Judaism 101

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The Book of Ruth: An animated music video

By Alicia Jo Rabins

Sometimes a journey chooses you. 

The Book of Ruth tells of Ruth the Moabite choosing to make the Israelites her people. Ruth is well-loved for her loyalty to her mother-in-law Naomi and is often called Judaism’s most famous convert, or Jew by choice.

Singer-songwriter Alicia Jo Rabins took the story and turned it into a delicate song, beginning the chorus with Ruth’s words to Naomi plucked straight from the Hebrew Bible: “And where you go I’ll go / where you live will be my home.” (וַתֹּאמֶר רוּת אַל-תִּפְגְּעִי-בִי, לְעָזְבֵךְ לָשׁוּב מֵאַחֲרָיִךְ: כִּי אֶל-אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ, וּבַאֲשֶׁר תָּלִינִי אָלִין–עַמֵּךְ עַמִּי, וֵאלֹהַיִךְ אֱלֹהָי)

The Book of Ruth (in Hebrew מגילת רות‎, meaning the Scroll of Ruth) is within the Ketuvim (in Hebrew כְּתוּבִים meaning “writings”). It is named after its central figure, Ruth the Moabitess and traditionally read by Jews on the holiday of Shavuot, which celebrates the revelation of the Torah at Mount Sinai as well as marking the beginning of the harvest season…which is depicted in our film centered around fields and threshing rooms.

Jewish interpretation is often very specific. There are a myriad of Jewish subcultures and people, and the interpretations in this video explores the array of thoughts that our diverse set of storytellers and contributors have on Jewish text.

This film was made possible by a generous gift from an anonymous donor.

 

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Ruth Lyrics

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Ruth Source Sheet

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Ruth Lesson Plan

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