Ruth and Responsibility

The Shikker Dovid went to a shiur last night about Ruth.

The Rambam states that one is prohibited to live outside of Israel, except for a few exceptions. One exception is if there is a scarcity of food or it becomes expensive.The Rambam raises the question of Machlon and Chilion, the men who died in the beginning of Ruth. They left Israel because of the famine. Why were they punished with death, if scarcity of food permits leaving the land of Israel?

The Shikker Dovid would like to share two answers. The first is that they were leaders of the generation or the wealthy men of the generation and had a responsibility to others.

The second reason is more ethereal. They did not PRAY for the others of their generation. We see that responsibility to others in our community takes on two dimensions: We must be tangibly supportive if we are leaders or able to do so. Secondly, we have a spiritual obligation to pray for others. Ruth is also about responsibility.

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