On the festival of Shavuot (Pentecost), we have the custom to read Megillat Ruth, a short narrative text about the Moabite convert, Ruth, ancestress of King David and the Davidic Monarchy.
We are told that the connection between Ruth and Shavuot is twofold. Firstly, King David’s birthday and death anniversary coincide with Shavuot, and secondly, the story occurred during the Spring grain harvest season that coincides with this period in the Jewish calendar.
But is that really why we read Ruth on Shavuot? And why was this bland parochial story so important that it was included as its own book in Hebrew scripture?
Rabbi Dunner delves into this seemingly innocuous story to reveal the powerful subtexts that propel it to the forefront of Jewish identity, offering an insight into the essence of Jewish leadership and the Messianic redemption.
As it turns out, there is much more to Megillat Ruth than meets the eye.
Photo: Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld: Ruth in Boaz’s Field, 1828 (Public Domain)