Ruth 1:11-19
2 ב
וַתֹּאמֶר נָעֳמִי שֹׁבְנָה בְנֹתַי לָמָּה תֵלַכְנָה עִמִּי הַעוֹד לִי בָנִים בְּמֵעַי וְהָיוּ לָכֶם לַאֲנָשִׁים שֹׁבְנָה בְנֹתַי לֵכְןָ כִּי זָקַנְתִּי מִהְיוֹת לְאִישׁ כִּי אָמַרְתִּי יֶשׁ לִי תִקְוָה גַּם הָיִיתִי הַלַּיְלָה לְאִישׁ וְגַם יָלַדְתִּי בָנִים: הֲלָהֵן תְּשַׂבֵּרְנָה עַד אֲשֶׁר יִגְדָּלוּ הֲלָהֵן תֵּעָגֵנָה לְבִלְתִּי הֱיוֹת לְאִישׁ אַל בְּנֹתַי כִּי מַר לִי מְאֹד מִכֶּם כִּי יָצְאָה בִי יַד יְקֹוָק: וַתִּשֶּׂנָה קוֹלָן וַתִּבְכֶּינָה עוֹד וַתִּשַּׁק עָרְפָּה לַחֲמוֹתָהּ וְרוּת דָּבְקָה בָּהּ: וַתֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה שָׁבָה יְבִמְתֵּךְ אֶל עַמָּהּ וְאֶל אֱלֹהֶיהָ שׁוּבִי אַחֲרֵי יְבִמְתֵּךְ: וַתֹּאמֶר רוּת אַל תִּפְגְּעִי בִי לְעָזְבֵךְ לָשׁוּב מֵאַחֲרָיִךְ כִּי אֶל אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ וּבַאֲשֶׁר תָּלִינִי אָלִין עַמֵּךְ עַמִּי וֵאלֹהַיִךְ אֱלֹהָי: בַּאֲשֶׁר תָּמוּתִי אָמוּת וְשָׁם אֶקָּבֵר כֹּה יַעֲשֶׂה יְקֹוָק לִי וְכֹה יֹסִיף כִּי הַמָּוֶת יַפְרִיד בֵּינִי וּבֵינֵךְ: וַתֵּרֶא כִּי מִתְאַמֶּצֶת הִיא לָלֶכֶת אִתָּהּ וַתֶּחְדַּל לְדַבֵּר אֵלֶיהָ: וַתֵּלַכְנָה שְׁתֵּיהֶם עַד בֹּאָנָה בֵּית לָחֶם וַיְהִי כְּבֹאָנָה בֵּית לֶחֶם
And Naomi said: 'Turn back, my daughters; why will you go with me? have I yet sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn back, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have a husband. If I should say: I have hope, should I even have an husband to-night, and also bear sons; would you tarry for them till they were grown? would you shut yourselves off for them and have no husbands? No, my daughters; for it grieves me much for your sakes, for the hand of the LORD is gone forth against me.' And they lifted up their voice, and wept again; and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law; but Ruth cleaved unto her. And she said: 'Behold, your sister-in-law is gone back unto her people, and unto her god; return after your sister-in-law.' And Ruth said: 'Entreat me not to leave you, and to return from following after thee; for where you go, I will go; and where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God; where you die, will I die, and there will I be buried; the LORD do so to me, and more also, only death will part you and me.' And when she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, she left off speaking unto her. So they two went until they came to Beth-lehem. [JPS translation]
3 ג

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What social justice themes emerge from the nature of Ruth's commitment to her widowed mother-in-law, Naomi?

2. What does this text imply about feminism and activism? What does Ruth's behavior serve as a model for?

3. What does Ruth's conversion imply about "treatment of the stranger" or of the convert?

4 ד
Time Period: Biblical (early ancestors to 165 BCE)