Revach L'Neshama RSS feed for - Section: TANACH Category:YONAH Copyright 2007, Revach L'Neshama en-US Revach L'Neshama Logo 144 31 Fri, 03 Dec 2021 03:00:00 +0000 240

1:10 Then the men became exceedingly afraid, and they said to him: 'What is this that you have done to us?' For the men knew that he fled from the presence of Hashem, because he had told them.

What is this that you have done to us? Why did you do things like this until now if you were created for these thing and your level is so exalted (to waste your life chasing after vanities of this world).

For the men knew that he fled from the presence of Hashem, because he had told them. He fled all his days (i.e. fled from awareness of Him in order to justify chasing after pleasures of the world), therefore they feared so much and asked him why he did this. And how did they know that he fled? Because he told them. (he fled) all his days, that all his mind and desire was to this always. (i.e. totally pre-occupied with the vanities of this world, such as money and honor).

1:11 Then said they to him: 'What shall we do to you, that the sea may be calm unto us?' for the sea grew more and more tempestuous.

What shall we do to you, that the sea may be calm unto us - and what can we find a rectification for you so that we could heal and to quiet the heavenly decree.

for the sea grew more and more tempestuous- Because the sickness is constantly getting worse.

1:12 And he said to them: 'lift me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you; for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.'

lift me up, and cast me forth into the sea As in the verse (Bereishis 40:13) "Paraoh will lift your head from you", because (before death) the neshama is in the feet, and it needs to rise to the throat. And they should cast him from the boat which refers to the body, to the sea which refers to this world, and the body will remain without him.

so shall the sea be calm upon you Then you will no longer bear any suffering of this world.

for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you - Because all prosecution of the trait of justice is only during the lifetime of a man, as written in the Zohar...

1:13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not; for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them.

the men rowed - They are all the powers mentioned above.

to bring it to the land They wanted to go in the good way, the way of the tree of life (i.e. the afterlife, the way of torah).

but they could not; for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them Now repentance does not help since the decree has already been made, as written (Shmuel I 2:25) "because Hashem wanted to kill them", this is after the end of the judgment.

1:14 And they cried unto Hashem, and said: 'Please Hashem, let us not perish on account of this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood; because You are Hashem, as You have wished, You have done.'

They screamed to Hashem not to perish with the neshama.

and lay not upon us innocent blood - As is written that he is destined to give an accounting on causing him to shorten his life. (i.e. for accelerating death)

because You are Hashem, as You have wished, You have done. - It's understandable that the neshama which is rooted in a holy place, from above (should receive punishment) but the physical (i.e. us, the body) tends to evil. What are we guilty of? You made the physical as you wished, from a foul place. And here is also hinted the blessing women make "that He made me as His wish" which refers to the physical as above. And likewise they expounded in the Midrash Tanchuma (which likens the body and the neshama to a blind watchman and a lame one who join forces to steal some figs, the lame man riding on the blind man's shoulders and guiding him. When the owner catches them, the blind man claims that he could not have stolen the figs, because he can't see; the lame man claims he is obviously innocent because he could not climb to pick them. The wise owner puts the lame man back on his friend's shoulders and judges them together.)

Mon, 06 Oct 2008 03:00:00 +0000 1:8 Then said they (the limbs) unto him (the neshama): 'Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us: what is your occupation? and from where do you come? what is your land? and of what people are you?'

For whose cause this evil is upon us - Who will be punished with you? Which organ and which power of the nefesh (lower neshama, needed for the lifeforce of the body)?

What is your occupation? - Which occupation did Hashem give you when He sent you to us?

And from where do you come? - From which place are you hewn, because you must do actions which return and reflect to your root, and not affairs of this world at all. (i.e. since the neshama comes from the spiritual world, it must do actions of a spiritual nature in this world.)

What is your land? - From which land did you come out to here, as written in the Zohar, on the verse (regarding Gan Eden) "to work it and to guard it" (Bereishis 1), which refers to positive commandments and negative commandments, on the land of Chaim (life) (gan eden) which from there you went out and to there you will return (if you had acted properly).

And of what people are you? - Because all your days, you did not go in the way of Yisrael. And even within Yisrael, just like some of them come from the Erev Rav or the Amalekim as written in the Zohar.

And likewise (as written in the Midrash Neelam on the verse in Bereishis 12:1) "go to yourself from your land, and from your the land that I will show you", 'your land' refers to the lower Gan Eden, and corresponding to it (the sailor asked) "What is your land?". 'and from your birthplace', correspondingly (the sailor asked), "from where do you come?", then "to the land that I will show you", means there I will show you what to do. Corresponding to that (the sailor) asked "what is your occupation?"

