Monday, March 8, 2010



Qof, the second part of minding my p's and q's will take us back over the gleaning - so we won't repeat everything we have covered with tet, a letter that gave more pleasure than expected. We also encountered harvest and reaper in the study of tsade. I have repeated a phrase or two just for eyeball practice. Thinking about sound, it seems really necessary to be able to distinguish with the ear many similar sounding guttural letters: chet, kaf, qof and their interactions with the many sibilants and dentals.

Ruth 1:6-7 - one might almost call qof a letter of hope. It occurs in the movement of the word to rise and in the visit of Hashem to his people and in the place prepared for us

וַתָּקָם הִיא וְכַלֹּתֶיהָ
and she arose, she and her daughters in law
כִּי-פָקַד יְהוָה אֶת-עַמּוֹ
that יְהוָה had visited his people

(place also in Ruth 3:4, 4:10)
וַתֵּצֵא מִן-הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר הָיְתָה-שָּׁמָּה
and she emerged from the place where she was

Ruth 1:9, bracket closed in Ruth 1:14 - it occurs in the kiss and in the call
וַתִּשַּׁק לָהֶן
וַתִּשֶּׂאנָה קוֹלָן וַתִּבְכֶּינָה
and she kissed them
and they lifted up their voice and wept

Ruth 1:12 and in old age it is not absent even when expressly negated
כִּי זָקַנְתִּי מִהְיוֹת לְאִישׁ
כִּי אָמַרְתִּי יֶשׁ-לִי תִקְוָה
for I am too old to have a husband
for had I said there is hope for me

Ruth 1:14 (stay close also in Ruth 2:8, 21, 23) - see where else you find it - stay close.
וַתִּשֶּׂנָה קוֹלָן וַתִּבְכֶּינָה עוֹד
וַתִּשַּׁק עָרְפָּה לַחֲמוֹתָהּ
וְרוּת דָּבְקָה בָּהּ
and they lifted up their voice and wept further
and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law
but Ruth stayed close to her

Ruth 1:17 - it is not even absent from burial
וְשָׁם אֶקָּבֵר
and there I am buried

Ruth 1:20 - and in the call of a lament, Hashem does not ignore it
אַל-תִּקְרֶאנָה לִי נָעֳמִי
קְרֶאןָ לִי מָרָא
do not call me Naomi
call me Mara

Ruth 1:21, (also for empty, Ruth 3:17). It embraces emptiness
אֲנִי מְלֵאָה הָלַכְתִּי
וְרֵיקָם הֱשִׁיבַנִי יְהוָה
לָמָּה תִקְרֶאנָה לִי נָעֳמִי
I myself full went away
and empty יְהוָה has returned me
why call me Naomi

Ruth 1:22 and speaks to us of gleaning, harvest,
בִּתְחִלַּת קְצִיר שְׂעֹרִים
at the beginning of the barley harvest
Ruth 2:3 and chance itself
וַתֵּלֶךְ וַתָּבוֹא וַתְּלַקֵּט
 בַּשָּׂדֶה אַחֲרֵי הַקֹּצְרִים
וַיִּקֶר מִקְרֶהָ
חֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה לְבֹעַז
and she went and she came and she gleaned
in the field after the reapers
and she happened to happen
on the part of the field of Boaz

Ruth 2:14 - Its end is feast
 וַיִּצְבָּט-לָהּ קָלִי וַתֹּאכַל
and he heaped her parched grain and she ate

Ruth 2:20 (also Ruth 3:12) - it is in those that are near
קָרוֹב לָנוּ הָאִישׁ
near to us is the man

Ruth 3:1 (also for rest Ruth 3:18) and in rest
בִּתִּי הֲלֹא אֲבַקֶּשׁ-לָךְ מָנוֹחַ
my daughter do I not seek for you rest

Ruth 3:13-14 - and it will be in the morning
 וְהָיָה בַבֹּקֶר
and it will be in the morning

Its sound continues in chapter 4 with several new words as if this is a sound that goes with new things in the completing of the story. Ruth 4:2 (got / took also in Ruth 4:13, 16). It is in the purchase of our body with the field.
וַיִּקַּח עֲשָׂרָה אֲנָשִׁים מִזִּקְנֵי הָעִיר
and he got ten men of the elders of the city
Ruth 4:3
חֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר לְאָחִינוּ לֶאֱלִימֶלֶךְ
the portion of the field of our brother Elimelek
Ruth 4:4 - This use of buy (here and in Ruth 4:5, 8, 9, 10) is of interest in considering the potential allegory of redemption and harvest in this story.Is this story an allegory of hope?
לֵאמֹר קְנֵה נֶגֶד הַיֹּשְׁבִים
to say will you buy before those sitting here

Ruth 4:16 - the last new word containing qof, unique in Ruth here, is the sound of a mother embracing her child.
וַתִּקַּח נָעֳמִי אֶת-הַיֶּלֶד
 וַתְּשִׁתֵהוּ בְחֵיקָהּ
and Naomi got the child
and set him in her lap

The last qof comes with the hope invested in the Beloved king
Ruth 4:17
וַתִּקְרֶאנָה לוֹ הַשְּׁכֵנוֹת שֵׁם לֵאמֹר
יֻלַּד-בֵּן לְנָעֳמִי
וַתִּקְרֶאנָה שְׁמוֹ עוֹבֵד
הוּא אֲבִי-יִשַׁי אֲבִי דָוִד
and the women neighbours called him a name saying
a son is born to Naomi
and they called his name Obed.
He is the father of Jesse the father of David

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