Weekly Insights from Samantha Clague

This week we celebrate Shavuot, the receiving of the Torah. We have counted from Passover until Shavuos, getting more and more excited about the holiday and its meaning. Over Shavuot we read Megillas Ruth. Ruth is the daughter-in-law of Naami, who was married to Elimelech. Elimelech and Naami moved from Eretz Yisroel to Moab during the famine. Not long after, Elimelech and his sons both died leaving Naami and her daughters-in-law, Ruth and Orpah, on their own. Naami decided to go back to Eretz Yisroel and told her daughters-in-laws they could stay in their homeland. Orpah kissed Naami goodbye and stayed. Ruth refused to leave and followed Naami to Eretz Yisroel and converted, becoming part of Bnei Yisroel. Boaz saw how Ruth was dedicated to her mother-in-law and saw her kindness and took her as his wife. 

Why do we read Megillas Ruth? What is the significance behind this story?

Let’s look at Ruth for a moment, Ruth sounds very much like another person in the Torah. Ruth left her family and her homeland and followed Naami. Ruth was a convert who was known for her kindness. Now when we look in the Torah, Avraham Aveinu did the same thing. He left his family and homeland and also converted to judaism. What was Avraham known for? Avraham was known for his kindness. Avraham Aveinu teaches us the essence of Torah, which culminates in Ruth.Hashem promised Avraham that his children would multiply, become a strong nation and have kings come from him. Ruth became part of the Jewish nation and from her came the royal kings that Hashem promised. David Hamelech comes from Ruth, he is her great-great grandson. Later, as we all know, Mashiach will come from David Hamelech. Through Ruth’s dedication and kindness, she merited to have royalty come from her. 

The torah stands on three main pillars, Torah, Avodah-Serving Hashem, and Gemilus Chassadim-Acts of Kindness. Both Avraham Aveinu and Ruth show emulated these three pillars, and what better way than to celebrate the receiving of the Torah than through those who demonstrate it the most. 

May you have a wonderful, uplifting Shavuos! 

This D’var Torah is in memory of Simcha Chaya Fraida Bas Terissa.