From The Five Scrolls, illustrated by Leonard Baskin, © 1985 Central Conference of American Rabbis

The poignant bond forged between Ruth (right) and her mother-in-law Naomi emerges palpably in this watercolor illustration for the Book of Ruth; the two figures appear to melt into one being with a single pair of legs. Naomi, a widow in the land of the Moabites, resolves to return to Judah, her homeland. She urges her Moabite daughter-in-law Ruth, recently widowed by the death of Naomi’s son, to go back to her own family in Moab. Ruth refuses and declares her devotion to Naomi in the passionate declaration illustrated by Leonard Baskin: “Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you. For wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die; and there will I be buried. The Lord do thus to me—and more as well—if anything but death parts me from you” (1:16–17). The Hebrew text describing Ruth’s devotion serves as a backdrop to the monolithic pair; the text has been arranged around them and reproduced in its entirety.