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RUTH3    5'1m*f RT: Boaz announces his marriage to Ruth

(RT == Readers' Theater: requires little or no memorization,
little or no rehearsal. An indefinite number of reporters are
salted throughout the audience)

BOAZ -- (enters wearing tunic and sandals, crosses to podium,
reads) Good morning. My name is Boaz son of Salmon. The reason I
called this press conference is to announce my engagement to the
widow of Mahlon son of Elimelech, whom you all know was a land
owner here in Bethlehem.

REPORTER -- This widow is the Moabite woman known as Ruth?

BOAZ -- That's correct.

REPORTER -- Ruth is barely beyond her teens. And you are an old
man. How can you even consider marrying at your age?

BOAZ -- I am now this family's kinsman redeemer. According to
levirate law, it is my duty to claim Mahlon's widow and produce
children for Elimelech's family, since he left no descendants.

REPORTER -- In that case shouldn't you be marrying Elimelech's
widow Naomi?

BOAZ -- Naomi is now beyond her child-bearing years. Our only
chance of continuing the family line is through her son's widow.

REPORTER -- According to my notes, Elimelech had a closer
relative.

BOAZ -- That's correct.

REPORTER -- So, shouldn't HE marry the widow and produce
children for Elimelech's family line?

BOAZ -- He should have, but he didn't. So, it's up to me now.

REPORTER -- Are you angry with him that he didn't step up and do
his duty?

BOAZ -- Not at all. The important thing is that Elimelech's
family line was continued.

REPORTER -- Why did the first kinsman redeemer shirk his duty?

BOAZ -- Well, first, he's already married. He has a family of
his own to take care of. If he married the widow, he would not
only make babies with her, he would also be required to give the
babies a portion of his property as their inheritance. Second,
the first kinsman redeemer isn't really shirking his duty. His
duty as kinsman redeemer under levirate law is to make sure
Elimelech's family line is continued. He's not required to
continue the line himself.

REPORTER -- Did he ask you to step up?

BOAZ -- No. I volunteered.

REPORTER -- Why would you volunteer to marry a woman who's young
enough to be your granddaughter?

BOAZ -- Because I have fallen in love with her.

REPORTER -- May we quote you on that?!

BOAZ -- Sure. Ruth has shown herself to be loyal to her
mother-in-law Naomi. She is kind and industrious. What's not to
like about her?

REPORTER -- Boaz, I have eye-witness accounts that you were seen
cavorting with that woman on the threshing floor last night.

BOAZ -- I guess you'll have to define cavorting. Ruth is not
only loyal and kind, she is also a very virtuous woman. She has
nothing to be ashamed of.

REPORTER -- But she was seen sleeping with you on the threshing
floor.

BOAZ -- That's true. But it's not as tawdry as you make it
sound. Ruth, as a symbolic gesture, humbled herself by sleeping
at my feet as a slave sleeps at the feet of his master.

REPORTER -- So, there was no hanky pank?

BOAZ -- Absolutely not! There were dozens of people sleeping on
the threshing floor after the harvest celebration. But even if
there weren't ANY witnesses, Ruth has embraced our religion as
her own. She is obedient to our laws.

REPORTER -- That brings me to another observation. Ruth is a
citizen of Moab.

BOAZ -- That's correct.

REPORTER -- Don't you see that as a problem?

BOAZ -- Why is that a problem?

REPORTER -- Moabites are gentiles.

BOAZ -- Why is that a problem?

REPORTER -- The prophets have recently told us that the coming
messiah, the savior of mankind will be born in Bethlehem.

BOAZ -- I still don't see the problem here.

REPORTER -- Well, what if YOU turn out to be the ancestor of the
messiah? Aren't you afraid that you could be polluting the
ancestry of the messiah?

BOAZ -- Well, if that's a problem, I'm afraid it's already too
late.

REPORTER -- What do you mean?

BOAZ -- I mean my ancestor Perez was the son of a Canaanite
woman.

REPORTER -- So, you don't see a problem with further pollution
of the family line?

BOAZ -- Not in the least. When God becomes a man in order to
save mankind from our sins, the important thing for him will be
that he becomes a man, not a Jew or a descendant of Judah. In
fact, I think it will be a GOOD thing that gentiles are in his
family line.

REPORTER -- How can that be a GOOD thing?

BOAZ -- Remember that when God promised Abraham that his SEED
will bless ALL of mankind, his SEED meant the messiah and ALL of
mankind will include more than just us Jews.

REPORTER -- You must be joking! The gentiles are unclean! You
can't really believe that the messiah will accept the unclean!

BOAZ -- In God's sight we are ALL unclean. That's why we need a
savior. (exits)

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