Boaz

13 posts

Ruth in a time of Depression

This week the Daily Office readings take us through the Book of Ruth and today (Wednesday) we begin chapter two. The chapter opens with a bit of foreshadowing, letting us know that “Naomi had a kinsman on her husband’s side, a prominent rich man, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz.” I have written elsewhere that Boaz is a marginalized figure in the Book of Ruth, who has a key role but is […]

Morning Prayer and Ruth

The Old Testament reading in the Daily Office this week (7 Epiphany, Year A) is the Book of Ruth.1 An appropriate text as we head into Lent, Naomi and Ruth experience the vicissitudes of life, from grief and widowhood, migration and isolation, to friendship, loyalty, and love. If you are looking for more resources on the Book of Ruth you will find at the menu above my brief commentary on the Book of Ruth, essays […]

Boaz: Centrally Marginalized

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 […]

Boaz’s Shoe (or Glove)

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. Tg Ruth 4:7  This custom was observed in former times in Israel: when they were transacting business or redeeming or exchanging one with another before witnesses. A man […]

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 marry a third.” — b. Pes. 113a If I am not mistaken Rashi added to this, “Because two may conspire against you, […]

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

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 Targumist has included what at first glance may seem to be simply a Midrashic addition with little connection to the […]

A close reading of Ruth

Boaz – A close reading of Ruth

The selection below was written “on background” one might say. I wanted to articulate what I thought was a close and “simple” reading of how the Book of Ruth presents the character of Boaz. I then went on to critique a few key modern interpreters, but that will have to wait for another post or even a published article. (We shall see.) In the meantime I thought it might be worthwhile to post this “First Reading” and solicit […]

One or Two Articles on Boaz?

I had originally planned two articles on the character of Boaz and subsequently presented two separate papers. The first was on the figure of Boaz strictly within the biblical book of Ruth. The other was on how the Targumist had transformed the figure of Boaz in Targum Ruth. This progression made sense, of course, because one must first deal with the actually biblical text before one can consider how the Targumist has changed or adapted […]

Are Men Marginalized in Ruth?

I am now working on moving two papers I have presented on Boaz into (likely) a single article for submission to a journal to be named later. In re-reading my paper “Boaz Centrally Marginalized” it occurred to me that men as a whole are very deliberately moved to the edges of the book of Ruth. Consider these few points: Elimelech, Machlon, and Chilion never speak, they just die, a key element of the story, but […]