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RUTH, BOOK OF. | Shengold Jewish Encyclopedia
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RUTH, BOOK OF.

Second of the five scrolls in the Bible. It is read in the synagogue on Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks. It tells of Elimelech and Naomi of Bethlehem in Judah, who in a time of famine take their two sons, Mahlon and Kilyon, and migrate to Moab. There Mahlon marries Ruth, and Kilyon marries Orpah. Elimelech dies, as do Mahlon and Kilyon, ten years later. The grieving Naomi prepares to return home to Bethlehem and tells her daughters-in-law to go back to their parents. Orpah obeys sadly, but Ruth refuses, saying, “Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” Ruth clings to Naomi and follows her loyally to Judah. Eventually, she marries Boaz, a rich farmer of Bethlehem, and they become the ancestors of King David. This charming idyll has been loved by countless generations.

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