1:9 And he said: 'I am a Jew; and I fear Hashem, the Hashem of heaven, who has made the sea and the dry land.'

And he said 'I am a Jew '(Ivri - literally "side", since Abraham the first Jew, stood opposite the whole world against idol worship) - as written in the Zohar on the pasuk "on the side of the river, your forefathers dwelled", also there is to say on Gan Eden above (in the spiritual worlds), because from there is the "Kavod" and from there you were hewn which is from the side of the River Dinur (the mystical river of fire in Daniel 7:10), as is known that one must pass through it first (before coming to this world). And this answers on two questions.

And I fear Hashem, the Hashem of heaven - This is my occupation. This is the answer to "what is your occupation?"

Who has made the sea and the dry land - refers to this world, and the next world and gan eden to prepare in it to dry land (i.e. I come from gan eden and am here to prepare things to bring there). And this is the answer to "what is your land?"

Tue, 16 Sep 2008 03:00:00 +0000 1:5 And the sailors were afraid, and cried out every man unto his god; and they cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it unto them. And Yonah went down into the depths of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep.

And the sailors were afraid - They are the leaders of the body, which is the brain, heart, and the other powers.

And cried out every man unto his god- They cried out and turned to the gold and silver which they served all their days, which are called the gods of silver and gods of gold, as is written "On that day a man shall cast away his gods of silver, and his gods of gold, which they made for themselves to worship" (Yeshaya 2:20). They will cast them away because "wealth will not help on the day of wrath".

And they cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea - There is to say as the plain meaning, that he throws from the body, the clothes which fall on the bed.

To lighten it unto them - and he leaves even his clothes in this world. Also, and this is what it means "in the sea" to lighten the tough heavenly decree, he gives his clothes to tzedaka.

And Yonah went down into the depths of the ship - The neshama descended to the feet, as is written in the Zohar (Tikun 20) (before death the neshama descends to the feet).

And he lay, and was fast asleep. - He laid on the bed and a deep sleep fell on him, as is known on the day of death. And likewise it says by Avraham, "And the sun went down and a great sleep fell on Avraham (Bereishis 15:12) which is the sunset of the neshama, as written in the talmud (Shabbos 154 on Koheles 12), "Before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars, are darkened", which refers to the departure of the neshama...

1:6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him: 'Why are you sleeping? arise, call upon your Hashem, if so be that Hashem will think upon us, that we perish not.'

So the shipmaster came to him - He is the head leader (of the body) - the heart.

And said unto him: 'Why are you sleeping? - As brought in the Zohar, it is not the time, etc.

Call upon your Hashem - He is speaking to the neshama - "call upon YOUR Hashem" because it was "hewn" from Him (i.e. the neshama comes from Hashem Himself, like a candle lit from a flame)

If so be that Hashem will think upon us, that we perish not. - because the neshama has the possibility of being repaired, unlike the body and everything that is associated with it, the nefesh (lower neshama) and the ruach behemit (higher animal neshama) due to it (the neshama's sins) will be lost forever.

1:7 And they said every one to his fellow: 'Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us.' So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Yonah.

And they said every one to his fellow - the powers and limbs/organs say to each other.

'Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us.' - They wanted to know through whose sin the heavenly decree went out, whether through a sin of the tongue or some other limb/organ.

So they cast lots - They examined and clarified the matter.

and the lot fell upon Yonah - On the neshama, because when it is good, it transforms the whole body to the good, even though the body is intrinsically base physical (i.e. tends towards wanting to be a lazy good for nothing gorilla), as written in Mishlei. Similarly Chazal said "A good heart" (includes everything), since the heart is the abode of the neshama, and includes everything.

Wed, 10 Sep 2008 03:00:00 +0000 1:4 cont'd - And there was a mighty tempest in the sea - The trait of justice was hurled on the sea, it agitates the sea which is this world.  (This is why the tense is in masculine form unlike the boat which refers to the body and is in feminine form). At first it comes to the body and makes it sick with a terrible sickness...and afterwards it comes to take the neshama through it. It starts with the body since the enticements started from it, as written in the Zohar. Therefore, the midrash writes that the entire storm was concentrated only on that boat, while all the other boats at sea were at peace. (since only this body/boat is under attack).

So that the ship was thought to become broken - The body senses that it will be broken now, as written in the Zohar, "All of a man's days he thinks that this world is his and he will never die". But now, he sees and begins to realize that he will die against his will. However, for the neshama, even though it will be forced to bear its sins, nevertheless it will not be destroyed forever - it will be repaired through a reincarnation, as is written "two or three times with a man" (Job 33:29). Unlike the body which cannot be repaired through reincarnation, will be broken forever. And it is compared to an earthenware vessel which needs to be broken (to render it pure, Vayikra 6:21)..

