Boaz’s Shoe (or Glove) 1

More from my commentary. This time it is all about personal articles of clothing. (Being in Germany as I write this I chuckle about the debate of shoe v. glove since the German word for glove is Handschuh.) Again, no footnotes have been carried over from the book. Ruth 4:7  This custom was observed in former […]


Targum Ruth Aramaic Word Cloud

Rabbinical views regarding marriage

Not trolling, genuinely rediscovered this during my research (see Tg. Ruth 4:6). Said Rab to R. Assi, “Don’t dwell in a town where horses don’t neigh and dogs don’t bark, don’t dwell in a town where the head of the community is a physician, and don’t marry two women, but if you do marry two, then […]

Boaz’s Turnips – Or Boaz Wakes Up By a Pile of Barley 4

I just finished this section and I thought it curious (bizarre, amusing) enough to share this snippet. This is from my commentary on Tg. Ruth. No footnotes are reproduced. The Targumist follows the beginning of verse 8 very closely until he reaches the point where Boaz “was startled and turned over” וַיֶּחֱרַד הָאִישׁ וַיִּלָּפֵת. The […]

"Oh my gosh! Is that a...woman?!"


“The Conversion of Ruth in Targum Ruth” is in print 5

My article “The Conversion of Ruth in Targum Ruth” has just been published in Review of Rabbinic Judaism, Volume 16, Issue 2, 2013. Due to Brill’s generous policies, you may find the article on this site under the “Targum Ruth” tab above.

Exegetical Similarities in the Targumim of the Megilloth 4

We are now just about two weeks away from the 2013 IOTS conference in Munich. My paper, as always seems to be the case, is on the last day, just a few hours before we catch our flight back. My paper is “On Some Exegetical Similarities Between the Targumim of the Megilloth.” I thought I […]

Writing Partners

Targum Ruth Aramaic Word Cloud

Targum Ruth Word Cloud – in Aramaic 2

I had done this ages ago, but apparently failed to do it in Aramaic. I still think it is actually quite a useful tool. The visualization of the frequency of words is interesting. Compare the size of נעמי to רות or בועז.

Why did Mahlon and Chilion die? 3

Last month I presented my paper on the conversion of Ruth in Targum Ruth. I noted, in passing, that the Targum also explains why the two sons/husbands died in Moab. 4 They [Mahlon and Chilion] transgressed the decree of the Memra of the Lord and they took for themselves foreign wives from the house of Moab. After my paper a man came […]

Leaving Bethlehem

Targumic and Midrashic (or Talmudic) parallels 3

There has long been debate about which rabbinic text is dependent upon which. It is very rare that we know certainly the date of the texts or when one is clearly citing or building its own interpretation upon that of another text. This is certainly true of TgRuth. I am just re-reading Derek Beattie’s, “Towards Dating […]

Ruth, daughter of Eglon, and the origin of midrashic traditions 1

I am in the final stages of preparing my paper on the transformation of the character of Ruth in her Targum and I thought I would share one nugget here with a comment about determining primacy of exegetical traditions. The first reference to Ruth in the Targum, as in the biblical text, occurs in chapter […]