Ruth

This page is a collection of all my articles relating to the Book of Ruth and its Targum. For quicker reference, please see the sub-menus above for my short commentary on the Book of Ruth, thematic collections of my articles, and the Targum of Ruth.


Dragon Illustration in a 14thC Ruth Text   Recently updated!

Noodling around on the British Museum catalogue of illuminated manuscripts I came cross this curious dragon drawn in a 14th century Machzor next to the opening of the Book of Ruth. From the site: Title Biblical readings from a festival prayer book (mahzor): Song of Songs, Ruth, Ecclesiastes, Lamentations Origin Germany Date 1309 Language Hebrew Script Ashkenazi square script, punctuated; Ashkenazi semi-cursive script, unpunctuated Scribe Solomon ben Jehiel Artists Decoration probably by the scribe. Update: […]


Marriage and Redemption in the Book of Ruth 4

This brief post began as a response to a comment on my earlier post “Age in the Book of Ruth and a Proxy Marriage?” The commentator very simply stated that the marriage between Ruth and Boaz was because “a baby needed to be born to preserve the line of Naomi’s husband.” It was suggested (stated really) that I do not understand Jewish law. Now, I do not pretend to be an expert in all things […]


Review of The Proselyte and the Prophet

The first review of my book on Targum Ruth, The Proselyte and the Prophet, came out this week on Reading Religion. Steven Fassberg offered a very gracious summary and review of the book while providing context for the study of the Targumim of the Megilloth. Please read it all, but to keep the suspense from building any longer, here are some of his concluding words. As much as the book is about the Targum Ruth, it […]


Jesus, the Mamzer, and Ruth

I am reading Peter Schäfer’s creative reconstruction of the background for Jesus in the Talmud and a thought occurred to me that I do not see how I missed before (and a connection Schäfer does not seem to make). The Talmud addresses Jesus’ lineage (b Shab 104b), asserting that he is a bastard, a mamzer in the Hebrew. The biblical legal issues surrounding a mamzer go back to Deut. 23. Deut. 23:2   Those born of an illicit […]


Targum Ruth Book Cover Proof!   Recently updated!

Every step gets us a little closer! Here is the cover sent by Brill. They will soon begin publishing it and taking preorders. The description of the book on the back cover is [This book] is an exegetical study of Targum Ruth with a focus upon the transformation of the biblical characters into exemplars of rabbinic piety. Ruth becomes the ideal proselyte while Boaz is presented as a judge, a scholar of the Law, and […]


Transcription of TgRuth from Valmadonna No. 1 on Targuman

The transcription of TgLam from the MS Urbanis Hebr. 1 has been available on Targuman for quite some time. Today I have made available my transcription of TgRuth from the Valmadonna No. 1 MS. This will also be included in my forthcoming book, The Proselyte and the Prophet
: Character Development in Targum Ruth (Brill, 2016). Transcription of TgRuth from Valmadonna No. 1    


Shavuot and Ruth 1

This weekend was my daughter’s high school graduation so my plan of reminding everyone of the role of the Book of Ruth in Shavuot was set aside. There does remain one more day of observance so for my observant Jewish friends, yom tov and hag sameach! Shavuot is the Feast of Weeks, the seven weeks of the counting of the Omer, from Passover to the celebration of the wheat harvest. Ex. 34:22 “You shall observe the festival of weeks, […]


Boaz: Centrally Marginalized 2

This was a paper originally presented at the Mid-Atlantic SBL in 2010 and was going to be part of an article on the character of Boaz. Now that the book on Tg. Ruth is complete, this will not be making it into an article and so I thought I would make it available here. You can find a companion “close reading” of the character of Boaz that I posted two years ago here. NB: Citations did not make it over in the copy-paste process, but I have placed […]