Shavuot

These Jewish Women Collaborated on a Stunning Song and Dance Tribute to Ruth

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On Shavuot, Jews celebrate receiving the Torah and get excited about the story of Ruth, the “first convert” and a woman of incredible strength and bravery.

Recently, three Jewish women artists collaborated on an original performance celebrating the strength of Ruth, which Kveller is proud to premiere.

They told us a bit about it:

“The project is a collaboration between three Jewish women, a ballet dancer and choreographer Lisie Michel, video producer Rivka Cohen, and singer composer Franciska Kay. The song lyrics are taken from the Book of Ruth.

The trio met in person for the first time for a live performance of the dance at MayFair, a street festival in Harvard Square. The dance drew a large crowd and several Jewish audience members came backstage to express their excitement in hearing the Hebrew lyrics. This performance succeeded connecting with people to Judaism through art and expressing the friendship between Jewish women. The creators were excited to see the mission of the “Ruth” project so appreciated and are thrilled to share the work more broadly through the music video.”

 Watch the video below:

The video’s creators were moved by the spirit of friendship between Ruth and Naomi to form their own collaboration. As they told us:

“The lyrics Franciska chose include the famous passage spoken by the righteous Jewish convert, Ruth, “Wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God” (Ruth 1:16). Ruth makes this pledge to her mother-in-law, Naomi as an expression of friendship to Naomi and commitment to the Jewish people. Ruth had the option to return to her family, following her husband’s death, but instead chose to follow Naomi and remain a part of the Jewish community. The second stanza of the song quotes King David, the great grandson of Ruth: “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous” (Psalms 34:16). Ruth’s declaration to Naomi expresses her righteousness. Franciska, Lisie, and Rivka use their arts to express these values of friendship, commitment to Judaism, and righteousness in the “Ruth” video.”

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