There are so many highly relevant aspects to this particular story.
G-d specifically asked Jonah to go to Nineveh (Mosul today) because the bad guys were taking over the city. Jonah didn't want to tackle the big city guys so he ran off to Tarshish on a boat. The historian Josephus said that Cilicia in Asia Minor and its capital is Tarsus, is Tarshish, however Jonah fled his responsibilities to the but ultimately after some time spent in the belly of a large fish (submarine?) because his shipmates realised he was bringing them bad luck and stormy seas, he decided he had better head of and take on the evil people of Nineveh. So many Jonahs in the world today are abrogating their responsibilities and heading for the easy route – and of course hurricanes, tsunamis and tornados are rocking our boat daily. Indeed, one just hit the Caribbean, Florida and Georgia. Message there somewhere?
Seriously, read it. It sounds straight from CNN!!!
The UN and the US Administration should prepare themselves for a massive building boom in Israel! It began after sunset on Wednesday and reached a peak today. Small huts with large palm fronds as roofing appeared on roofs, in gardens, on verandas – indeed throughout the country. No need to get a court order to pull them down though – they will only be in use for 8 days!!! Yes folks, it is Succot, Tabernacles! Fancy wooden sided Succot; flimsy fabric sides; some simple shanties; some just a string to form the separation – all count, all legal, all decorated with surprising Christmas glitter and Chinese manufactured hanging decorations!!! The weather is far too hot to hang fruit so we buy our glitter balls and multi-coloured ornaments, trinkets and sparkly chains and children paint pictures of fruits to hang on the walls. This is one of two harvest festivals and so much more. The huts, or Tabernacles, represent the 40 years of wandering in the desert; the Lulav and Etrog, blessed each day, contain palm fronds, myrtle, willow and the rather special fruit which is not a lemon (citrus medica or citron), translates as the fruit of the beautiful tree. Men spend hours choosing the finest Etrog, inspecting every millimeter for imperfections. Each Succah incorporates the seven species -
His enemies say he's on their land
They got him outnumbered about a million to one
He got no place to escape to, no place to run
He's the neighborhood bully.