Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: Shavuous - 5778
The rabbis note that the key message in the Book of Ruth is Chesed - loving-kindness.
The rabbis state in the Midrash: “The scroll of Ruth tells nothing either of cleanliness or of uncleanliness, neither of prohibition or permission. For what purpose then was it written? To teach how great is the reward of those who do deeds of kindness.”
From the gleaning in the fields for Naomi, to her willingness to marry for the sake of the memory of the dead, Ruth was all about Chesed.
This message is a very important one on the day we commemorate the revelation. For many, a religious encounter leads to detachment from others. When the unseen is visible, the seen becomes invisible. Torah wants us to understand that a Jewish spiritual life is one of concern for others. Chesed is the heart of Judaism and Ruth is the greatest teacher of this lesson.