Shiduchim and Yichus in the Book of Ruth

Part I

Once upon a time two young widows were given some good shidduch advice. “Turn back to your mother’s house…[and] find security in the house of a husband.” Orpah took Naomi’s advice and she is lost to history. Ruth ignored the advice and made history.

Ploni almoni was a practical man when it came to shidduchim who didn’t want to be bothered with caring for Ruth. He passed on the opportunity and he too is lost to history.

Boaz was a different sort of man. In him stirred the blood of Judah, a man who took responsibility for his child with Tamar. He was a descendent of Nachshon who stepped forward while other’s hesitated. Where Ploni blew his chance, Boaz took it. His descendents made history.

Part II

During this Omer a heartbroken man visited his rav about reporting his child’s rapist to the police. The rapist was a man of wealth and yichus; the victim’s family was poor and without yichus.  The rav’s sympathies lay with the victim but he advised the father not to destroy his family’s shidduch prospects.

The victim and the father were adamant. The rav conceded that the molester was a rodef and could be reported. But he insisted that the father not quote him as the source of the ruling. I never heard the end of the story.

Now that the wedding season is upon us I wonder how yichus played out in that community. What kind of shidduchim did each of the parties in this story deserve? What kind did they get? Who was deceived and who was redeemed? Who in this story really deserved their yichus? Who really heeded the lessons of the Book of Ruth?

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5 thoughts on “Shiduchim and Yichus in the Book of Ruth

  1. Orpah is Oprah todays talk show host, Ruth didnt make history. She is in a book of myths and fables. Is that making history?

  2. Probably both. Oprah owns enough real estate world-wide to be ensured that some island principality is named after her. Besides, she’s the subject of one of the funniest South Park episodes, ever! 😉

  3. Yichus In the Book of Ruth – Before, During and After:

    Yehuda & Tamar – Yehuda sleeps with Tamar who was his sister-in-law who he mistook for a prostitute. From that union emerges his decendants, including Ruth.

    Ruth, an unmarried widow and convert (btw – who converted her? I hope it wasn’t Tropper or a Modern Orthodox Rabbi because then she would not be granted citizenship in the State of Israel!!). Ruth climbed into bed with a leader of the Jewish people before being married to him. David Hamelech is decended from that union.

    David Hamelech was for most of his adult life the suspected son of an illegitimate relationship. That is why he was in the back yard and his brothers said they had no other brothers when the Navi came looking to annoint him. He was the illegitimate child, and no one could fathom he would be chosen as royalty.

    David Hamelech sends a man off to be killed in war after being very attracted to that man’s wife. David marries that woman, BasSheva, and from that union we get Shlomo Hamelech who built THE Beis Hamikdash which we pine for daily. (The Second Beis Hamikdash was a bit of a failure, if you read up on the history of that time, so, we don’t really pine for that Beis Hamikdash as much as the first one which Shlomo Hamelech built.)

    And from David and Shlomo Hamelech is decended Moshiach, our savoir, who has yet to come.

    G-d knows Moshiach’s yichus would not stand up to modern day requirements.

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