Tomorrow, on Sinai, we will affirm the purpose of our freedom from Egypt.
Tomorrow we will remember our history and our values, our mitzvot.
Tomorrow we will stand with Ruth.
We invite you to speak – even in the briefest of ways – to the Ruths of today.
We invite you to use whatever part of this liturgy speaks to you and your community.
We invite you to stand with Ruth.
And if you do, please let us know by clicking here.
On this Shavuot, we stand with Ruth. We stand with rabbis and their communities across the continent in calling still for comprehensive immigration reform. Why? Congress has debated reform for far too many years while millions of aspiring Americans remain in the shadows, their lack of legal status barring them from good jobs and rendering school scholarships almost unattainable. We will not give up. Over the past seven weeks, we have counted the days from Egypt to Sinai, and we will not stop counting until all the Ruths have been welcomed home.
And why was the Scroll of Ruth written?
Rabbi Ze’ira says: “To teach [us] of a magnificent reward to those who practice and dispense chesed/loving kindness” (Ruth Rabbah 2:15).
Hear now the voices of Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz:
I am Ruth.
With beloved family I came to a new country. I worked hard, determined to create a better life for myself and my loved ones. Today, I see my experience reflected in the lives of so many aspiring Americans strengthening this country through the work of their hands and the love of their families. On this Shavuot, please stand with me in recognition of the dreams of so many.
We are all Ruth.
I am Naomi.
I fled tragedy in one country to come to another filled with promise…only to be rejected—my dreams dashed against unthinkable challenges. Today, I see my experience reflected in the lives of so many aspiring Americans facing the fear of deportation, a promising future turned bitter.
On this Shavuot, please stand with me as we turn dreams sweet once again.
We are all Naomi.
I am Boaz.
I recognized those toiling in dark shadows in the corners of the field. I used my power to bring light to lives burdened by daunting trials. Today, I would like to see my experience reflected in the lives of many more American working to change current policies that keep bright futures dim. On this Shavuot, please stand with me to welcome those toiling in the corners of this country.
We are all Boaz.
* * *
On this Shavuot, we stand with Boaz, Naomi, and Ruth.
We stand with Boaz who looked into the face of the stranger and accepted responsibility, welcoming Ruth and teaching for the generations the ideal of chesed/loving-kindness, just as his grandfather Nachshon demonstrated action by leading others into the Red Sea.
We stand with Naomi who sought the well-being of others, who defied the example of her husband, Elimelech, a man who fled from his responsibility to others, whose narrow vision, selfishness, and jealousy led to his own demise.
We stand with Ruth who graciously said:
“Your people shall be my people,” who was the immigrant becoming citizen, the outsider becoming insider, whose descendent King David gives us even now a sense of promise.
On this Shavuot, may we be inspired to act with chesed with aspiring Americans, as we stand with Ruth.