Jews today honor Ruth by reading her story during the celebration of Shavout. This holiday remembers the harvest time in Jewish history. Below is a biography of Ruth and Naomi. As you read, think about the contributions they made to the development of Judaism.
Naomi lived with her husband and two sons in Bethlehem. It was a troubled time for the Hebrew people. After returning to Canaan from enslavement in Egypt, the 12 tribes of Israel were fighting. Finally, a famine forced Naomi's family to move away from their home. In Naomi's new home, her two sons married.
Ruth's decision was impressive. The two women were poor, and Ruth had to work hard to support her aging friend. Ruth was not a Hebrew like Naomi; she was a foreigner. Even though there was still fighting among the 12 tribes of Israel, Ruth was devoted to Naomi and her way of life. She was willing to put her personal commitment to her friend over any problems she might face as a foreigner in an unstable land. She put faith not just in Naomi, but also in the Hebrew people. She was willing to take great risks to stay with her friend and adopt her religion. Ruth's story showed the Hebrew people that it was possible to take divided tribes and turn them into a single and united nation of Israel. It is simple kindness and faith that unites people and gives them strength.
|The story of Naomi and Ruth is often told to young children. Create a children's book cover that includes|
|•||a front cover with an imaginative title and an eye-catching illustration that relates to the theme of the story.|
|•||a back cover with three comments about the significance of the story for Judaism. Each comment should be two or three sentences long. An example might begin, |
"What a wonderful story in the history of Judaism! Readers will see the significance of Ruth and Naomi's relationship by learning."
History Alive! The Ancient World, Investigating Biographies