Chapter

Dark Ladies and Redemptive Compassion: Ruth and the Messianic Lineage In Judaism

Nehemia Polen

in Scrolls of Love

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225712
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237067 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823225712.003.0006
Dark Ladies and Redemptive Compassion: Ruth and the Messianic Lineage        In Judaism

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The scroll of Ruth exemplifies the redemptive power of compassionate memory: “a child is born to Naomi… he shall be to you a restorer of life”. This is not a messianism of muscularity, militarism, and conquest, but of redemptive compassion and revisioning—of spreading the corners or folds of the garment. This is why Ruth is the progenitor of the Messiah, because the Messiah is the ultimate restorer of life and dignity when hope seems lost. In the end, Ruth reminds people that nothing is more beautiful than friendship, that grace begets grace, that blessing flourishes in the place between memory and hope, that light shines most from broken vessels. This is essentially what the Messiah is all about.

Keywords: scroll of Ruth; redemptive power; compassionate memory; messianism; redemptive compassion; Ruth; Messiah; grace; friendship

Chapter.  7378 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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