Reuben Ebrahimoff

High Holidays


for The

High Holidays



The Haftorah for Yom Kippur Afternoon

The entire Book of Jonah is read as the Haftorah

The Story line of this weeks Haftorah: 1:1 Hashem commands Jonah to go to Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, but Jonah refuses. Rather, he attempts to escape Hashem by boarding a ship for Tarshish. 1:4 A storm arises and the ship is about to break up. 1:6 Jonah is discovered sleeping in the bowels of the ship. 1:7 Jonah, identified as the cause of the storm, suggests that the soldiers save themselves by throwing him overboard. 1:12 After making a valiant but unsuccessful effort to reach the shore, the sailors ask Hashem for forgiveness and then cast Jonah into the sea. A great fish swallows him. 2:3 After praying intensely from inside from the fish's belly, Jonah is spewed onto dry land. 2:8 Jonah will now fulfill his promise to Hashem to speak to the people of Nineveh. He reaches Nineveh and warns the inhabitants that the city will soon be overturned because of their transgressions 3:1 Jonah has a second prophecy and delivers the message to Nineveh. 3:5 The people of Nineveh believe Jonah’s words, The Ninveites repent, and the heavenly decree is revoked. Yet, Heaven's forgiveness troubles Jonah greatly. 4:1 Jonah’s is angry with Hashem kindness to the Assyrians. 4:5 The lesson of the Hut and the Castor Oil Plant. 4:10 Jonah’s misplaced pity regarding Hashem's mercy on the people of Nineveh.

The Shrine of Jonah at Nineveh

The Connection of the Haftorah to Yom Kippur: Similar to the morning service, we read the book of Jonah in the afternoon service of Yom Kippur since it applies to the day. The book of Jonah shows us that not only can no one run from Hashem, but it also shows that if you truly repent, even the harshest punishment can be reversed.

Haftorahman’s lesson of the week: May we take the actions of both Jonah and the people of Nineveh to heart. We should follow the commandments of Hashem as much as we can, but if we sin, and break one of Hashem’s commandments, we should not forget that true heartfelt repentance is the only solution. May all our prayers be heard and answered.

Jonah’s Biography: Jonah the son of Amitai was from Gat Hepher, a city in the territory of Zevulun, his father’s tribe. His mother was from the tribe of Asher. Jonah is also mentioned in the Book of Kings II, 14:25 where he prophesied that the King Jeroboam son of Yoash would recapture the territory that Israel's enemies occupied in previous years. Some authorities say that Jonah was the child that Eliyahu revived from the dead, as well as the prophet whom Elisha commanded to anoint King Yehu.

Famous Phrases from the Book of Jonah: Lo Yada Bayn Yemino Bayn LiSmolo, “People who can not discern their left hand from their right”.

Map: Jonah travels quite a bit throughout his book. From Israel, to the sea on his way to Tarshish, to Nineveh, and back.

Timeline: Jonah prophesied during the reign of King Jeroboam II in the year 3113 or 640 B.C.E. This was approximately 54 years before Assyria became the most powerful nation in the entire region.


Further Readings:

Written by: Reuben Gavriel Ben Nissim Ebrahimoff 5773-2012