Reading Ruth on Shavuot

Question

Why is the Book of Ruth read on Shavuot?

2 years

Answers

  1. Ruth, a righteous convert, showed tremendous self-sacrifice in abandoning her country, her wealth and her comfort in order to become part of the Jewish nation. Reading her story is a lesson to us about priorities in life. To be a person connected to a life of Torah and mitzvahs requires the dedication of character displayed by Ruth.

    Another reason is that on Shavuot each and every one of us should look upon ourselves as converts to Judaism. When the Jewish people came to Mount Sinai they unconditionally accepted the entire Torah and God’s sovereignty. They purified themselves, the men were circumcised and the entire people entered into a covenant of Torah and mitzvahs with God. Each one of these steps is repeated by every convert to Judaism throughout the ages.

    A third reason is that Ruth’s great-grandson was King David, who was born on Shavuot, and 70 years later died on Shavuot. The Messiah — may he arrive soon, speedily in our days — will ultimately trace his lineage back to King David.

    Happy Shavuot!

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team