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Shavuot 5778/2018: Stranger Treatment

Source Sheet by Dan Selsberg
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Created May 10, 2018 · 103 Views · נוצר 10 May, 2018 · 103 צפיות ·

  1. (טו) וַתֹּ֗אמֶר הִנֵּה֙ שָׁ֣בָה יְבִמְתֵּ֔ךְ אֶל־עַמָּ֖הּ וְאֶל־אֱלֹקֶ֑יהָ שׁ֖וּבִי אַחֲרֵ֥י יְבִמְתֵּֽךְ׃ (טז) וַתֹּ֤אמֶר רוּת֙ אַל־תִּפְגְּעִי־בִ֔י לְעָזְבֵ֖ךְ לָשׁ֣וּב מֵאַחֲרָ֑יִךְ כִּ֠י אֶל־אֲשֶׁ֨ר תֵּלְכִ֜י אֵלֵ֗ךְ וּבַאֲשֶׁ֤ר תָּלִ֙ינִי֙ אָלִ֔ין עַמֵּ֣ךְ עַמִּ֔י וֵאלֹקַ֖יִךְ אֱלֹקָֽי׃ (יז) בַּאֲשֶׁ֤ר תָּמ֙וּתִי֙ אָמ֔וּת וְשָׁ֖ם אֶקָּבֵ֑ר כֹּה֩ יַעֲשֶׂ֨ה ה' לִי֙ וְכֹ֣ה יֹסִ֔יף כִּ֣י הַמָּ֔וֶת יַפְרִ֖יד בֵּינִ֥י וּבֵינֵֽךְ׃

    (15) So [Naomi] said, “See, your sister-in-law has returned to her people and her gods. Go follow your sister-in-law.” (16) But Ruth replied, “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 shall be my people, and your God my God. (17) Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus and more may the LORD do to me if anything but death parts me from you.”

  2. (ו) וַיַּ֗עַן הַנַּ֛עַר הַנִּצָּ֥ב עַל־הַקּוֹצְרִ֖ים וַיֹּאמַ֑ר נַעֲרָ֤ה מֽוֹאֲבִיָּה֙ הִ֔יא הַשָּׁ֥בָה עִֽם־נָעֳמִ֖י מִשְּׂדֵ֥ה מוֹאָֽב׃ (ז) ... (י) וַתִּפֹּל֙ עַל־פָּנֶ֔יהָ וַתִּשְׁתַּ֖חוּ אָ֑רְצָה וַתֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלָ֗יו מַדּוּעַ֩ מָצָ֨אתִי חֵ֤ן בְּעֵינֶ֙יךָ֙ לְהַכִּירֵ֔נִי וְאָּנֹכִ֖י נָכְרִיָּֽה׃

    (6) The servant in charge of the reapers replied [to Boaz], “She is a Moabite girl who came back with Naomi from the country of Moab. ... (10) She prostrated herself with her face to the ground, and said to him, “Why are you so kind as to single me out, when I am a foreigner?”

  3. (ד) לֹֽא־יָבֹ֧א עַמּוֹנִ֛י וּמוֹאָבִ֖י בִּקְהַ֣ל ה' גַּ֚ם דּ֣וֹר עֲשִׂירִ֔י לֹא־יָבֹ֥א לָהֶ֛ם בִּקְהַ֥ל ה' עַד־עוֹלָֽם׃... לֹא־תְתַעֵ֣ב מִצְרִ֔י כִּי־גֵ֖ר הָיִ֥יתָ בְאַרְצֽוֹ׃ (ט) בָּנִ֛ים אֲשֶׁר־יִוָּלְד֥וּ לָהֶ֖ם דּ֣וֹר שְׁלִישִׁ֑י יָבֹ֥א לָהֶ֖ם בִּקְהַ֥ל ה' (ס)

    No Ammonite or Moabite shall be admitted into the congregation of the LORD; none of their descendants, even in the tenth generation, shall ever be admitted into the congregation of the LORD... You shall not abhor an Egyptian, for you were a stranger in his land. Children born to them may be admitted into the congregation of the LORD in the third generation.

  4. Avivah Gottleib Zornberg, The Murmuring Deep: Reflections on the Biblical Unconscious, 2009. p. 359.


    The reader is caught in the subtle anguish of narrative.  Ruth is being maligned: twice in one sentence, the servant has managed to refer to her Moabite origin- and this, after the narrator has reintroduced her at the beginning of the chapter as Ruth the Moabite.  All the hopelessness of her situation is here, insult added to injury. 

