Thursday, May 21, 2015

From Lot, via Ruth, to David the Anointed

By HaRav Dov Begon
Rosh HaYeshiva, Machon Meir

King David was a descendant of Ruth the Moabite. As is known, “Moab” [lit., “selffather”] received that name due to the shameful deed of Lot’s daughter, who cohabited with her father while he was drunk, and thus bore Moab. She not only did that but she immortalized this terrible deed by calling her son “Moab.” 

All the same, from Moab emerged Ruth, who converted and entered under the wings of the Divine Presence. From her emerged King David, from whom will appear and be revealed the Messiah in the future. 

From here we learn that we must not mock or disdain any human being, even the most lowly. An example of such a person is Lot, a drunkard who became the symbol of a man who loses his Divine Image during his drunkenness. We thus use the expression “Drunk as Lot” to describe those drunkards who have lost their divine image. 

Today, we must learn from the stories of Ruth the Moabite, and from the chain of events leading from Lot to the Messiah, that we must not mock or dismiss any human being, even when he falls down low. We ask, “Who is like the L-rd our G-d, enthroned on high?” (Psalm 113:5). At the same time, however, we believe that the same G-d who is “enthroned on high,” also “looks far down to behold the things that are in heaven” (Ibid., v. 6). He also “raises up the poor out of the dust and lifts the needy out of the ashheep, that He may set them with nobles, with the nobles of His people” (v. 7). 

Wishing you a happy Shavuot and looking forwarded to complete salvation. 

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