I was asked to speak at the Kugel High school in Holon this week about Megillat Ruth and what its message is. I looked for answers and saw that Dr. Yael Ziegler offers an explanation that is very fitting to these pre-election days:
In the Book of Ruth there are seemingly no top headlines, just simple, small everyday deeds. Ruth does acts of kindness for her mother-in-law Naomi and no one knows about it in real time. Boaz behaves kindly and generously with Ruth, and no one gives him a prize for it. Little by little, Ruth and Boaz build a new family that is based upon good middot (character traits), trust and care for others. From these little moments, a new dynasty grows, and thus, from a collection of good, non-dramatic deeds, the most dramatic thing happens: King David is born.
The Book of Ruth makes us get used to looking at reality in a deeper way, with attention to details that are seemingly marginal, yet in the end enter the world of eternity. Who cares about some foreign girl who gleans some sheaves for food? What importance does an old widow even have? Even today one can ask oneself why is it important if we did another little kind deed when no one knows about it? Who cares at all about another Mitzvah or a smile or help we give, what does it even matter? The Book of Ruth teaches us that these are indeed the most important things.