By the time we approach minchah on Yom Kippur afternoon, we have been through the month of Elul, Selichot prayers, Rosh Hashanah, and a substantial portion of the Day of Atonement. The role that the Book of Jonah plays at that point is one thing. But I’ve been wondering if it might not be of some use to reflect on Jonah’s travels earlier in the season as well.
Having recently read Yehuda Amichai’s brilliant and funny “Conferences, Conferences: Malignant Words, Benign Speech”* – in which one conference session explores, e.g., “ceramacists on the type of potsherd Job used to scratch himself” – I found myself imagining a similar conference on Jonah.
What began as silly free-association turned to slightly more serious exploration of some themes raised by the Book of Jonah. I thought sharing this BEFORE Yom Kippur afternoon, might be of some help.
Here, in the form of a “Conference Program” PDF, is the result of my musings. (Please note: the Creative Common license for this work has been updated.)
**“Conferences, Conferences: Malignant Words, Benign Speech” IN Open Closed Open. Yehuda Amichai. trans: Chana Bloch and Chana Kronfeld. NY: Harcourt, 2000. (Sagur Patuach Sagur. Tel Aviv: Schocken, 1998)
BTW, some readers may be interested in this discussion in Naomi Seiden’s Faithful Renderings: Jewish-Christian Difference and the Poetics of Translation, upon which I happily stumbled.