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Shavuot-Gift of the Torah, 10 commandments and Book of Ruth

by Zanna Linskaia

It is well known that written and oral Torah was given to Israelites at Mount

Sinai on Shavuot - 7 weeks after Passover, and the name of Shavuot comes

from the number "sheva". There God had spoken to Moses and priests the

words which now we call the Ten commandments - code not only of Jewish

religion and ethics, but also the basis of humankind.

"Honor your father and mother", "Do not murder", "Do not steal", "Do not

commit adultery", "Do not covet your neighbors house" - all these rules we

know from the young age, but do we follow them during our life?

Besides the important religious aspect, Shavuot has agricultural meaning

as well, because it was season of barley and wheat harvest.

During Shavuot we read "Book of Ruth", one of the five Megillot, because

most of the action in it takes place at the time of the first harvests.

In a style of masterpiece, it tells us the journey of Naomi and her

daughter-in-law Ruth through their losses , hunger, loneliness that leads to

a happiness at the end. The themes of Ruth's conversion to Judaism,

acceptance of the Torah, the connection to King David, who was to be

Ruth's grandson - make the Book of Ruth a great story of love, devotion

and faith.

It is also interesting fact, that feminism as a phenomenon in the human

history, has his roots and beginning in the Book of Ruth - one of many

stories in the Torah in which women are the main characters and play the

significant roles by their own actions.

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