jewish People. This text based study of the book of Ruth draws from the classical commentaries and presents its inspirational relevance.

Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 2, Lesson 1
This class studies the second chapter of Megillat Rut.
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 2, Lesson 2
In this fascinating class, continuing to study the second chapter of Megillat Rut, we discover how Boaz, Naomi’s affluent cousin, notices the beautiful Moabite Princess who’s been reduced to scrounging for survival, yet remarkably most modestly maintains her dignity. Be amazed at how seemingly inconsequential details of this ancient narrative are a source of inspiration for our lives today.
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 2, Lesson 3
Boaz now meets Ruth face-to-face for the very first time. While there's no “instant magic,” the older judge immediately eases the anxiety of the poverty-stricken younger Princess; while moving to better her lot and provide prominence, plentiful hydration, and paternal protection. His brief words are filled with multiple meanings, and beautiful life lessons for us to emulate.
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 2, Lesson 4
As the plot thickens, our heroine, the beautiful young pauper-princess Ruth, is overwhelmed by the warm welcome and special attention paid to her by the older wealthy plantation owner Boaz. He in turn reveals why she is a person of great interest to him. Discover how this biblical conversational give-and-take is at once fascinating, inspirational and even instructional!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 2, Lesson 5
Our humble heroine is invited to lunch with the plantation employees. She modestly sits away from the raucous male-dominated meal; eats little yet finds herself remarkably satiated. Boaz goes out of his way to make Ruth comfortable; demonstrating the virtues of Torah-true hospitality. Incredibly, each detail of this meager meal overflows with deep meaning and profound premonition.
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 2, Lesson 6
On the heels of an unexpectedly warm welcome and generous lunch invitation, the “pauper princess” modestly rises to resume gathering gleanings. Her alacrity and buoyed spirits is understood to speak volumes. Seeking the restoration of Ruth’s royal self-esteem, a concerned Boaz sensitively instructs the farmhands to purposefully protect her dignity—without making it obvious.
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 2, Lesson 7
Spending the balance of the day diligently collecting gleanings in the harvesting fields, Ruth finds extraordinary success. As the shadows grow longer she happily prepares to head back home to Naomi. These verses contain no verbal exchanges, but our heroine’s thoughtful actions speak louder than words – colourfully painting a portrait of exceptional humility, grace and insight!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 2, Lesson 8
Ruth’s safe return relieves Naomi, yet she anxiously inquires about her daughter-in-law's surprising success; who in turn excitedly reports on the day’s amazing harvest happenings. This careful study of their conversation and accompanying innuendo reveals much about both exceptional women and teaches us important life lessons!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 2, Lesson 9
Decoding a deceptively casual conversation; we reveal a subtext laden and layered with deep meaning and historical context. The wide-ranging commentary encompasses an extraordinary swath of Torah concepts; including the continued relationship between the living and the dead, ownership of Israel, the power of a blessing, Levirate marriages, possessed by a spirit, conversion, ancient national enmities, the political science of patriotism all set in a sweep of history spanning nearly six centuries!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 2, Lesson 10
In the final verses of chapter two, the righteous Ruth is suddenly again entitled Moabite. Is this indicative of moral regression, and why did she change key details in recounting Boaz’s generous offer? This class richly illustrates realistic virtues of character development and highlights the true meaning of ‘relationship integrity.’
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 3, Lesson 1
As a new chapter opens, the narrative undergoes a paradigm shift. Henceforth, it is no longer Ruth the righteous convert driving the process, but rather her aristocratic mother-in-law, Naomi. With the ripening of a new reality, and in pursuit of her daughter-in-law's permanent security and stability, she introduces a daring plan that is anything but conventional! Rather than minimizing or glossing over the shocking nature of the course of action being outlined, this class embraces and tackles the challenge head on.
