Carrying Our Burdens, Together


Shavuot, the festival of “weeks,” celebrates the summer harvest, when Jews of ancient times would make a pilgrimage to the temple to show gratitude for their crops. It also commemorates when the Israelites received the Torah on Mount Sinai seven weeks after the exodus from Egypt.

Shavuot brings us the story of Ruth and the middah (Jewish value) of nosay b'ol im chavayro, sharing the burden with one's friend.

As Ruth takes care of Naomi, the two form a stronger bond. They connect in a way that is meaningful, and the struggles Ruth helps Naomi bear make them feel closer and more fulfilled.

To be able to take on Ruth’s role, to be someone who offers support, is both virtuous and noble. But Jewish tradition says it is just as important to be in Naomi’s position, someone who is willing to accept help and to allow someone to help them carry their burden.

With this story, Judaism tells us nobody's burden is either too small or too important to receive help.



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