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Scrolls of LoveRuth and the Song of Songs$
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Peter S. Hawkins and Lesleigh Cushing Stahlberg

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780823225712

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823225712.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.59) Dark Ladies and Redemptive Compassion: Ruth and the Messianic Lineage In Judaism
Source:
Scrolls of Love
Author(s):

Nehemia Polen

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823225712.003.0006

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

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