Category Archives: Lessons from the Book of Yonah

Honesty on our Journey

Matt Shapiro
September 30, 2012

When my wife was pregnant, like many first time parents, we had a tough time picking a name for our son. We wanted to name him after my uncle, Jonathan, who had passed away somewhat recently. We wanted, in all honesty, a name that’s both deeply Jewish and “passable” as American (we had a strict More »


Meant to Fly

Zachary Sitkin
September 30, 2012

Nicki Minaj has a hit song entitled Starships and I must admit, despite the lyrics not being the most profound poetry, the chorus inspired me to rethink the story of Jonah. The song got me thinking about how every Yom Kippur afternoon, when our stomachs are rumbling like a 2 year old banging on a More »


I Fear Therefore I Am

Yoni A. Dahlen
September 28, 2012

“Faithful little friends and neighbors, For no wintry wind or rain, Household cares or airy pastimes, Can my loving birds restrain. Other friends forget, or linger, But each day I surely know That my doves will come and leave here Little footprints in the snow.” -Louisa May Alcott, from “My Doves” I fear therefore I More »



Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster
September 27, 2012

How long can one person be alone before they begin to suffer? In Jonah’s case, the answer is three days and three nights. Cast into the sea and swallowed by a big fish in return for his stubbornness towards God, he stews and simmers until his loneliness gets to be too much for him. Jonah’s More »


The Sound of Silence

Emma Goldberg
September 25, 2012

One of the aspects of New York I love most is the noise. At any point of day or night you’ll hear people on the street talking, laughing, or running down Broadway looking for a midnight snack. The noise can also be suffocating. Amid blaring sirens and shouting vendors, it can be difficult to remember—to More »


Loving All, Both Great and Small

September 24, 2012

Jonah is a slow learner.  In the beginning of the story he tests the reach of gods will, finds himself in the belly of a whale, repents with great earnestness, and is set back to his task to warn the wicked people of Nineveh of their impending doom, only then to question again god’s purposes, More »


Always Running

Emily Goldberg
September 23, 2012

When you’re sitting at the doctor’s office beside a half-friendly nurse, staring at a needle the size of your spinal chord in her hand, your mindset wouldn’t be one of complete ease. Once this terrifying injection begins inching toward your skin, perhaps the most convenient reaction is to run as far away as humanly possible. More »


A Shooting Star

Avram Mlotek
September 21, 2012

Imagine Yom Kippur night.  The synagogue is packed to capacity.  The aisles overflow, people dressed in white.  Suddenly, the rabbi speaks. “Kahal, heyliker, kahal!” calls the rabbi.  My holy community! “Haynt veln mir di sforim nisht nemen.”  We won’t take our holy books today. “Un der aron farmakht vet haynt shteyn.”  And that holy ark More »