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16

I think it is fruitless to try to prove torah to non-believers, though people try (e.g. the "torah codes" folks looking for hidden messages in the text). Faith is not science. As for explaining our belief in the truth of torah, one can ask: Is there anything that Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu cannot do? The torah describes miracles, which were either performed on ...


12

According to the Ibn Ezra, Nineveh had previously been a righteous city, so they were given a chance to repent, whereas Sodom and Gomorrah didn't merit a prophet to warn them. Ibn Ezra, Jonah 1:2: והנה מצאנו כתוב היתה עיר גדולה לאלהים שהיו יריאים השם מקדם... ופירוש לאלהים כי היו יריאים השם הימים הקדמונים רק עתה בימי יונה החלו לעשות רע. ולולי זה ...


10

Yonah was a navi who was living in the kingdom of Israel before its exile by Sancheriv. God told him to go to Ninveh, which was in Ashur. In general, God is not concerned enough with the affairs of non jewish nations to send them messages through a navi to repent, which is why they don't have their own prophets to begin with. Yonah concluded that their ...


9

We find in Yonah's prayer inside the fish: וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל יוֹנָה אֶל יְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו מִמְּעֵי הַדָּגָה. וַיֹּאמֶר קָרָאתִי מִצָּרָה לִי אֶל יְהוָה וַיַּעֲנֵנִי מִבֶּטֶן שְׁאוֹל שִׁוַּעְתִּי שָׁמַעְתָּ קוֹלִי And Jonah prayed to the Lord his God, from the belly of the fish. And he said: I called out from my distress to the Lord, and He answered me; ...


8

As I understand it, Maimonides in his Guide to the Perplexed mentioned that some Jewish philosophers had gone so far as to say the very existence of Biblical characters such as Abraham was allegorical -- that's going too far. Maimonides himself interprets certain episodes of angelic interaction in the Torah as dreams, allegories, or the like, which ...


7

Jonah 3:8 - see Radak - says that the sin of Ninvei was Chamas - translated by many as robbery. We see similarly in Braishis 6:11 (or with English) by the Great Flood by Noach which came upon the world for that reason. There are others that translate Chamas differently. However it was Chamas that was the reason why Hashem was ready to destroy Ninvai.


7

The Posuk does not say that there was more sun than shade. On the contrary the Posuk says "Vayeshev Tacteho Bzel" which translates into "He sat under it in the shade. The following Posuk says that a Kikoyon was shade upon him, and the Radak explains that this happened 40 days later when the Sukka dried out and therefore it was not providing shade anymore.


6

I heard an innovative explanation from Rav Meir Spiegelman. Yonah doesn't run away to get to a different place; Yonah sets sail in order to be at sea, and there is no prophecy at sea. This is related to the idea that the sea is too different from the earth to be involved in earth-based things (e.g. fish are created from the water, but animals from the ...


6

How to explain to an atheist? Don't look to Johnny: Nine-year-old Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday School. 'Well, Mom, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt . When he got to the Red Sea, he had his army build a pontoon bridge and all the people ...


6

Mishna Berura 135:34 says that on a fast day a Kohain or Levi should not get the Aliyah of Maftir. I do not see any reason why Yom Kippur should be different than other fast days.


6

He certainly can. All that needs to happen is to have everyone else in the room be of the same lineage as himself, or at most only one member of a different lineage (Shulchan Aruch OC 135:12). Alternatively, if all he is interested in doing is reading it and not neccesarily getting the Aliyah, he can serve as the Baal Keriya for the Haftarah if the minyan is ...


5

As to your question of explaining miracles: You don't. It is quite logical that if an omnipotent G-d wanted our people to know of His interaction with humanity, He would have to display this clearly at least once, subsequently being passed down to future generations. (Yonah was a private miracle, only publicized later. I don't know the purpose of the ...


5

According to http://ohr.edu/1231, the Shlah says that their doing teshuvah inspires us to do it as well; and the Sefer HaTodaah ("The Book of Our Heritage") says that it's to show that you can't run away from G-d.


5

http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=47079&st=&pgnum=567 When Nimrod started doing Avoda Zara, the nation of Ashur had no interest in idolatry. The nation of Ashur left their homes and established a new city "Ninve". In that merit Hashem sent Yona to Ninve to tell them to do Teshuva. (Imrei Chein)


5

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (Yalkut Yosef Mo'adim pg. 101) rules that a Cohen may be called up for Maftir Yonah: Kitzur Yalkut Yosef 622:9: כהן שזכה בקניית עליית מפטיר של מנחת יום הכפורים, כי נכספה וגם כלתה נפשו לקרוא בהפטרת יונה, יש לו על מה שיסמוך שיעלה לעליית מפטיר, אחר שקראו כהן ולוי. ובלבד שיאמר השליח צבור, ואף על פי שהוא כהן יעמוד למפטיר A Cohen ...


