by OvadYah Avrahami
co-founder KOL HATOR Vision for the Restoration of the reunited 12-Tribed Kingdom of the God of Israel
NOTE – The views and opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily shared by the Rabbinic Associates of KOL HATOR VISION or the authors of other articles used in this publication. These views are the personal conclusions of the author based on the Rabbinic sources quoted in the article, or elsewhere on this Web Site, or in general out there in cyberspace and print.
The book of Jonah forms an integral part of the Synagogue Service for Yom Kippur. The entire book of Jonah is read as the Haftarah for the Yom Kippur Service.
This raises the question: What is the Message for those who observe Yom Kippur as a Sacred Biblical Festival? As our audience is made up of Torah observing Jews and Torah restoring NT (New Testament) believers, we will approach the Answer to the above question from the claims of both these parties. Indeed, the promotors of the KOL HATOR Vision (as proclaimed on our Web Site) believe that these two opposing parties (Judaism and Christianity) are simply the remnant version of the 2750-year-old Family Feud between the House of Judah and the House of 10-Tribed Israel to this day – waiting on Reconciliation. And this Reconciliation, we will show in this commentary, we believe, underlies the Message of Jonah as emphasized in the Yom Kippur Service.
The ‘Times of Israel’ in a current review by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, entitled ‘The reluctant prophet Jonah: A model of what not to do’, concludes, and we firmly endorse it:
“We often miss the deeper meanings of the narrative. Jonah invites not only to examine our willingness to forgive, but to recognize the ways in which we refuse to acknowledge our responsibility to do the work necessary for the world’s redemption.” The Vision as promoted by our KOL HATOR Web Site entails this Final Redemption which is vitally dependent on the reconciliation of the opposing two factions in the 2750-year Family Feud of the Nation of the God of Israel. The Jonah Message of Yom Kippur reminds us of our responsibility, on both sides of this Family Feud, to bring this reconciliation to fruition – which is the Main theme underlying all Prophecy, and HaShem’s Main Intention for mankind as His Creation.
For those who fear or despise, and thus avoid NT considerations, or even for those NT proselytizers who thrive on such NT discussions, we emphatically emphasize:
CAUTIONARY NOTE –
- For our Jewish readers – Please do not fear that the publishing in this discussion of NT claims and interpretations is done in an effort to turn you to Christianity: to the contrary – ref. the ‘Goal Note’ hereunder …
- For our NT Messianic believers – Please do not fear that the conclusions presented in this commentary are to make you Torah Jews: to the contrary …
- The Goal of the Jonah Message, properly understood, is to bring Reconciliation in this 3 millennia Family Feud amongst the Nation of HaShem – in order to unite us as ONE Family serving the Creator, God of Israel.
Jews – if you feel the Jonah Escape inclination now to press ESCAPE or DELETE, then seriously consider first the Divine expectation of Jonah and challenge to READ the Jewish Chazal extracts on this topic as presented further down under the heading:
Jewish Sources re. The allegorical sign of Jonah, the Prophet.
You can skip down to this heading by scrolling halfway down this letter or continue reading here…
The New Testament (NT) interpretation of Jonah’s Purpose
“The prevailing allegorical tendency is to attribute Jonah’s recalcitrance [defiance of his Divine Order] to his abiding love for his own people [he was a post-exile surviing10 Triber with a love for and close association with the House of Judah] and his insistence that God’s Promises to Israel [of survival] not be overridden by a lenient policy toward the Ninevites [enemies of Israel]. For the glossator, Jonah’s pro-Israel motivations correspond to Christ’s demurral in the Garden of Gethsemane (“My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me”) and the Gospel of Matthew’s and Paul’s insistence that “salvation is from the Jews” (John 4:22). While in the Gloss the plot of Jonah prefigures how God will extend salvation to the nations, it also is abundantly clear—as some medieval commentaries on the Gospel of John do not—that Jonah and Jesus are Jews, and that they make decisions of salvation-historical consequence as Jews.” (Wikipedia).
The main theme that we are tracing here is: Why did Jonah escape God’s required mission for him, i.e. to warn the Ninevites? Nineveh was a prosperous, flourishing city of the great Assyrian Empire, on the Tigris river (far across the Euphrates from Jerusalem). They were enemies of Israel. Jonah was Israel’s only “foreign missionary” Prophet in that he was sent with a message from God to a foreign people. Jonah refused to go to Nineveh. He feared the people might repent and that God would refrain from punishing Israel’s enemy, thus causing Israel to be overrun by the enemy who repented.
