not by strength, but by how they respond to the weak;
not by wealth, but by how they care for the poor;
not by power, but by their concern for the powerless.”
As Mark Twain questioned, what is the secret of our immortality? What has built Jewish society into so robust, adaptable and dynamic a force throughout all history and geography? Moreover, how have we retained, nourished and developed our Torah and values against all odds?
In this vein, the book of Ruth seems to be an anomaly in the Tanach, the Bible, which is supposed to give us what we need to survive and flourish forever.
What would interest G-d in the life of an impoverished widow, her converted and widowed daughter-in-law and their weary trek home from the failure of all their dreams? Why would Hashem choose this most unlikely pair – Naomi and Ruth – as role-models and then celebrate their seemingly small lives every Shavuot?
Indeed, it is the book of Ruth which lays the foundation for all of Jewish Society, a Jewish State and the Jewish Monarchy. Arguing against theories of State, it posits a theory of society – a way of constructing larger communal and political structures from the bottom up.
Join Ronit Janet and the Academy in exploring the greatness latent in the smallest acts of kindness, of the power of women and the true strength of a Kingdom.