For the contemporary Jewish woman, Ruth and Naomi are not only ancient heroines but role models with relevant lessons to share. Naomi, who refused to be depressed in the face of adversity, can motivate us to look for answers in places where we have previously turned our backs. On a realistic level, this could imply confronting our past in order to forge a better future for ourselves or even accepting those close to us who do not always share our viewpoints. We are able to create rather than destroy in this way, which is precisely what Naomi was able to do.
Ruth, who carved out a dignified life for herself, encourages us to examine our own surroundings and find ways to transcend their less desirable elements. We free ourselves to make decisions about who we are based on what we know about ourselves rather than what we are told we should be by doing so. We emerge as distinct people as a result of this process, shocking – even delighting – ourselves with an ongoing discovery of our deepest gifts. May God help us to be role models to our neighbors.