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 3, Lesson 2
The dramatic plot thickens as Naomi begins to detail her daring plan. In addition to superbly clarifying the straightforward meaning and nuances of this seemingly enigmatic verse; an overarching new perspective is introduced. Discover the real rhyme and reason Naomi felt compelled to send her beloved daughter-in-law Ruth into this dangerous date with destiny, as you learn why our heroine can only succeed by taking this proverbial walk on thin ice; forcing Boaz to consider and make one of the most pivotal decisions in Jewish history!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 3, Lesson 3
Setting her daring plan into action, the ever detail-oriented Naomi gives her shy and attractive daughter-in-law instructions on how to prepare for her date with destiny. The surprising “meddling mother-in-law” advice: bathe, groom and wear a nice dress seem totally inappropriate. Wouldn't a young Princess know how to prepare on her own?! In this remarkable look behind the veil you'll discover how the scriptural terminology like “cleansing, fragrant oil and festive attire” includes a deeply meaningful and spiritual subtext.
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 3, Lesson 4
Revealing final details of her daring plan, Naomi, in effect seeks to force a historic moment of truth upon Boaz. Despite the likelihood of great indignity and even possible danger, Ruth humbly and respectfully agrees to follow her mother-in-law's advice. The die is now cast, the stage is set and an evening of destiny is about to unfold!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 3, Lesson 5
Setting deep misgivings aside; Ruth chooses to follow Naomi’s spiritual intuition – placing implicit trust her inspired vision and guidance. Yet, for all her faithfulness she does not surrender her own instinctual wisdom; artfully charting her own course to ensure protection and success in stealthily moving into the shady circumstances her mother-in-law has ordained. This class further demonstrates why Ruth is a heroine of the ages; with her unique synergy of acceptance and loyal devotion balanced with healthy confidence and self-actualization. It also continues to illuminate dubious shadows naturally cast on one of the most unconventional and seemingly immodest biblical narratives.
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 3, Lesson 6
Boaz, stirs from a deep slumber and is terrified as he suddenly becomes aware of a shadowy figure. Fearful of a demonic spirit, he struggles to identify the mysterious intruder. As he realizes it's the beautiful young princess whose been visiting his fields, an epic struggle with raging inner demons of temptation ensue. Modestly identifying herself, Ruth communicates her noblest of intentions. Rather than an immoral seductive temptress, she seeks sacred matrimony, the redemption of trapped souls and the epic fulfilment of a historic prophetic future.
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 3, Lesson 7
The brash and brazen nature of her approach notwithstanding, Ruth tactfully conveys her ultimate goal: holy matrimony! She even makes the case for it, because “you’re a redeemer.” Rashi elucidates: “Since it's incumbent upon you to redeem my [late husband’s] estate [so it remains in the family] “take possession” of me, too, so his name will be perpetuated on his property.” Discover the true meaning of this seemingly strange logic, as we learn to understand and know how material possessions can become a vehicle for soul transportation and transformation!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 3, Lesson 8
Ruth has thrown caution to the winds and bared her soul; asking Boaz to not only perpetuate her late husband's name by redeeming his estate – but also to embrace and marry her. Despite a lifetime of strengthening resistance to sinful temptation, Boaz now feels helplessly drawn to Ruth. He experiences a flash of anger towards her for having put him in this situation, yet Hashem transforms that negative energy into heartfelt blessings. Sensing the turmoil in her heart he sets her at ease with righteous words of endearment, as a sweep of history begins to materialize!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 3, Lesson 9
Boaz must now explain why accepting Ruth’s marriage proposition isn't so simple; although he intends on following through – for now the challenge of a closer relative stands in the way. Knowing that his response will likely disappoint and disillusion the sensitive young Princess – the burden of believable reassurance is now his. Tenderly blessing her, and emphasizing her obvious nobility of character and intention, he delineates the impediment. Remarkable depth and meaning are encoded into these seemingly simple sentences which resonate with profundity!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 3, Lesson 10
Having delineated his protracted position, Boaz’s immediate concern is for Ruth’s safety. He asks her to spend the night in the security of the threshing grounds. Yet despite his stated intentions, the moratorium leaves her unsure with lingering doubts about his true intentions. Jumping to his feet, he gives his solemn word: “this is the last night you will be single.” Then, resisting powerful temptation, our hero remains celibate as they wait out the long, dark night together. Ultimately, this vigil serves as a metaphor for our nation’s dark and lengthy exiles.
