Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ruth in Tears Amid the Alien Corn -- Popcorn by The Colonel #70

1 Now it came to pass in the yamim (days?) when HaShofetim (the Judges) ruled, that there was a ra’av (famine) in the land. And a certain ish (man) of Beit-Lechem Yehudah (Bethlehem in Judah) went to sojourn in the sadei Moav (country of Moab), he, and his isha (wife), and his two banim (sons).
2 And the shem (name) of the ish was Elimelech, and the shem of his isha Naomi, and the shem of his two banim Machlon and Kilyon, Ephrathites (members of the tribe of Ephraim) of Beit-Lechem Yehudah. And they came into the sadei Moav, and continued there.
3 And Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died; and she was left (alive) and her two banim.
4 And they took them wives of the nashim (women) of Moav; the shem of the one was Orpah, and the shem of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about eser shanim (ten years).
5 And Machlon and Kilyon died also both of them; and the isha (i.e., Naomi) was left (alive), surviving with neither her yeladim (children) nor her ish.
6 Then she arose with her kallot (daughters in law), that she might make teshuvah (return) from the sadei Moav: for in the sadeh of Moav she had heard how that Hashem ("the Name") had visited His people in giving them lechem (bread).
7 Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two kallot with her; and they set on the derech (way, road) to make teshuvah unto Eretz Yehudah (the land of Judah).
8 And Naomi said unto her two kallot, Go, go back each to her beis em (mother’s house): may Hashem show chesed (lovingkindness) to you, as ye have dealt with hamesim (the dead ones), and with me.
9 Hashem grant you that ye may find menuchah (resting place), each of you in the bais (house) of her ish (husband, i.e., new husband). Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept.
10 And they said unto her, Surely we will make teshuvah (return) with thee unto thy people.
11 And Naomi said, Turn back, my banot (daughters); why will ye go with me? Are there yet any more banim (sons) in my womb, that they may be your husbands?
12 Turn back, my banot, go your way; for I am too old to have an ish. If I should say, I have tikvah (hope), if I should have an ish (husband) halailah (tonight, this very night), and should also bear banim,
13 Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? Would ye stay from having ba’alim (husbands) for them? Nay, my banot; for it is more mar (bitter) for me than you, for the Yad Hashem (hand of the Name) has gone out against me.
14 And they lifted up their voice, and wept again; and Orpah kissed [cf Mt 26:49] her chamot (mother in law) (kissed her farewell and departed?); but Ruth clung unto her.
15 And she said, Hinei (look), thy sister-in-law is gone back unto her people, and unto her g-ds; return thou after thy sister-in-law.
16 And Ruth said, Entreat 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 G-d shall be Elohai;
17 Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried. Hashem do so (drawing her finger across her throat?) to me, and more also, if anything but HaMavet (the angel of death) part thee and me.

We stop here, savoring some of the most beautiful words ever written. But Ruth's narrative goes on after the return to Beit-Lechem (house of bread) -- another translation is  here. You'll need to click to advance page by page. The passage above is from the Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB), marred with a few interpolations by us.

By the way, Oprah Winfrey was named "Orpah" on her birth certificate, but people mispronounced it regularly and “Oprah” stuck.

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