Sun, 07 Sep 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Vilna Gaon On Yonah - 6: ...With The Satan Hot On His Trail 1:4 And Hashem hurled a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was thought to become broken.

And Hashem - (the extra word 'And') refers to He and His Beis Din (court of justice).

Hurled a great wind - This is the trait of justice (the Satan) which prosecutes before Him always and screams, "they have defiled My temple" (Yechezkel 23) (i.e. defiled the neshama which is holy). If a man is Heaven forbid, given over to the trait of justice, then Hashem hurls him (the Satan) on this world away from Him. Then he descends and takes the neshama. The Satan is called "Ruach", wind as it is written "a great wind, etc." It is called "great" because the klipa (impure forces) are large and all the tzadikim are called small, such as our forefather Yaakov, as written in Chulin (60).  Likewise the holiness is called "small" as written in the Zohar on the verse in Shir HaShirim 1.

The sword of the angel of death is "Lilith" (kabalistically, female consort of Sama-el, the 'King Of The Demons'; together they are the evil counterparts of Adam and Chava. He is the tempting angel from whom the Yetzer Hara emanates. In several Ma'amarei Chazal, "Samael" is also the name of the Angel of Death, who entices a man and afterwards takes the neshama.

And she is the bitter drop which hangs on the sword from which he dies and on this Shlomo HaMelech wrote "For the lips of a strange woman drop honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil; But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword" (Mishlei 5:3-4). A two-edged sword refers to this world and the next, in which she takes vengeance on him. Therefore "great" (wind), is written in feminine.

Into the sea - Refers to this world, which is compared to the sea, and the next world to dry land.

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Vilna Gaon On Yonah - 5: Down, Down, Down, To Tarshish Unto Tarshish - The body found physicality like itself, ready for the lusts of this world. And on this King Shlomo composed the song "Aishes Chayil" (a woman of valor) regarding a body prepared for the service of Hashem (i.e. a body with a physical makeup which tends towards good traits, such as slow to anger, humility, etc.), saying "one who found a woman has found good". And likewise he disdains an "evil woman" which refers to a body which is physicality prepared in its nature for evil (i.e. tends towards bad traits).

So he paid the fare - He channeled his intellect with his powers and disdainful lusts towards developing the body (while neglecting his neshama). These are the "wages" of the body for doing sins, because it derives pleasure from it, and on this Chazal have said "consider the Schar (wages) of a sin compared to its loss." (Pirkei Avos). And this is what our sages referred to when saying that Yonah gave the wage of the entire boat (midrash), because all the organs of the body derive pleasure from the sin. Therefore Shlomo HaMelech wrote (Koheles 9:16) "a poor man's wisdom is despised and his words go unheeded", which means the body's organs do not listen to the yetzer tov, because the yetzer hara says to him "Rejoice young man in your childhood" (Koheles 11:9), which means "right now".  The yetzer tov answers (end of same verse) "but be aware that for all these things Hashem will call you to account"...

And descended into it - He descended to the body. This is a great descent, "from the greatest heights until the lowest depths"(i.e. for the lofty neshama to be dragged by the body's lusts).

To go with them unto Tarshish - The body which is the "small city" has few men, which are the powers of the body such as growth, desire, awareness, and the other powers of the body and all the organs in it, all of them went to Tarshish (after physical desires) as above.

From the presence of Hashem - All of the organs fled and don't want to stand before Him.

Sun, 31 Aug 2008 03:00:00 +0000
Vilna Gaon On Yonah - 4: Get Into Your Boat And Start Sailing

And found a ship (aniyah) - This refers to the body, from the language of "taniyah v'aniyah", as it says all his days are anger and pain, and likewise, "man was born to toil." (i.e. a ship is a vessel for labor, like a man's body).

This world is compared to the sea and the next world (world of neshamas), including Gan Eden is compared to the dry land. Because the purpose of going out to sea is not to stay there, but rather to bring goods back to dry land. So too, this world is compared to the sea and the troubles of this world are compared to "waves", as it is written "all your breakings and waves have come over me" (Tehilim 42:8).  The body is compared to a boat, through which one descends to the sea. So too the neshama through the body, comes to this world.

Thu, 28 Aug 2008 03:00:00 +0000 1:3 But Yonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of Hashem; and he went down to Yaffo, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare thereof, and descended into it, to go with them unto Tarshish, away from the presence of Hashem.

But Yonah rose up to flee - as is written in the Zohar, this refers to fleeing from Hashem. Because of this, when a man repents, he is called a "baal teshuva" (one who returns).

