Weekly Freebies: Rus Musings

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In the spirit of the upcoming holiday of Shavuos, I present a new translation and commentary of the book of Rus: Rus Musings (PDF). This collection of musings is eclectic and intended to be interesting rather than rigorous. Some comments are long and some short, spanning various genres of Jewish tradition. You might notice some blog posts included, as well.

I thank my collaborators: R. Jack Abramowitz, R. Shlomo Einhorn and R. David Silverberg:

See prior freebies here: link

About Gil Student

Rabbi Gil Student is the Editor of TorahMusings.com, a leading website on Orthodox Jewish scholarly subjects, and the Book Editor of the Orthodox Union’s Jewish Action magazine. He writes a popular column on issues of Jewish law and thought featured in newspapers and magazines, including The Jewish Link, The Jewish Echo and The Vues. In the past, he has served as the President of the small Jewish publisher Yashar Books and as the Managing Editor of OU Press. Rabbi Student currently is serving his third term on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America and also serves as the Director of the Halacha Commission of the Rabbinical Alliance of America. He serves on the Editorial Boards of Jewish Action magazine, the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society and the Achieve Journal of Behavioral Health, Religion & Community, as well as the Board of OU Press. He has published five English books, the most recent titled Search Engine volume 2: Finding Meaning in Jewish Texts -- Jewish Leadership, and served as the American editor for Morasha Kehillat Yaakov: Essays in Honour of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks.


  1. Why “Rus” and not the accepted spelling of “Ruth” (which is anyways more phonetically correct)? I didn’t understand the heading until I went to the page.

  2. Great Post! Yasher Koach!

  3. GIL:

    “Why “Rus” and not the accepted spelling of “Ruth” (which is anyways more phonetically correct)? I didn’t understand the heading until I went to the page.”

    agreed. i though this was a post about russians. i guess this one of the “few exceptions” that you divirge from accepted standard english translation (per your intro)

    how could you use a text that doesn’t include the trop? (i thought only reform and secular israeli publishing houses do that)

    in any case, shoyach!

  4. 1. What did you do, fax the document to yourself before posting it? Surely you could have post the original PDF… making it easier to read, and making my job easier when I quote you below 🙂

    2. Skimming the commentary, it looks like a lot of vorts and pilpul. Still interesting though.

    3. “That is the origin of the term agunah”

    I haven’t looked up the origin of the root a.g.n, but since תעגנה is written without a dagesh, apparently its root is a.g.y or a.g.h. If this is the source of “agunah” it is apparently an erroneous derivation.

    4. “Divine intervention seems to happen most explicitly in the Torah when it concerns the manufacturing of the Davidic line… Moshe is saved from the waters of the Nile”

    Moshe wasn’t an ancestor of David! Or is there a midrash I’m not aware of?

    5. זכותים is not a word, it’s זכויות! from 2:12

    6. 3:14 “marital relations” is an amusing euphemism for what is of course extra-marital relations.

  5. Shlomo: Thank you for your comments:

    1) I couldn’t convert to PDF without the formating going wild so I printed it from Word and scanned it in. I OCR’ed it but that more than doubled the size so I decided not to past that version.

    2) Vorts, pilpul, peshat, midrash. A little of everything.

    3) See here from the Ralbag and Mikra Meforash. I think Da’as Mikra also translates it as agunah.

    4) I’m not sure. I don’t think I wrote that piece.

    5) It’s a Yiddishism.

    6) Euphemisms are the Talmudic way.

  6. Thanks for the freebie!

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