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“I Left Here Full and Have Returned Empty”: Loss and Recovery in the Book of Ruth
Day: Wednesday
Date: May 22 - June 5, 2024
Time: 6:15 pm - 7:15 pm EDT
Suggested Contribution: $25

At the start of the book of Ruth, Naomi suffers a series of profound losses. Her husband dies, and then her sons. Even though her daughter-in-law Ruth swears her eternal loyalty to Naomi, Naomi is unmoved and reports upon her return to Bethlehem (1:21), “I left here full and have returned empty.” Using midrash and rabbinic exegesis, we will do a close reading of the book of Ruth and explore how Naomi’s understanding of family and relationships expands. We will consider what the book of Ruth can teach us as our community confronts the terrible losses of this year.


Rabba Wendy Amsellem teaches Talmud and Halakha at Yeshivat Maharat and directs The Beit Midrash Program, a joint project of Maharat and Yeshivat Chovevei Torah. She also teaches regularly at Drisha, Pardes, and the Temple Emanu-El Streicker Center.  Rabba Wendy received semikha from Yeshivat Maharat and is an alumna of the Drisha Scholars Circle. She has a BA in History and Literature from Harvard University.