To Tarshish - After the pleasures of this world, to make wealth, as is written in Yechezkel 27: "Tarshish was thy merchant by reason of the multitude of all kinds of riches". And also "The ships of Tarshish brought you tribute and you become full and very heavy in the sea." (ibid 27:25), there is all the gold and silver.

From the presence of Hashem - Before a man comes to the world, he stands before Hashem, as is written in the Zohar on the Pasuk "Chai Hashem which I stood before." And likewise, after coming to the next world, if he serves Hashem. But he (Yonah) fled from Him, as is written "and Kain left before Hashem".

And he went down to Yaffo - He went down to this world, as is written in the tree of knowledge, which is similar to this world being "beautiful in appearance…" Likewise every "Yaffo" (literally beauty) refers to the lusts of the body, as is written "Yafe To'ar" (woman beautiful of form).

Mon, 25 Aug 2008 03:00:00 +0000

The matter of the Navi, is an allusion to the neshama of a man, as is written in the Zohar. And the matter is that (Hashem) sends it to this world to rectify the world. (Just like a Navi is sent to rectify the people.)  And not only did the neshama not rectify it, but it corrupted itself also. Afterwards he is sent a second time in a reincarnation to fix.  He fixes but with the pain of his bad fate as is written later on.

1:1 And it was the word of Hashem came unto Yonah the son of Amittai saying.

The matter is that Hashem sends the Neshama to this world and says to it "go to the body of such and such person and do My will" as is written in the Zohar. "Yonah" refers to the neshama as is written in the Zohar and Shir HaShirim 6:9.

The son of Amittai - son of Hashem, who is Amiti (truth), as it is written, "you are sons to Hashem your Hashem" (Devarim 14:1, since the neshama is drawn from Hashem in the semblance of a son who comes from his father, Shaarei Kedusha)

Saying - Everything that Hashem says to him, he should say to Am Yisroel, that they should know why they came to the world, that each person should rectify himself, and also the entire world.

1:2 'Arise, go to Nineveh, the great city, and proclaim against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me.'
Arise - from the place you are sitting in Gan Eden and go to Olam HaZeh (this world)

Nineveh - It is this world, which is His "footstool" (a reference to Yeshaya 61), and this world is His primary dwelling (Neveh means dwelling place in Lashon Kodesh). And on this, Hashem sends man to fix His dwelling place.

The great city - It is known that a man is called a 'small world', and also a 'small city' as is written in Koheles, if so, the world itself is called the 'great city'.

And proclaim against it - teach the men understanding that they may repent from their evil ways.

For their wickedness has come up before Me - the destructive (spiritual) forces which were created by their evil deeds stand before me, and scream, and prosecute. And this is also what is referred to (in Noach before the great flood) "the end of all flesh has come before me" (Noach, Bereishis 6:13)

Thu, 21 Aug 2008 03:00:00 +0000
The book of Yonah is read in Shul every Yom Kipur. The simple meaning of the story contains the theme of repentance. However, as is known there are 4 main dimensions of interpretation in the torah. They are 1) "Pshat" (simple, literal meaning), 2) Remez (allusion, hinted), 3) Drosh (not explicit interpretation), 4) Sod (secret meaning, which form the acronym PaRDeS (orchard). The Vilna Gaon on Mishlei (verse 1:6, commentary "chemda genuza") explains: "The 4th level of torah, called "Sod" (secret) is the inner and primary meaning. The other lower meanings, are also true, but serve primarily for the purpose of straightening a man in order that he be sufficiently spiritually developed to understand the Sod". These four dimensions of interpretation exist certainly in the 24 books of the bible and even in the mishna and in the talmud.

Very few people can delve properly beyond the pshat. Only one who has attained mastery in the four levels can be capable of deciphering the hidden code. The Vilna Gaon was such a rare person and offers us a spectacular view of a parallel book of the Yonah story in the realm of "Remez". Note that the simple meaning of the book is also true as we see, for example, that the Midrash Raba lists the "special fish" which swallowed Yonah as one of the creatures created before the creation of the world. Yet in the Vilna Gaon's "remez" version of the story, the fish is not real but is only symbolic of the grave of Yonah.

This parallel story of Yonah is one of a human being who got caught up in materialism, dies, goes through Gehinom, and returns in a Gilgul, reincarnation. Chazal teach that the vast majority of people alive today are reincarnations, who are sent back down because they did not complete their previous "mission". So this book, can very well speak personally to many of us. (In Perek 4 Pasuk 3 the Vilna Gaon gives us a sign into how to see what went wrong in our previous lives.)

Tue, 19 Aug 2008 03:00:00 +0000