“וַיְמַן יְהוָה דָּג גָּדוֹל לִבְלֹעַ אֶת יוֹנָה וַיְהִי יוֹנָה בִּמְעֵי הַדָּג שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים וּשְׁלֹשָׁה לֵילוֹת”
“And YHVH appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the stomach of the fish three days and three nights.”
The Zohar explains that the big fish came to save Jonah from the other fish in the sea. Inside the fish Jonah saw himself in a large hall. Through the eyes of the fish he could see clearly like through bright lenses everything in the sea and the deeps.
“וַיֹּאמֶר קָרָאתִי מִצָּרָה לִי אֶל יְהוָה וַיַּעֲנֵנִי מִבֶּטֶן שְׁאוֹל שִׁוַּעְתִּי שָׁמַעְתָּ קוֹלִי”
“and he said, “I called out of my distress to YHVH, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice.”
If Jonah had a large space with great view of the sea then why did he say, ‘I called out of my distress to YHVH’. The Zohar explains that the fish died and in three days it became narrow and unbearable for Jonah to be inside the fish.
Rabbi Elazar said that Jonah was happy at the beginning and the Holy One Blessed be He saw that Jonah didn’t get the ‘message’ so he took the life of the fish. When Jonah saw that the fish outside started biting the dead fish from all sides, he got into stress and prayed to YHVH.
Jonah run away from the mission assigned to him by God. Even though he knew that God is watching him and that everything that happened to him is for a reason, he chose to take the easy way until he felt the ‘walls’ closing on him.
We can’t run away from our Tikkun/Soul correction process. We get directions to follow. If we don’t follow them then we get warnings through small challenges on the path of life. If we’re not going back on the path of the correction then gradually the challenges become harder to a point that we feel helpless and pray to God to save us. Realizing that God is the only one that could help us is the turning point that would lead us to the Light and complete our correction process.
Most people don’t come back to God and on spiritual path unless they experience a trauma of a great lack in their lives. Some keep the faith because may received great gifts and wish to have God’s protection so they won’t lose them.
When we follow the Torah, we are on the path of Light and everything that happens to us would lead us to a purification of the soul and easier life.
The ultimate state of correction is to do everything from love to God as guiding light in our lives.