Of all of the books and movies in the world, do you know any stories that do not have bad or evil or problems in them? There is one story that was entirely about nice people, and that is the Biblical Book of Ruth. It’s a story about nice people, people who are good and loyal. Ruth is loyal to her family and marries the man chosen by her family. It’s a nice story about nice people.
The story of Ruth Alpert, like the story of Ruth in the Bible, is the story of a good woman, a woman of kindness and loyalty. It’s a cliche’ to say that no one ever said a bad word about Ruth Alpert, but we can’t even imagine anyone saying or thinking anything bad about her.
So here’s the story of our Ruth. She was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, graduated high school and worked as a bookkeeper in a dress store and at the family business at Belsky Brothers Coal & Oil.
Now Ruth Belsky’s grandmother had a girlfriend from Poland; one was the godmother for the other’s child and so on. A couple of their children went to Cheder together. Ruth’s father liked to drive to New Haven to talk with his mother’s friend. Now that same friend had a grandson named Harold. Ruth asked Harold to a dance. Harold started traveling up to Holyoke for the day and on April 1943 they were married. This was because Harold had been deferred from the service. Shortly after they were married, the Draft Board changed its mind and Harold had to go. Thank G-d Harold came back and they lived in New Haven.
In her volunteer work Ruth did a lot for committees here at the synagogue, for Hadassah and Ort. Her secret desire was to be a librarian and she loved to work at the Helen Street School Library.
Ruth volunteered because she wanted to be home to raise her children Dorothy, Bruce and Kenneth. She was a fabulous mother, a Donna Reed, a Harriet from Ozzie and Harriet. She was very caring, very understanding, very forgiving. In time she became a wonderful mother-in-law to Terrence, Joanna Faith, and Anna Pat. Terrance says that if everyone was like her, there wouldn’t be any mother-in-law jokes. She was always close to her brother Ben and she treasured her grandchildren Seth Aaron and Hannah Ray. Ruth Alpert was a good Jewish woman who lit the candles every Friday night.
Ruth and Harold were members of Temple Beth Sholom for over fifty years. We can’t count all the services when they would be there bright and early on the right side.
Here’s something about the last chapter of the Book of Ruth. She never said “Why me?” She never complained. She was gracious and kind and lovely to the very last day.
Above her bed at Hospice there was a picture of Harold and Ruth in their young years. What a couple they were, they carried on together. They were blessed with a great love.