The Book of Jonah: A Social Justice Commentary
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By Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

The Book of Jonah is a unique text in the Jewish canon. Among the shortest books in the Bible, it is also one of the most mysterious and morally ambiguous. Who is this prophet running from God, hiding at the bottom of the ocean? Why does he struggle with God's mission to save and forgive Israel's enemies? In this volume, Rabbi Dr. Yanklowitz shows that the Book of Jonah delivers a message of human responsibility in a shared world. Illuminating such contemporary ethical issues as animal welfare, incarceration, climate change, weapons of mass destruction, and Jewish-Muslim relations, this social justice commentary urges us to join in repairing a broken world--a call that we, unlike Jonah, must hasten to answer.

Table of Contents

The Book of Jonah: A Social Justice Commentary Study Guide - Free Download

"In this thoughtful, powerful book, Rabbi Yanklowitz passionately demonstrates how the Book of Jonah can impact how we see the world, the divine, and our obligations to one another."
-Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg, author of Surprised by God and Nurture the Wow

"In this volume, Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz speaks of Jonah with the empathy, compassion, knowledge, and wisdom that always characterize his work. He examines Jonah anew to present readers with challenges, providing us with guidance as we seek to transform our lives and ameliorate the human condition. All persons will be enriched by this deeply spiritual, highly original, and insightful book."
-Rabbi David Ellenson, Chancellor Emeritus, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

"Rav Shmuly is one of the most dynamic teachers of our time, and his exploration of Jonah brings an intriguing, ancient text to life for all those who seek to understand core Jewish principles of moral responsibility and social justice."
-Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Director, Religious Action Center

"This book tells the story of a Jonah from a profoundly thoughtful perspective, raising questions of our responsibility to the other and our obligation to act against injustice. Rabbi Yanklowitz brings the prophet alive with all his uncertainties and imperfections, reminding us not to judge him but to strengthen our own resolve to make a difference. In studying the prophet Jonah, we are asked to study ourselves, our own disinclination to act, and our own retreat to the particular. We are reminded that the text and the teachings of our faith require us to become more ready to change, more determined to act for justice in the world. Rabbi Yanklowitz takes a well-worn text and a rarely examined prophet and brings new perspectives to life, asking us to probe Jonah's actions, his attempt to escape from God, his reluctance to act, and to consider how we are all Jonah and how we can rise above where we first land."
-Ruth Messinger, Global Ambassador, American Jewish World Service

Listen to Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz on the Seekers of Meaning Podcast.

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ISBN 978-0-88123-360-5
Copyright © 2020
Paperback
6" x 9"
Page Count: 186