Jonah was a 10-Triber from the House of Israel, from the Tribal area of Zebulon in Galilee. He lived towards the end of the Northern Kingdom era. He prophesied in the Northern Kingdom during the reign of Israel’s King Jeroboam II (793-753 B.C.E. – 2 Kings 14:23-25) and prophesied that Jeroboam II would restore Israel to her former boundaries, which that king did. Within a few decades though, the Northern 10-Tribed Kingdom, 80% of the Israelite population, was exiled by the Assyrian Empire (720 BCE). It was such a scenario feared by Jonah that inspired him to flee from God’s mission for him to bring Nineveh to repentance.
The 1st Jonah indicator
Here we have a first similarity with the fear of Judah today to accept the millions of re-awakening ‘pagan’ Gentiles, who are turning to Torah restoration across the World, to Judaism, and to the Land of Israel. These Gentile Torah restorers – most likely, the re-awakening Ephraim promised in Prophecy, – further strengthen the resistance against reconciliation by their persistence to want to turn Judaism into a Christian, Messianic, New Testament religion. This is a total taboo for Judah, the Guardians of the Torah (Gen. 49:10, Romans 3:2).
Guideline Conclusion: For Judah – Do not fear the threat of being overrun. Hold onto the Torah Faith and get involved in the End Time Reconciliation Drive. HaShem is in control and is awaiting our participation! Refer to the Jonah Sequel.
Further New Testament Claims
Jonah is the only Tanach (O.T.) character with whom the NT Main Personage compared himself directly, apart from quoting and alluding to other Prophets. NT commentators as such point to many such signs (as the 3 days in the belly of the whale). These claims fill many chapters of NT commentator claims. The only point that we will raise in this discussion for purposes of defining our Divinely required commitment to national reconciliation in these End Times before Final Redemption (Geulah), is this:
- IF Jonah’s history does indeed carry a Yom Kippur Message for us today;
- IF Jonah was indeed a “foreign missionary,” in that he was sent with a message from God to a foreign people; and IF there really is a metaphoric linkage between Jonah and the NT Personage, whose disputed (by Jews) and misinterpreted (by Christians) identity so destructively divides the Torah people from the NT people;
- IF Jonah was truly sent to a strange people with a Redemption Call from HaShem –
The 2nd Jonah indicator
We should regard the Jonah Yom Kippur Message as a Divine Expectation of us, especially in these days of millions of non-Jews turning to Torah restoration in their faith, to actively start working for and promoting the vital conditions for the Final Redemption (Geulah).
For Judah (Jews) then:
- to reject fears of “the pagan enemy overpowering them,”
- to realize that Jonah, in his metaphoric representation as the “NT allegorical redeemer,” was a “foreign missionary” to a “pagan enemy” with no mission to Judah (the Jews) and therefore, as an NT Redeemer, presents no threat to them whatsoever.
- to adhere to the Divine Reprimand to proclaim repentance to the ‘pagans’ amongst whom their exiled family may well be in captivity, having lost their Jewish or Hebrew identity; They should therefore rather be calling on these ‘pagans’ to turn to the Creator God and conform with His Torah requirement – thus to teach them and guide them.
In fact, the NT Personage which is such a ‘threat’ to Jews clearly stated and directed his apostles in the NT Writings to “Go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel” (Matthew 10:6, 15:24).
His mission, like Jonah, was NOT directed at Jews (from the House of Judah), but at the millions of “Lost sheep of the House of 10-Tribed Israel” who have been de-covenanted by God and lost their Hebrew identity in exile amongst the Gentile nations – to bring them back into Torah Covenant and, in the process, to serve as a testimony of the Grace of God to the Gentiles (Nineveh) to bring them all into the Promise of Blessing to Avraham.
For re-awakening Ephraim, Torah Restorers Hebrew Roots Restorers:
STOP ‘sending Jonah to Judah.’ He was sent to Nineveh – the pagan, Gentile Kingdom where in later years the Lost Tribes of Israel became partly absorbed amongst the Gentiles, losing their Hebrew Torah identity. Jonah as ‘redeemer’ was sent to them, NOT to Judah. Identify with the true Jonah Call: for these pagans to repent and turn to and serve the God of Israel according to His Torah.
