Alshich on Yonah
Written by: Rabbi Nahum Spirn & Rabbi Mordechai Rose
About this Book
Rabbi Moshe Alshich (1508–1600), reverently referred to as HaAlshich HaKadosh (The Holy Alshich), was a dayan on the Tzefas beis din of Rabbi Yosef Caro, author of the Shulchan Aruch and early mentor of the Kabbalist Rabbi Chaim Vital, main disciple of the Arizal. Although the Alshich wrote many halachic responsa, he is most noted for his Tanach commentary, based primarily on his weekly Shabbos sermons.
This monumental work has been hailed by more than four centuries of Torah scholars as one of the greatest expositions ever written on Scripture. In it, he expounds on complicated passages, answering fundamental questions of faith and Jewish belief. The Alshich uses his creative insight and encyclopedic knowledge of Tanach, Talmud, and Midrash to weave together his profound interpretations. Studying Torah, Nevi’im and Kesuvim by the bright light of the Alshich’s commentary will warm the heart and illuminate the mind of every reader, from the nascent newcomer to the advanced talmid chacham.
The Alshich’s flowery language, enigmatic style, and frequent borrowing of phrases from Scripture and the Talmud have made it difficult for all but the most accomplished Torah students to reap the full benefits of his brilliant writings. This new, adaptive translation makes his work more accessible to the English reader.
It includes copious footnotes that identify the Alshich’s sources, extensive explanations to clarify the more difficult passages and a thoroughly researched biography.
With the publication of The Alshich on Yonah, readers will now discover the Alshich’s thought provoking questions, comments, and novel insights on this short but meaningful sefer, thus taking their understanding of its unique story to a whole new level.
In this commentary, the Alshich employs his usual incisive questioning in seeking the underlying motive for the prophet Yonah’s apparent disobedience in fleeing from the call of Hashem. He provides us with insight into the workings of Yonah’s mind and thus vindicates his actions, which may otherwise be misunderstood. In this work, the Alshich delves into many questions, such as:
- • What was the real objective of Yonah’s mission to Nineveh?
- • How could a prophet dare flee from Hashem's presence?
- • How can we explain Yonah’s miraculous salvation in light of the severe punishment he received immediately beforehand?
- • Why was Yonah required to be swallowed by two fish and not one?
- • Why did Nineveh merit to be saved?
- • What is the message of the Kikayon plant?