|When my life was ebbing away, I called Hashem to mind;
And my prayer came before You, into Your holy TempleJonah 2:8 (The Israel Bible™)
בְּהִתְעַטֵּף עָלַי נַפְשִׁי אֶת־יְהֹוָה זָכָרְתִּי וַתָּבוֹא אֵלֶיךָ תְּפִלָּתִי אֶל־הֵיכַל קָדְשֶׁךָ
Hear the verse in Hebrew
b’-hit-a-TAYF a-LAI naf-SHEE et a-do-NAI za-KHAR-tee va-ta-VO ay-LE-kha t’-fi-la-TEE el hay-KHAL kod-SHE-kha
The Book of Jonah
The Book of Jonah is read aloud in synagogues today on Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). This story is particularly is fitting for Yom Kippur in that it teaches that no one is out of God’s reach. Just as Jonah was unsuccessful in his attempt to flee from God, so too is the rest of humanity unable to hide from divine judgement. In the above verse, although Jonah is trapped in the belly of a large fish, he does not despair. He hopes that not only will he survive the ordeal, but that he will once again be worthy of standing before God in the Holy Temple. Though man may stumble in sin, he can always pick himself up and recover. Even after our biggest failures, God lovingly awaits our return, if only we have the will to do so.