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 3, Lesson 12
As dawn is breaking, yet still under the cover of dark, Ruth stealthy returns to Naomi's home. A cryptic conversation ensues and the door opens. Ruth tells her wise mother-in-law all that transpired and while she is prepared to return to the fields, Naomi insists she stay home for the harvest.
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 4, Lesson 1
With great alacrity, Boaz moves to fulfill his promise. But obstacles must first be overcome, as to marry Ruth, first he must get a phantom Uncle Tov to step aside! The righteous do their part and that causes Hashem to do His. Divine Providence miraculously arranges the meeting, and then the action begins!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 4, Lesson 2
With no small measure of guile, Boaz cleverly and strategically throws down the gauntlet: Step up or step aside, he challenges the phantom relative; it’s high time for the real Redeemer to please rise! But, are real estate and matrimony really a match made in heaven, and can one honestly engage in shady dealings yet maintain full integrity?
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 4, Lesson 3
The verbal recusal of the phantom first-in-line is insufficient for Boaz. Before moving into the batters box, he wants the agreement formalized. Only then will he be ready to make his move. Traditionally, transactions were ratified by virtue of a ceremonial ‘shoe-exchange’. This methodology will now be employed to seal the deal as a legal act of acquisition, handing Boaz rights to purchase perpetuity. Yet notwithstanding the legal technicalities, a title search leads us to dig deeper and discover a surprise treasure of untapped potential.
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 4, Lesson 4
Boaz now swiftly moves to acquire the entire estate that had formally belonged to his kinsman Elimelech and his children. Yet this acquisition will be about far more than a significant expansion of his heirloom plantation portfolio. In purchasing these fields, the respected Judge is poised to perpetuate the family bloodline, lineage and legacies!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 4, Lesson 5
Responding to Boaz’s call, the mix assemblage of prominent Sanhedrin Judges and ordinary Bethlehem citizenry duly witness the legal proceedings of the legacy estate transfer as well as a historic marriage. The crowds then burst forth in a torrent of well-wishing, showering the couple with bountiful biblical blessings. Here we explore the rich symbolism encoded into the string of legendary ancestors and events that are woven into the fabric of the warm wishes and blessings they bestowed on that day of Davidic destiny!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 4, Lesson 6
Within hours of the courtroom betrothal, a hastily arranged Chuppah and wedding followed and that night Boaz brings Ruth home. Sadly, he dies soon thereafter, yet she had already conceived and exactly nine months after their marriage – dispelling salacious rumors, and proving the legitimacy of Boaz's offspring – she bore his son who would become the founder of the Davidic dynasty!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 4, Lesson 7
Women of great virtue comfort and encourage Naomi to foster the blessed boy as her own child. He will become a source of comfort, joy and blessing for his mother and grandmother, and a source of redemption and salvation for all of Israel, they prophesy!
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 4, Lesson 8
Naomi responds to the comforting and prophetic words of the virtuous women who surround her. She fully embraces her role and fosters the blessed baby as her own child. Yet although he was doted and so tenderly cared for, he remained nameless, referred to as Naomi's child. In the end, the women of her neighborhood take note and they name him Oved, reflecting their prayerful hope that he grow up to be a "true servant of G-d." Ultimately the man called Oved does not disappoint, reaching great spiritual heights himself and nurturing his progeny in like fashion.
Megillat Rut in Depth: Chapter 4, Lesson 9
The entire book now concludes with a detailed ten-generation genealogy of Ruth’s great-grandson, King David, which emphasizes her unparalleled historic contribution. We begin to trace the lineage of Israel's royal bloodline with Jacob’s grandson Peretz. This spiritual giant fathers equally, yet uniquely outstanding generational progeny. Each contributed to the development of the illustrious Davidic Dynasty in their own special fashion, leaving us much food for thought and many important lessons for life.
An insightful and incisive review of the deeper meaning implanted in this extraordinary story of love, loyalty and devotion. In this epilogue, we highlight some of the scroll's general inspirational teachings. Then, dipping deeply into secret wisdom of Kabbalah, a redemptive illustration of life, purpose and creation itself is sketched in illuminating mystical brushstrokes.
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