The Jewish Eye
Vilna Gaon on Yonah: Part 4 - Get Into Your Boat And Start Sailing
And found a ship (aniyah) - This refers to the body, from the language of "taniyah v'aniyah", as it says all his days are anger and pain, and likewise, "man was born to toil." (i.e. a ship is a vessel for labor, like a man's body).
This world is compared to the sea and the next world (world of neshamas), including Gan Eden is compared to the dry land. Because the purpose of going out to sea is not to stay there, but rather to bring goods back to dry land. So too, this world is compared to the sea and the troubles of this world are compared to "waves", as it is written "all your breakings and waves have come over me" (Tehilim 42:8). The body is compared to a boat, through which one descends to the sea. So too the neshama through the body, comes to this world.
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