  5. יבמות מ״ז ב:ט׳

    אמרה לה: אסיר לן תחום שבת (רות א, טז), באשר תלכי אלך. אסיר לן יחוד (רות א, טז), באשר תליני אלין. מפקדינן שש מאות וי"ג מצות (רות א, טז), עמך עמי. אסיר לן עבודת כוכבים (רות א, טז), ואלקיך אלקי. ארבע מיתות נמסרו לב"ד (רות א, יז), באשר תמותי אמות. ב' קברים נמסרו לב"ד (רות א, יז), ושם אקבר. מיד ותרא כי מתאמצת היא וגו':

    The Talmud reconstructs the original dialogue in which Naomi discusses conversion with: Naomi said to her: On Shabbat, it is prohibited for us to go beyond the Shabbat limit. Ruth responded: “Where you go, I shall go” (Ruth 1:16), and no further. Naomi said to her: It is forbidden for us to be alone together with a man with whom it is forbidden to engage in relations. Ruth responded: “Where you lodge, I shall lodge” (Ruth 1:16), and in the same manner.


    Naomi said to her: We are commanded to observe six hundred and thirteen mitzvot. Ruth responded: “Your people are my people” (Ruth 1:16). Naomi said to her: Idolatrous worship is forbidden to us. Ruth responded: “Your God is my God” (Ruth 1:16). Naomi said to her: Four types of capital punishment were handed over to a court with which to punish those who transgress the mitzvot. Ruth responded: “Where you die, I shall die” (Ruth 1:17). Naomi said to her: Two burial grounds were handed over to the court, one for those executed for more severe crimes and another for those executed for less severe crimes. Ruth responded: “And there I shall be buried” (Ruth 1:17).


    Immediately following this dialogue, the verse states: “And when she saw that she was steadfastly minded she left off speaking with her” (Ruth 1:18). Once Naomi saw Ruth’s resolve to convert, she desisted from her attempts to dissuade her.

  6. יבמות מ״ז א:י״ג-מ״ז ב:ב׳

    תנו רבנן: גר שבא להתגייר בזמן הזה, אומרים לו: מה ראית שבאת להתגייר? אי אתה יודע שישראל בזמן הזה דוויים דחופים סחופים ומטורפין ויסורין באין עליהם?? אם אומר: יודע אני, ואיני כדאי; מקבלין אותו מיד.


    ומודיעין אותו מקצת מצות קלות ומקצת מצות חמורות, ומודיעין אותו עון לקט שכחה, ופאה, ומעשר עני.

    ...וכשם שמודיעין אותו ענשן של מצות, כך מודיעין אותו מתן שכרן...

    ואין מרבין עליו, ואין מדקדקין עליו. 


    קיבל, מלין אותו מיד... נתרפא, מטבילין אותו מיד, ושני ת"ח עומדים על גביו ומודיעין אותו מקצת מצות קלות, ומקצת מצות חמורות, טבל ועלה: הרי הוא כישראל לכל דבריו.

    The Sages taught: When a convert who comes to convert, at the present time, They say to him: What did you see that you come to convert? Don’t you know that the Jewish people at the present time are anguished, suppressed, despised, and harassed, and hardships are visited upon them??


    If he says: I know, and I [still feel] unworthy, they accept him immediately.


    And they inform him of some of the lenient mitzvot, and of some of the stringent mitzvot, and they inform him of the sin [of neglecting the mitzvah to allow the poor to take] gleanings, forgotten sheaves, and produce in the corner of one’s field, and about the tithe to the poor.


    And they inform him about the punishment for transgressing the mitzvot, and equally, they inform him about the reward for fulfilling them. ... And they do not overwhelm him, and they are not exacting with him [with details].


    If he accepts, he's circumcise him immediately. ...When he is healed, they immerse him immediately, and two Torah scholars stand nearby and inform him of some of the lenient mitzvot and some of the stringent mitzvot. Once he has immersed and emerged, he is as a Jew in every sense.

  7. (לג) וְכִֽי־יָג֧וּר אִתְּךָ֛ גֵּ֖ר בְּאַרְצְכֶ֑ם לֹ֥א תוֹנ֖וּ אֹתֽוֹ׃ (לד) כְּאֶזְרָ֣ח מִכֶּם֩ יִהְיֶ֨ה לָכֶ֜ם הַגֵּ֣ר ׀ הַגָּ֣ר אִתְּכֶ֗ם וְאָהַבְתָּ֥ לוֹ֙ כָּמ֔וֹךָ כִּֽי־גֵרִ֥ים הֱיִיתֶ֖ם בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם אֲנִ֖י ה' אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃

    (JPS translation:) (33) When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. (34) The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD am your God.


    Artscroll [Stone] translation:


    When a proselyte dwells among you in your land, do not taunt him. The proselyte who dwells with you shall be like a native among you, and you shall love him like yourself., for you were aliens in the land of Egypt- I am HASHEM, your God.

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