2

Wikipedia says that Naamah, wife of Solomon, was an Ammonite. That is the mom of Rehabeam. King of Judah.

Ruth is a Moabite. That is one ancestor of David.

Okay, so Jews have these prohibition against marrying foreign women. Moreover, certain nations, such as the Ammonites and the Moabites (as opposed to, say, the Chinese?) seem to be super prohibited in that Hashem prohibited them specifically.

Deuteronomy 23:4 says

An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation shall none of them enter into the assembly of the LORD for ever

Okay, so we got a Moabite, Ruth. We got Naamah the Ammonite. Not only they join Hashem's congregation. They became king and queen.

Even in US, that's not instituted based on racism, it took quite a while before a black guy can become supreme court justice, and it's still cause quite an uproar. Yet it seems that there is no issue with descendant of Moabites and Ammonites getting a supreme seat in Israel.

So what's the story?

10

The Torah uses the male form for the words, and the Sages extrapolated from here that male Amonites and Moavites are banned from the congregation, but females are not.

It says on Chabad's Ask the Rabbi page that the decree was made against the men because they did no go to greet the Jews with food and drink. (See Devarim 23:5.) This was not expected of the women, so the decree was not made against them. (Yevamot 76b)

  • 1
    The karaites believe that David is a legitimate king even though they reject the argument. karaiteinsights.com/article/mamzer or am I correct here? – user4951 Nov 13 '14 at 10:01
  • Perhaps they agree with the literal interpretation of the verse, using male pronouns. I updated the answer btw. – Scimonster Nov 13 '14 at 10:20
  • @Scimonster if you read that article you'll see they reject and mock that limud from the gemara. The guy's hetter for the issur of amonis is by saying it was a case of yibbum. You know, yibbum is not only between brothers and stuff. Never adressing how the issur flew away. I didnt know kaarites believe in esei docha lo saasei. Also he never addresses how Ruth's original marriage took hold. – user6591 Nov 13 '14 at 12:27
  • 6
    @user6591 I personally don't attach too much importance to what the Karaites say anyways. – Scimonster Nov 13 '14 at 12:31
  • @user6591 Shmuel Hnavi wrote the entire megillas Rus as part of his ruling that David was eligible to be king (descended from Yehuda properly) and that the conversion and marriage of Rus was legitimate. – sabbahillel Nov 13 '14 at 22:45
0

The Torah uses the male form for the words Amonites and Moabites, and the Sages extrapolated from here that male Amonites and Moabites are prohibited from entering [marrying into] the congregation, but females are not; and thus, Ruth was a legitimate convert within the Davidic Line.

According to the oral law, the decree was made against the men because they did not go to greet the Jews with food and drink. (Devarim 23:5.) This was not expected of the women, so the decree was not made against them. (Yevamot 77a)

In fact, a whole argument in Yevamoth 77a is made based on the Angel's question to Avraham, "Where is Sarah?" (Why did the Angel need to know where Sarah was? The Angel's mission was with Avraham, not Sarah.) Women are not responsible for providing hospitality "outside the home;" which is why, ultimately Lot and his daughters had to be saved from the destruction of S'dom v'Gemorrah - Since Ruth the Moabitess came through Lot.

  • 1
    Welcome to Mi Yodeya. This seems to be the same answer as Scimonster's above. (In fact parts of it are word for word the same.) Can you clarify what distinguishes this answer from his answer? – Alex May 30 '18 at 20:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .