Shiduchim and Yichus in the Book of Ruth

From the Frum Follies archives (5/15/10)

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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