Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Hey, That's My Testament!

"Like my pastor says, 'You just gotta wait for your Bo-az.'" She pronounces the last syllable as though she was saying "ax," so it took me a second to place him. "Do you know Bo-az? Is he from the New or the Old?" 

"He's from the Old," I hurriedly confirmed. It was around Shavuos-time; all the shiurim I had been listening to about Rus was coming to good use.
My co-worker is divorced, and in the dating field, oh, that dreaded place. "Ruth waited, and waited, and then she found her Bo-az," she said. 

"Well, um, according to the commentaries, Boaz was a lot older than her, although he was rich, if that helps. Er, some of the commentaries say, he, cough, he died on the wedding night." 

Her eyes widened in shock. "What?"

Yeah, that is kind of a bummer. 

Also, Rus didn't exactly trip over him either. Naami sent her to that field quite craftily, and then cooked up the means for yibum to take place by providing Rus for her nighttime attack. There's a great shiur by Esther Wein in which she shows that in the Yehuda-Melech dynasty, there are a lot of women seeking out their mates as opposed to the typically ancient method: women = binah, men = chochmah, binah + chochmah = daas. In the Davidic line, binah tends to hunt down the chochmah. 

But, I digress. My initial point is that who knows what messages others will find in the same sagas that we hold dear.   


Daniel Saunders said...

Sadly, Christians often know Tanakh better than Jews, even than frum Jews.

I used to feel bad about Boaz dying on his wedding night, but now I would not be inclined to take it so literally. I would see it as saying that in fathering the next generation of the royal line he had fulfilled his life's purpose.

Mr. Cohen said...

OT = Only Testament

Princess Lea said...

DS: Ahem, Christians MIGHT know Tanakh better than Jewish MEN. We girls learn it in voracious detail. She didn't know much about it.

Daniel Saunders said...

That did occur to me, but frum Jewish women still form a tiny proportion of the entire Jewish population.

It must also be said that the Religious Zionist/Modern Orthodox sector is promoting Tanakh for men more nowadays and producing interesting scholarship in the subject. But even so.