SECTION VI

 

Ruth 1:18

 

Text:

:7vh3k2t r‚2c8s0k k„80j#¯•u š×7¯!t ,3f±3k7k th„1v ,3m‚#Œ*t},!n‘h1ƒ  t#rÜ2¯•u   jh

 

Septuagint

Ruth 1:18 ijdou'sa de; Nwemin o{ti krataiou'tai aujth; tou' poreuvesqai met! aujth'" ejkovpasen tou' lalh'sai pro;"

aujth;n e[ti

 

Ruth 1:18 But seeing that Noemin was determined to go with her, she ceased speaking to her any longer.

 

Targum:

 

TANAKH

Translation

SEPTUAGINT

Translation

t#rÜ2¯•u

and she realized

 

 

‘h1ƒ

that

 

 

,3m‚#Œ*t},!n

being determined

 

 

th„1v

she

 

 

,3f±3k7k

to go

 

 

š×7¯!t

with her

 

 

k„80j#¯•u

and she stopped

 

 

r‚2c8s0k

to urge

 

 

:7vh3k2t

to her

 

 

 

Peshitta

 

1:18 When Naomi saw that she was determined to go with her, then she ceased from urging her to go back.

 

Stone’s Translation

 

1:18 When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped arguing with her,

 

KJV

 

1:18 When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her. 

 

 

Peshat Level:

 

Targum

 

1:18 When she saw that she insisted upon going with her, she ceased to dissuade her.

 

Rashi

 

1:18  So she desisted from speaking to her From Here (our Rabbis) derived “We do not overburden him (the potential convert), and we are not overly meticulous with him (concerning the commandments).” (ibid.)

 

 

Gemarah Level:

 

Talmud Babli

 

Yevamoth 47b Our Rabbis taught: If at the present time a man desires to become a proselyte, he is to be addressed as follows: ‘What reason have you for desiring to become a proselyte; do you not know that Israel at the present time are persecuted and oppressed, despised, harassed and overcome by afflictions’? If he replies, ‘I know and yet am unworthy’, he is accepted forthwith, and is given instruction in some of the minor and some of the major commandments. He is informed of the sin [of the neglect of the commandments of] Gleanings, the Forgotten Sheaf, the Corner and the Poor Man's Tithe. He is also told of the punishment for the transgression of the commandments. Furthermore, he is addressed thus: ‘Be it known to you that before you came to this condition, if you had eaten suet you would not have been punishable with kareth, if you had profaned the Sabbath you would not have been punishable with stoning; but now were you to eat suet you would be punished with kareth; were you to profane the Sabbath you would be punished with stoning’. And as he is informed of the punishment for the transgression of the commandments, so is he informed of the reward granted for their fulfillment. He is told, ‘Be it known to you that the world to come was made only for the righteous, and that Israel at the present time are unable to bear either too much prosperity. or too much suffering’. He is not, however, to be persuaded or dissuaded too much. If he accepted, he is circumcised forthwith. Should any shreds which render the circumcision invalid remain, he is to be circumcised a second time. As soon as he is healed arrangements are made for his immediate ablution, when two learned men must stand by his side and acquaint him with some of the minor commandments and with some of the major ones. When he comes up after his ablution he is deemed to be an Israelite in all respects.

 

 

Midrash Level:

 

Midrash Rabbah

 

Ruth III:5 AND WHEN SHE SAW THAT SHE WAS STEADFASTLY MINDED TO GO WITH HER (I, 18). R. Judah b. Simon commented: Come and see how precious in the eyes of the Omnipresent are converts. Once she decided to become converted, Scripture ranks her equally with Naomi.

 

 

Zohar Level:

 

 

 

 

 

Other Commentaries:

 

Me’am Lo’ez

 

VERSE 1:18

 

1:18 When she saw that she strove to go with her, she ceased speaking to her.

