"And Yonah told them: Cast me into the sea...for I know that this great storm that is upon you is for me" (Yonah1:12)
Every Yom Kippur at Minhah we read in the Haftarah about the prophet Yonah. Yonah was a great prophet in Israel. Hashem wanted Yonah to go and tell a prophecy to the gentile nation of Ninveh. Ninveh was wicked and Hashem wanted to send Yonah to warn them that they must repent or else face destruction. Yonah didn't want to deliver this prophecy because he knew Ninveh would repent and that would put Israel, who were not repenting, in a bad light. Yonah decided to run away from the land of Israel because he knew he couldn't receive prophecy outside of Israel. He bought a ticket on the next ship out to run away.
While at sea, there was a tremendous storm which threatened to sink the boat. The sailors tried to return to shore but to no avail. Yonah told them that if they want to survive they should toss him into the sea because "the storm is for me." The sailors refused and dumped all the cargo to no avail. Finally they were forced to throw Yonah into the sea, and the storm ended. Hashem sent a large fish to swallow up Yonah. While in the stomach of the fish, Yonah agreed to do Hashem's mission. Yonah warned Ninveh, and Ninveh repented. Our Rabbis comment: Yonah was on a ship with gentiles. These people were idolaters. Maybe the storm was to destroy them! Yonah was far more righteous than the rest of the passengers. How did he know the storm was for him? Because he knew that in everything Hashem does in the world there is a message for the Jewish People.
Minha is the last prayer of the day before Ne'ilah - closing prayer. As we prepare to part with this very holy day, we read the story of Yonah, which conveys the powerful message that there is no running away from Hashem. Hashem, in His miraculous ways, can find us wherever we are, and our endeavors to flee Him are purposeless and to no avail. The book of Yonah serves as a call to us that we cannot run away from Hashem, but to resolve to adhere tenaciously to Hashem and Torah throughout the entire Year. (Vedibarta Bam)