The Book of Ruth is one of the most appealing texts to modern biblical interpreters, touching as it does on so many subjects of current concern: the emergence of female equality, the significance of legal evolvement, the acceptance of the “outsider,” to name a few.
Following a verse-by-verse commentary, this volume offers a new overview of the Book of Ruth, a series of revolutionary changes described as a “once-upon-a-time” ideal: a former time when all seemed perfect, if only for a moment. At that time and place, women assumed an equal role in societal leadership, foreigners were to be accepted and welcomed, historical limitations could be overcome, the law bent to humane societal concerns, kindness was rewarded, and God’s will was carried out by men and women.
Benjamin Segal, author of earlier biblical commentaries (on the Song of Songs, Psalms, and Ecclesiastes,) here undertakes the difficult and controversial task of deciphering the original literary import of this exciting engaging book.
- 144 pages
- Explores biblical use of form and structure to communicate subtle meaning
The Book of Ruth – Paradise Gained and Lost
Rabbi Benjamin J. Segal is an author and lecturer living in Jerusalem. He is a past president of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies – the academic and educational center of Masorti Judaism in Israel – and Melitz, the Center for Jewish and Zionist Education. Earlier in his career, he served as the director of the Ramah Programs in Israel.
He was at one-time chairperson of the Masorti movement in Israel and a member of the Executive of the World Zionist Organization. He is presently the chairperson of the Directorate of the Meimad (political) party in Israel and serves on the boards and steering committees of several nonprofit educational organizations.
Rabbi Segal was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in 1969 and served as a pulpit rabbi in Palo Alto, California. He moved to Israel in 1973 and lives in Jerusalem with his wife Judy. The Segals have five children and fifteen grandchildren.