The Jonah threat and fear directed at ‘pagan Nineveh’ is just that – invalidated fear opposing the Desire of HaShem to bring the Goyim unto subjection to His System as promised to the Patriarchs according to the Abrahamic Blessing, And, as such, to bring His exiled people back from amongst the Gentiles where they have been captive. Jonah is being sent to bless people whom he despised. Nonetheless, this is God’s will.
Jewish Sources re. The allegorical sign of Jonah, the Prophet.
According to the incredible book of Kol HaTor, (The Gaon of Vilna) the mission of Jonah is linked to the Messiah ben Yosef,
“The commandment to expand the borders is the mission of Mashiach ben Yosef as God had told the prophet Jonah, who was on the level of Mashiach ben Yosef, to restore the border of Israel (II Kings 14:25).” Kol HaTor 2.36.
Jonah – the Dove
The name “Yonah ben Amittai” means “Dove son of Truth.” R’ Daniel Krentzman comments on Yonah’s name:
“Yonah’s connection to this aspect of Mashiach ben Yosef may be hinted at in his name: “יונה“, which shares the same gematria (with the concept of “כולל“) as “סוד“ [“Secret”]. Also, the gematria of “סוד” when spelled out in miluy form: סמך וו דלת, is equal to that of “Mashiach ben Yosef” (see Kol HaTor 2:98, and 2:148).”
R’ Daniel Krentzman, Yonah as MBY 
Putting this in simpler terms, the word Yonah (71) is equivalent to the word Sod/Secret plus 1 (this method is called im hakollel, adding 1 for the value of the word itself). The word Sod when spelled out (this method is called milui or filling) is equivalent to 566, the value of the words ‘Mashiach ben Yosef‘:
Why Yonah is named “Dove”? The Vilna Gaon says,
“The dove is a fitting symbol for the Jewish People and the neshamah, since it is the only bird that does not struggle when it is about to be slaughtered. Like the dove, the Jewish people give up their lives without a struggle in order to sanctify the Name of God.”
The Book of Yonah: Journey of the Soul, from the Vilna Gaon’s Aderes Eliyahu, Rabbi Moshe Schapiro, Mesorah Publications, Ltd., pg. 10.
The commentary of the Gra here has echoes of Isaiah 53, which refers to Mashiach and Israel who are one. The Ohr HaChayim, R’ Chaim ben Attar, when commenting upon the sacrifice of the leper, links the two doves to the two Meshichim,
“We have found that the first Mashiach will be from the tribe of Ephraim who will nevertheless die while revealing himself; he will be followed by the Mashiach descended from David. When the Torah speaks of G-d taking, “two birds which are pure,” these words are similes for the two kinds of Meshichim….the words “to slay the one bird” in this context are an allusion to the death of the first
Mashiach… he will die as an atonement for the sins of the people.”
Rabbi Chayim ben Attar, Ohr HaChayim, translation by Eliyahu Munk – 5 vol. pg. 1107
The two doves of the sacrifice of the leper link to the two goats of Yom Kippur, over which lots are cast to determine which goat is for HaShem, and which goat is destined for the wilderness. The sailors with Yonah also cast lots, to determine who was responsible for the storm,
“So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Yonah.”
CONCLUSION: The allegorical interpretation and Sign of Jonah holds mysterious, ‘secret’ implications for the Final Redemption Plan of HaShem.
Yom Kippur holds similar allegorical, secret implications for the Final Redemption of which Yom Kippur itself is a metaphoric Sign. Yom Kippur and its service, the judgment of the 2 goats, reflect on the Final Judgment, i.e. the election of His justified righteous souls whom He will then imbue fully with His Spirit (Jer. 31:31 – under a New Covenant), making them Living Torahs to rule with Him in His Coming Universal Kingdom. This occurs on the 10th day of the 7th month Festive Cycle, 10 days after Rosh HaShanah which depicts the Return of the Shechinah of HaShem on the Feast of Trumpets.
Four days after Yom Kippur comes the 7-day Succot festival, which depicts the Marriage of HaShem with His re-covenanted Bride. Thereafter, the 7th Millennium Universal Kingdom Rule
Trusting that this review will shed more light on the Secret of the Jonah metaphoric Message built into the Yom Kippur commemoration. This is a Topic in process of dissolving the underlying Mystery and Message for His People to become involved in the run-down to the Final Redemption – and to promote the vitally required Reconciliation between the two striding factions of the Family Nation of HaShem.