About the Book
The Book of Jonah stands unique among the biblical books of the prophets because it is almost entirely narrative. And, in contrast to all the other prophets portrayed as admirable individuals who bravely speak God’s word, Jonah stands out as flawed and fleeing from God. We are drawn to Jonah because God gives him an opportunity to redeem himself. His experience inspires us to find our own second chances—and our own paths to meaningful growth.
Jonah and the Meaning of Our Lives draws on commentaries of Rashi, Ibn Ezra, Kimchi, Abarbanel, and the Malbim, as well as contemporary culture and personal experiences to reveal the hidden meanings of this perplexing biblical story. In so doing, it explores many of the larger questions and topics we face, including human nature, our relationship with God, and how we understand ourselves and lead our lives. Rabbi Steven Bob’s verse-by-verse commentary intimately connects the ancient wisdom of the text with the reality of our own lives, providing us with inspiration and guidance.
Starting with classic insights from Rashi, David Kimchi, and Isaac Abarbanel, and then moving on to Moby Dick, Bob Dylan, Kurt Vonnegut, and Major League Baseball, the biblical book of Jonah comes alive with stories and lessons that speak to the heart.
—Mark Dov Shapiro, author of Gates of Shabbat: A Guide for Observing Shabbat