Monthly Archives: March 2012

No lesson this week

Just a quick note to blog followers: this week we do not have class here in Atlanta, so the next Ruth lesson and related articles and audio files will be posted next week.

Leave a comment

Filed under Announcement/Update

Reading Aloud Ruth 1:8-10

For those who are learning to read Hebrew, check the “Reading Aloud” category on the right margin for other posts where I link audio files for reading practice.

וַתֹּאמֶר נָעֳמִי לִשְׁתֵּי כַלֹּתֶיהָ לֵכְנָה שֹּׁבְנָה אִשָּׁה לְבֵית אִמָּהּ יַעַשׂ יְהֹוָה עִמָּכֶם חֶסֶד כַּאֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם עִם–הַמֵּתִים וְעִמָּדִי
(Ruth 1:8)

Ruth 1.8-10 Read Aloud

Leave a comment

Filed under Reading Aloud

Lesson 3: Ruth 1:8-10

See the bottom of this post for an audio recording of the live class.

וַתֹּאמֶר נָעֳמִי לִשְׁתֵּי כַלֹּתֶיהָ לֵכְנָה שֹּׁבְנָה אִשָּׁה לְבֵית אִמָּהּ יַעַשׂ יְהֹוָה עִמָּכֶם חֶסֶד כַּאֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם עִם–הַמֵּתִים וְעִמָּדִי
(Ruth 1:8)

Need help reading? See “Reading Tutor, Ruth 1:8.”

HESED: The word hesed occurs in vs. 8. Learn more about it here.

IMPERATIVES (COMMAND VERBS)
Ruth 1:8 has a few imperative forms, which is a good occasion to learn a few things about them: Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Lessons

Hesed and Ruth

I wrote this post for my main blog at DerekLeman.com/Musings. Although the style is a touch more homiletical than others on the Reading Ruth site, the content fits well with Lesson 3 on Ruth 1:8-10.

It’s one of the Bible’s most important concepts. Hesed should be a word on your lips, whether you know Hebrew or not. For Jews it should be as easy as saying Shabbat or shalom. For Christians it should be as easy as saying agape or ekklesia. Sometimes spelled chesed or khesed, it is pronounced KHE-sed (the e’s are short as in “bed” — kh is a sound made in the throat in between a k and an h — accent is on the first syllable). It is used 297 times in the Bible.

It is notoriously hard to translate. One traditional rendering is “lovingkindness” (a pretty good choice). Other common renderings: kindness or mercy. I think mercy is not a good translation (so Micah 6:8 should not contain the word mercy). Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Extra Insight

Reading Tutor, Ruth 1:8


וַתֹּאמֶר נָעֳמִי לִשְׁתֵּי כַלֹּתֶיהָ לֵכְנָה שֹּׁבְנָה אִשָּׁה לְבֵית אִמָּהּ יַעַשׂ יְהֹוָה עִמָּכֶם חֶסֶד כַּאֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם עִם–הַמֵּתִים וְעִמָּדִי
(Ruth 1:8)

READING TUTOR: Note that the “a” sound in general is “ah” — when “e” ends a syllable it is “uh” as in “maroon” (MUH-roon) — when “e” has a consonant after it pronounce as a short e as in “bed”– “er” should rhyme with “err” as in “to err is human”:

va-toe-mer Na-oe-mee leesh-tay khaloe-tay-ha laykh-nah shoav-nah eeshah le-vayt eemah ya-as Adonai eema-khem khesed ka-asher asee-tem eem ha-mayteem ve-eemadee:

1 Comment

Filed under Reading Tutor

LESSON 2: Ruth 1:5-7

Some things you might want to know about Elimelekh (was he a sinner?) and Ephrathites (who were they?). Go to “Ruth 1:5-7, Ephrathites, Elimelekh.”

Practicing reading your Hebrew? Here is a reading tutor for vs. 5. Later I will add an audio file of me reading vss. 5-7.

There are only three verses to translate in this section. Here is some help with that: Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Lessons

Ambiguity and Translation: Judging Judges and Midrash

Students of Hebrew will be delighted to know that the rabbis felt their pain in advance. Hebrew is an ambiguous language. And ambiguous phrases in the Hebrew text are an occasion for playful midrash (with a serious message).

Take Ruth 1:1
‏וַיְהִי בִּימֵי שְׁפֹט הַשֹּׁפְטִים וַיְהִי רָעָב בָּאָרֶץ וַיֵּלֶךְ אִישׁ מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה לָגוּר בִּשְׂדֵי מוֹאָב הוּא וְאִשְׁתּוֹ וּשְׁנֵי בָנָיו׃

That first phrase (va-yehee beemay shefoat ha-shoa-feteem) in the plain sense (using context and common sense as a guide) means, “It happened in the days of the judging of the Judges” (back when there were Judges ruling Israel). But the phrase could also be taken to mean: back when Judges were judged [by others]. In other words, it could refer to a time when people used to hold judgment on the Judges instead of obeying the judgments of the Judges! The rabbis make a midrash on this with a serious moral: Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Extra Insight, Translation Insight