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Noach 5761
October 29 - November 04, 2000 by Reb Yosef

Why are Rainbows So Special?

 Many of your know the story of Noach and the Ark and how his family was rescued by God from the flood that covered the entire Earth.  There is a very special part to this story and it goes like this . . .

 In Chapter 9 of Bereshit (Genesis), we see this:

11. And I will confirm My covenant with you - Never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.":

12. And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant that I give between Me and you, and every living being that is with you, to generations forever:

13. I have set My rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth:

14. And it shall happen, when I place a cloud over the earth, and the bow will be seen in the cloud:

15. I will remember My covenant between Me and you and every living being among all flesh, and the water shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh:

16. And the bow shall be in the cloud, and I will look upon it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living being, among all flesh that is on earth.":

When learning about God and the Torah, many times it helps to read what some of our greatest teachers have said.  There was a great rabbi in the 1800's by the name of Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch.  He said that God is saying,

"My bow, I have long ago placed it in the clouds, henceforth it shall serve as a sign of the covenant between Me and you."

What is a covenant?  In this case, it is a promise that God made to us - that He would never again destroy this world.  And He says in verse 16 that this is a promise forever and that God, Himself, will look upon the rainbow and remember His promise.


Translations in Torah Portions of the week are partially taken from the ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash and from Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch Chumash

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