for more information about Ruti’s booksIn my previous post I promised to tell you about Ruth’ sister in-law who also lost her husband. When Naomi begged her daughters in-law to return to the houses of their fathers to find new husbands, Ruth the Moabite clinged to her and eventually followed her back to Beth Le-khem in Judea. The other daughter in-law, Orpah עֹרְפָּה turned her back to her (as you can see in this photo) and walked away. Oh-rehf עֹרֶף in Hebrew means: nape – the back of the neck; hence the name Or-pah עֹרְפָּה. She turned the other way and ceased to support Naomi. I sometimes wonder if the name Orpah was given to her by those who told us the story of Ruth AFTER Orpah’s decision to leave? Or… was she given that name at birth but identified with it so much that it ruled her behavior? Hmm… I tend to believe that the first possibility is more accurate. One demonstrates certain characteristics and is being named accordingly, as in the name Ruth. There is an expression in Hebrew: Heef-nah loh oh-ref. הִפְנָה לוֹ עֹרֶף which means: someone who went the other way; he ceased to be with someone and stopped supporting him. How does this connect with our famous Oprah Winfrey? Did you know that Oprah’s actual name is Orpah? But, people had a hard time pronouncing it and kept calling her Oprah instead and the name stuck with her. I have no idea what Oprah means in Hebrew as there’s no such word or name, but I am happy that she did not wear and adopt the characteristics of the name Orpah.
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