 

Naomi saw that the more she tried to dissuade Ruth from convert- ing, the more resolute Ruth became. When she first said "Go, return" (v. 8), Ruth had replied, "With you we shall return to your people" (v. 10). And then instead of yielding to Naomi's persistent urging to the con- trary, Ruth declared: "Where you go, I will go ...where you die, I will die" (vs. 16, 17). Her words had the opposite effect she intended, and so Naomi ceased speaking.

 

In accordance with the teaching of our sages that a would-be convert is rejected with the left hand and befriended with the right, Naomi had tried to deter Ruth by instructing her in the penalties incurred for trans- gression of Torah precepts; and when Ruth embraced the Torah way nonetheless, she encouraged her by speaking of the reward of the righteous in the World to Come. Then "she ceased speaking to her," lest this would-be convert should be [encouraged or] discouraged excessively.

 

A further reason was that Naomi "saw" Ruth was trying to gain strength and ease her isolation by cleaving to her.

 

Another interpretation sees Ruth, not Naomi, as the subject of the verse. When Ruth saw that Naomi was determined to thrust her away, and fearing that she might be swayed, she stopped talking and began to walk alone toward Judah.

 

Ruth's perseverence is without parallel. Nowhere else does the Scripture use the term ,mnt,n, for no other proselyte ever "strove" so tenaciously to cling to the Shechinah (Divine Presence).

 

Resh Lakish, then leader of a robber band, once leaped across the Jordan River in a single bound. When, however, Rabbi Yochanan subsequently persuaded him to dedicate his energies to Torah learning, he lost his strength and was unable to leap back (Baba Metzia 84a). Similarly, when Ruth accepted the yoke of the Torah, she became weak and had to exert herself (“she strove”) to walk.

 

Moreover, this indicates that since Ruth was on the way to join a strange people, she had to struggle to keep pace with Naomi, who was returning home, even if laden with misfortune.

 

In return for her efforts, God strengthened Ruth as He strengthened all those who struggle to be righteous, as it is written: “He that has pure hands grows stronger and stronger” (Job 17:9)

 

Abraham Ibn Ezra

 

1:18  tan,n: Hithpael conjugation.

 

Malbim

 

18. [Naomi] saw. Once Naomi perceived that Ruth wanted to convert wholeheartedly (because the word ,mnt,n connotes the persistent strengthening of the heart) she desisted from dissuading her, in accordance with the precepts of conversion.[1]

 

 

Alshich

 

(18)   But she saw that she was steadfast [in her decision) to go with her, and she stopped speaking to her.

 

The more she was spoken to, the more resolute Ruth became. This is contrary to nature, since a series of logical arguments generally serves to weaken the other’s position. Thus Na’omi stopped speaking to her altogether in the hope that this would silence Ruth.

 

Alternatively, she remained steadfast refers to Na’omi. As we said in verse 5, Na’omi had sinned by not protesting her husband’s decision to live outside Judah. She was allowed to survive because of the part she was to play in converting Ruth to Judaism and bringing to fruition the word of God concerning the destiny of Ruth. Na’omi, with her supreme wisdom, felt that she herself was persevering, in order that she could accompany Ruth, for that was the reason she was kept alive. She could see how keen Ruth was about becoming a follower of God and understood that her own existence would be justified if she helped Ruth. That is why she stopped speaking to her. She fully understood what had transpired and why she had been led to do so much for her daughter-in-lax.. It could only be because Ruth was the one destined to come from Moab.

 

Another meaning may be as follows: But she saw... Na’omi saw that Ruth was determined to go now, even if it meant traveling with her alone and not waiting for a company of people. She acknowledged the fact and that God had ordered the matter and thus she ceased to dissuade Ruth.

 

Based on a previous explanation we can understand the verse in yet another way. As we said, Na’omi kissed Ruth in order that their spirits could unite. The only way Na’omi could know that their souls had been bound up with each other was if she noticed a definite willingness on Ruth’s part to follow her. This being the case, she stopped urging her to return, as Ruth had proved herself to be a well-intentioned proselyte. There was no further need to test her.

 

 

 

 



[1] Yevamos 47a; Rambarn, Hilchos lsurei Bi'ah 13:7; Yoreh De'ah 268:2, 12.