Who was Jonah’s tutor?
The fish that brought him up.
Most of us would have read the fascinating
story of Baalam and his talking ass (donkey variety), along with
the account in the New Testament addressing the issue of paying
taxes, complete with a financial fish. But an article in
‘The Observer, 16.03.03 really hooked me.
A 20lb carp is the centre of what many Jews
are calling a modern miracle. Two fish-cutters were processing
fish for the Sabbath dinner, when the carp opened its mouth and
began “shouting apocalyptic warnings in Hebrew.”
“Many of the 7,000-member Skver sect of
Hasidim in New Square, 30 miles north of Manhattan, believe God
has revealed himself in fish form.” Apparently
reincarnation is accepted by some Hasidic Jews.
“Many believe the carp was channelling
the troubled soul of a revered community elder who recently died;
others say it was God. The only witnesses to the mystical show
were Zalmen Rosen, a 57-year-old Hasid with 11 children, and his
co-worker, Luis Nivelo. They say that on 28 January at 4pm they
were about to club the carp on the head when it began yelling.
Nivelo, a Gentile who does not understand Hebrew, was so shocked
at the sight of a fish talking in any language that he fell over.
He ran into the front of the store screaming: 'It's the Devil!
The Devil is here!' Then the shop owner heard it shouting
warnings and commands too.
'It said "Tzaruch shemirah" and "Hasof bah",'
he told the New York Times, 'which essentially means that
everyone needs to account for themselves because the end is
So, whether one believes this tale or not
– at least the message the fish presented would appear