THE BOOK OF RUTH AND SHAVUOT
“Our sages note several interesting connections between the biblical Book of Ruth and the festival of Shavuot:
a) Shavuot falls in the harvest season, and is defined by the Torah as the culmination of a seven-week count beginning with the first barley harvest; the story of Ruth unfolds against the background of the barley harvest in ancient Judea, with the mitzvah of leket (allowing the poor to "glean" the stalks that fall to the ground during the harvest) playing a pivotal role in the narrative.
b) Ruth is the ancestress of King David, (who in turn is the ancestress of Messiah Yeshua); David was born on the festival of Shavuot of the year 2854 from creation (907 BCE), and passed away on the same date 70 years later.
c) Ruth is the paradigm of the ger tzeddek, the "righteous convert" who with great sacrifice forsakes her or his former life and identity to be born anew as a Jew; in essence, however, we are all gerei tzeddek, having undergone that very process ourselves on the first Shavuot of history when we assembled at the foot of Mount Sinai to be born anew as G-d's people.
The entire Book of Ruth is included in the Tikkun Leil Shavuot, the Torah digest studied on the night of the festival. In many communities it is publicly read in the course of the morning services on Shavuot day.” – From Chabad.org (Brackets Mine)
“On the 6th Sivan of the year 2448 from creation (1313 BCE), seven weeks after the Exodus, G-d revealed Himself on Mount Sinai. The entire people of Israel (600,000 heads of households and their families), as well as the souls of all future generations of Jews, heard G-d declare the first two of the Ten Commandments and witnessed G-d's communication of the other eight through Moses. Following the revelation, Moses ascended the mountain for 40 days, to receive the remainder of the Torah from G-d.
At Sinai, G-d rescinded the "decree" and "divide" (gezeirah) that had been in force since the 2nd day of creation separating the spiritual and the physical into two hermetic worlds; from this point on, "the higher realms could descend into the lower realms, and the lower could ascend to the higher." Thus was born the "mitzvah " -- a physical deed that, by virtue of the fact that it is commanded by G-d, brings G-dliness into the physical world.” – chabad.org
Ruth was a pagan before she became a convert to Judaism. She married a son a Naomi who died and thus she was released from her commitment to her dead husbands family and Naomi even encourages her to return to her land and people, and Ruth’s sister-in-law Orpah (not Oprah!) does just that. But Ruth apparently sees something in Naomi’s family and people that she lacked in her life as a Moabitess. Thus, her dedication to her Mother-in-law which eventually in turn became a dedication to the Jewish people as a whole and to Torah is seen in the Book of Ruth. We find in the story of Ruth that Boaz, a relative of Naomi and close kin to Ruth’s dead husband, has the opportunity to marry Ruth, and seeing her dedication to Naomi and seeming accepting upon herself all that pertains to the Jewish people and their G-d; Boaz marries her and eventually she becomes the great grand mother of King David and eventually Messiah Yeshua (See especially Matt. 1:5)
Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;
3And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;
4And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;
5And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;
6And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;
7And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;
8And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;
9And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;
10And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;
11And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:
12And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;
13And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;
14And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;
15And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;
16And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
17So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
This reminds me of Shavuot when the Torah was given, and even Gentiles accepted it!
“To say the Torah is only for the Jews is ridiculous. When the Torah was given, yes, it was given to B’ney Yisrael, but remember, there was the mixed multitude that went out with them during the Exodus. (Exodus 12:38) The mixed multitude was there when the Torah was given. And they, like Israel, agreed to obey and live by the Torah.
It is in my opinion (and some Sages will agree with me) that in the mixed multitude there was a representative from all the seventy nations of the world at that time. For everyone present, even the mixed multitude, said “Yes, we will obey!” (Ex. 19:8), Even BEFORE they heard all that was expected of them! Levi, who wasn’t born yet, gave tithe to Melchizedek through Avraham (Heb. 7:1-5), so in like manner mankind agreed to obey the Torah through those ancestors who were at Sinai when the Torah was given.” – Get Back to the First Century By Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr
Ruth 1:16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:
Thus Shavuot and Ruth are inseparably connected!
This takes us to the book of Acts where even more Gentiles came to Torah. I have abbreviated and selected certain verses from Acts chapter 2 on account of the length of the chapter.
Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
22Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
23Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:
24Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
29Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.
30Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
31He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
32This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
33Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
34For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,
35Until I make thy foes thy footstool.
36Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
37Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
41Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
47Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
It’s almost as if Shavuot is the High Holy Day that Honors the Goy (Gentile)!
Shalom and Chag Semach Shavuot!
-- Rabbi Yehudah