What did Rus see in Naomi?

Rebbetzin Hadassah Auerbach

Ohr Somayach Glenhazel


Rus said,... “where you go I’ll go...” (Ruth 1:16)

וַתֹּאמֶר רוּת ... כִּי אֶל אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ... (רות א:טז)


I always wondered what exactly Rus saw in Naomi that she decided to remain with her, refuse to go back to her father’s palace and said1 כִּי אֶל אֲשֶׁר תֵּלְכִי אֵלֵךְ - “where you go I’ll go”.


Over twenty years ago, I developed an infection after an operation and needed a nurse to come a few times a day to drain the wound. It happened that it was July; בין הזמנים - ‘yeshiva break’ in Israel. My son had to go to his Yeshiva’s camp on condition that he could date in the evenings, and he would phone me in the morning to discuss the date.


The non-Jewish nurse who was looking after me was totally bewildered. She said to me, “Do you mean to tell me that your 23-year-old son would not go out with a girl if you did not approve of her?”


I answered, “definitely not!”


She then told me that her husband is a diplomat and she has one son who is sixteen. He goes to KES and many times when she fetches him from a party, he and his friends are all drunk. In addition, there is a guy standing right outside the school who sells drugs.


She then said to me, “Mrs. Auerbach, from the first moment I stepped into your home , I sensed an atmosphere I have never felt in any other home I have been to, and I have worked in many homes. It has a special aura to it.”


It seems to me that Rus saw a different way of life. A potential for a different kind of family. And that was worth giving up a palace of a Gentile king and building a Jewish home.


1. Ruth 1:16

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