The Torah In Haiku: Jonah



Jonah runs from G-d
Finds himself inside a fish
Finds himself transformed

 

On Yom Kippur afternoon, the haftarah reading is the Book of Jonah.

I’ve always thought that it was his time alone in the belly of a giant fish that helped Jonah find teshuva – to return to G-d. But I came across an essay suggesting it was when he revealed himself to his shipmates as the one responsible for the storm (G-d’s wrath) that Jonah realized he could not run from G-d. He is transformed from “one who was trying to pretend that G-d could be escaped to one who was placing himself completely in G-d’s hands.”

While inside the fish, Jonah says, “In my trouble I called to G-d, and G-d answered me” (2:3)

Was it three days of solitude that caused Jonah to return, or did G-d answer because he had already returned?

Have you ever believed that you could run from your responsibilities? What did it take for you to return to your family, your friends, your community, your G-d? What was your “Jonah moment”?

Wishing you all an easy fast.

G’mar Tov.

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About Ed Nickow

Ed Nickow is a teacher and member of the Board of Trustees at Temple Chai, Long Grove, IL. This post is from his blog The Torah in Haiku.

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