5

More of a partial answer, really, but still a useful contribution. In Yonah, G-d gives a specific reason for having mercy on them. In Yonah 4:11, G-d says: Now should I not take pity on Nineveh, the great city, in which there are many more than one hundred twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left, and many beasts as well? ...


4

Although belief in miracles is an important belief in Judaism, I do not think it is kefirah to believe that the laws of nature are never broken, even if it is not the traditional Jewish view. If a person believes God created absolute rules that He never breaks, its probably OK, as long as he accepts that there is some form of Divine Guidance in this world. ...


4

I'm sure there are simpler and deeper answers, but if we go with the Midrash that the king of Nineveh was none other than the Pharaoh of Exodus -- yes, that guy who repeatedly ignored Moses' warnings, watched his empire unravel in a matter of months because of it, then eventually washed ashore from the Red Sea (the lone survivor) -- well, you'd understand ...


3

He built a hut to protect himself from the elements while watching, expecting at least something bad to happen to Nineveh. Nothing to do with the holiday.


3

The answer that Menachem gave is brought up by Rashi on the pasuk. The question still remains, what did he thought he would achieve by running away? This reminds me of the situation in which Moshe Rabenu told Hashem, Shemot 32:32, that if you don't pardon Am Yisrael "omit me" from your book. Out of love to Am Yisrael he didn't want to be part of the ...


3

Being in a cramped fish, which felt like a grave, caused Yona to turn to God in prayer [and repentance]. Source: Rashi to 2:1 and :3.


3

There were probably a minimum of 10 good men left in Ninveh so He gave them the option to repent but there were not even 10 good men in Sodom and Gemora. This is learned by the discussion Avraham has with G-d where he tries to argue about not destroying Sodom and G.


2

Being trapped inside a fish is a greater miracle, because you can't survive without oxygen, but Yonah survived there without oxygen (see Malbim).


2

They didn't ignore his suggestion. This is how the pesukim go (according to Malbim): 1:12 — Yonah tells them that the storm is to punish him and not them, and since it's here to punish him for running away, they should throw him away so he can get his punishment. 1:13 — They reasoned that since the punishment is for running away, it would be more ...


2

To learn from the Teshuvah of the city of Ninveh (Siddur Rashi, Machzor Vitri, Rokeach). The Tzeidah Laderech adds: if the inhabitants of Ninveh who were not Jewish could fully repent, how much more so us who stood before Har Sina etc. To learn that one cannot flee from Hashem (Abudraham, Chofetz Chaim in Shaar Hatziyon 622:6) The fact that the ship was in ...


2

As it says in the Unetanneh Tokef, Yom Kippur is Judgment Day for all, not just for Jews: וְכָל בָּאֵי עולָם יַעַבְרוּן לְפָנֶיךָ כִּבְנֵי מָרון. כְּבַקָּרַת רועֶה עֶדְרו. מַעֲבִיר צאנו תַּחַת שִׁבְטו .כֵּן תַּעֲבִיר וְתִסְפּר וְתִמְנֶה וְתִפְקד נֶפֶשׁ כָּל חָי. וְתַחְתּךְ קִצְבָה לְכָל בְּרִיּותֶיךָ. וְתִכְתּב אֶת גְּזַר דִּינָם: בְּראשׁ הַשָּׁנָה ...


2

Similar to the Abarbanel brought by @jake, Rashi says that Yonah figured that if the people of Ninveh would listen to G-d's word and repent, it would make the Jewish people look that much worse for not repenting. He therefore tried to get out of delivering the message to them.


2

The Shechinah doesn't rest outside of Israel, so Yonah hoped to not get nevuah (Rashi and Radak).


2

The year that Yosef was taken out of jail and brought before Pharoah was 2229 from creation (Seder Hadoros there). Pharoah was king for at least two years prior. I could not find the exact year that Yonah went to Ninveh, but according to Seder Hadoros was somewhere around 3055. This means Pharoah lived for at least 800 years. (According to Oztar Hamidroshim ...


2

Yona's problem is why He gave them a chance to do Teshuva. Yona understood that they did Teshuva, but he would have rather they not have the opportunity (rather like אין מספיקים בידו לעשות תשובה - One who says I will sin and repent will not be given the opportunity to repent Yoma 8:9 - or as was done to Pharoh where his heart was hardened). Hashem answers ...



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