The story of Jonah might influence the attitude Jews show other people in multiple ways. Jonah shows how his profession is being a Jew. “I am Hebrew and I fear Hashem”, Jonah said. This will encourage Jews not to be ashamed of whom they are but instead speak as if they were a Jew – using knowledge and wisdom they learnt from a synagogue, rabbi or the Torah; not hiding their kippah, tzitzit or teffilin; etcetera. They should not lie or hide who they are, for they are a Jew, and they must act in a Jew-like manner towards other beings. What does Jew-like mean?
Jew-like manner means following the Torah, and doing as many mitzvot as you can while following examples of stories in the Torah. For example, if God provided a man with support and guidance, you should do so in a similar fashion. But Jonah publically announcing himself as a Jew isn’t the only key life skill we can learn from the story of Jonah. The story of Jonah also shows how God was willing to forgive and did so once the city of Nineveh repented. God made the human beings and although they aren’t Jews, they were his creations, and so to destroy them would be distressing, upsetting and sad.
This part of the story influences Jews to be forgiving to those who do not follow Judaism. If one does wrong, they should be given another chance and if they do right then they should be forgiven. For example, if a non-Jew is seen speaking about someone behind their back by a Jew, they should be told that what they’re doing is wrong and if the put it right, excused. Non-Jews usually do things down to ignorance for the Jewish laws – just as the people of Nineveh did. “Jonah was a very weak man and is not a good example for people to follow today.
Do you agree? Give reasons to support your answer and show you have though about the other point of view. Refer to Judaism in your answer. I disagree with this statement. Despite Jonah acting in a very weak manner at the start of the story, he picks up and reveals himself to be a very strong man. This strength however is not shown physically. When Jonah is on the ship, and God sets a storm upon the ship, Jonah takes responsibility for his actions and tells the sailors to chuck him off board.
This takes courage to admit to it and also to let the sailors rid of him. This performance by Jonah shows how strong Jonah actually is. Then, because he ran away from doing what God asked, God ordered a fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah then repented for 3 days and 3 nights. This shows how Jonah isn’t arrogant. He realises he made a mistake and is now making up for it. Jonah is then given a second chance and he takes up this opportunity. He does as God originally asked and goes to Nineveh to tell them that their town will be overturned if they do not repent.
On the other hand, Jonah could be seen as a weak man because he ran from a request from God. This shows he was scared or anxious about what would happen. He didn’t think he could complete the objective or alternatively, didn’t want to do it, and so denied it. Also, Jonah was upset about a tree that he didn’t grow dying. Someone who gets upset about something like that could be seen as weak and vulnerable. If Jonah had raised and kept the tree, then that would be understandable, however he did not – God did. In conclusion, I think Jonah was a strong man and he is loyal to Judaism.