A Few Gleanings from the Book of Ruth

It is customary among the Jewish people to read the Book of Ruth on the Feast of Weeks. I love this story for many reasons, not the least of which is that the main character is a non-Jew who attaches herself to the heritage of Israel. In this ancient tale, Ruth, a Moabite girl determines to align her fate with a people she had not known (2:11). Though strongly urged to return to her own people (1:8, 11, 12, 15) Ruth refuses saying, “Do not urge me to leave you, to turn back and not follow you. For wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people will be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus and more may YHVH do to me if anything but death parts me from you” (1:16-17). These words are among the most cherished in the work and represent the moving plea of countless souls over the ages who have joined, in one way or another, the people that God claims as His own. This Moabite girl would become the great grandmother of the famed Israelite King David. May those from the nations who love the people of Israel find comfort in these words, for many are they in our day, who are seeking refuge in the wings of the God of Israel.

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