Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Rainbow's Message

Double and quadruple rainbows at Long Island....  see Everyone is Looking for a Sign
and Devash is correct because whilst a rainbow is beautiful it is not something we really want to see
as it is telling us that our generation is being judged.  See below for more details.

A quadruple rainbow was spotted in the skies over the Glen Cove LIRR station Tuesday morning - Photo Amanda Curtis

God made a covenant with Noah that He will not destroy the entire world again with a Flood. The symbol of this covenant is the rainbow.

When observing a rainbow, we recite a blessing: "Blessed is God, Who remembers the covenant (of Noah)."

However, the rabbis discourage one from staring at a rainbow, since it has a negative message:  It is telling us that the world deserves (another) flood but because of God's covenant, it will not happen.
The Talmud relates that during the lifetimes of certain great sages, a rainbow was never seen, because they were capable of saving the world from a flood, in their own merit.

Rav Kook writes:

Were there not rainbows before the Flood? How did the rainbow suddenly become a symbol of protection from Divine punishment?

In truth, the rainbow was created immediately before the Sabbath of creation (Avot 5:6). Before the Flood, however, the rainbow could not be seen. It was a "Keshet Be'Anan," a rainbow in the clouds. The thickness and opacity of the clouds, a metaphor for the world's dense physicality — obscured the rainbow. Only after the Flood, in a world of diluted physical strength, did the rainbow finally become visible.

The rainbow is a symbol of weakness. Physical weakness, that the cloud no longer conceals it. And also spiritual weakness, that only a Divine promise prevents destruction of the world as punishment for its sins. The Sages taught in Ketubot 77b that rare were the generations that merited tzaddikim so holy that no rainbow could be seen in their days.

The Flood restored balance to the world in two ways. In addition to weakening the material universe, the aftermath of the Flood resulted in a bolstering of the spiritual and moral side, through the Noahide Code. The Flood annulled all previous obligations, and initiated a new era of repairing the world via the seven mitzvot of Bnei-Noah.

Read entire essay at Rav Kook Torah

Why was the rainbow chosen as a symbol of peace between Hashem and mankind?

Hashem said: "When I brought the mabul (flood), My bow was drawn against man. The rainbow resembles a reversed bow, signifying that there shall be no more "arrows from Heaven" sent to destroy humanity".

In the Torah portion that relates the establishment of the covenant between God and Noah (and all generations to come) by means of the rainbow, the word "covenant" (בְּרִית) is repeated seven times. These seven appearances of the word "covenant" allude to the seven colors of the rainbow studied and documented by Isaac Newton, and to the seven Noahide commandments.

The seven colors of the rainbow and the seven Noahide commandments correspond to the seven lower sefirot as follows:

RED - Gevurah (might) - The prohibition against murder

BLUE - Chessed (loving-kindness) - The prohibition against adultery

YELLOW -Tiferet (beauty) - The prohibition against theft

ORANGE - Hod (thanksgiving) - The prohibition against blasphemy

VIOLET -Netzach (victory) - The prohibition against idolatry

GREEN -Yesod (foundation) - The prohibition against eating the flesh of a live animal

INDIGO -Malchut (kingdom) - The injunction to establish a just legal system

by Rabbi Y. Ginsburgh
Read entire essay at:


Anonymous said...

Before the coming of Moshiach, a very special rainbow will appear. This rainbow will be so bright that all rainbows that have appeared on earth will seem very dim and weak in comparison. The bright strong colors of this rainbow are a sign that the Redemption is about to come. It is this rainbow, the Zohar tells us, that G-d was speaking about when He said to Noah (Gen. 9:16), "I will look at it to recall the eternal promise." (Zohar 1:72b as quoted in Discover Moshiach)

Anonymous said...

I have been aware of this chazal for quite a while. However I always wondered how is it that such a beautiful display of colors in the sky can be this type of a sign ? I also wondered , if this is a sign of mankind not living up to their potential , why do we find rainbows so frequently ? especially like in places such as Niagra Falls where Rainbows are there daily on a regular occurrence.
Until I came across a passage in the Zohar that says the Rainbows actually represents the Holy Markava.

Everything in Hashem's world is holy and uplifting, if you choose to see it as such.

Anonymous said...

Today is Lag B'Omer. They say that in Rabbi Shimon Bar Yocai's generation there were no rainbows because they were righteous. We also know that he taught the Zohar and today's bonfires are testament to the Light of the Zohar and Torah.
I just read the above Zohar that before Moshiach comes, there will be an amazingly beautiful rainbow. Today I saw the most amazing rainbow I have ever seen in my life over the Atlantic Ocean. It was truly magnificent ! I was aware that we learn that it is a bad omen and message from Hashem about our sins. BUT.. The fact that I saw this exactly ON Lag B'Omer when we received the teachings of the Zohar.. Is very " spookey