This week’s Parsha includes an accounting of the story of Noach and the flood. The Parsha also tells us about the ‘Keshet B’Anan’ – the bow in the cloud. The rainbow acts as a sign of God’s promise – He will not destroy the world again. There are some questions concerning the rainbow though…
If rainbows are a natural phenomenon resulting from the reflection of light in water droplets in the Earth’s atmosphere, than surely this would have occurred before the flood. If that’s the case – than how could the rainbow suddenly become a sign?
There is some disagreement about this issue among the commentaries. The Ibn Ezra holds that God only created the rainbow after the flood. The Ramban holds that the rainbows existed before the flood but was only assigned as a sign of God’s promise not to destroy the world after the Mabul. According to the Kli Yakar, rainbows did indeed exist before the Mabul (flood) but they weren’t really noticed very much. After the Mabul however, the rainbow assumed critical significance because they understood the consequences of their sinning. So when they did Aveiros (sins) they were reassured by the rainbow that God wouldn’t destroy the world.
It does seem interesting that this Parsha comes so close to the Yamim Noraim (High Holydays) when God invites us to return to Him and assures us that any step toward Teshuvah will be welcomed. It’s a sign of reassurance in a time of reassurance.
Here’s another one – I used 1 1’2 tubs of vanilla yogurt mixed with gel colours. Place each layer in the freezer for ten minutes before pouring on the next one. It’s a bit labour-intensive but isn’t this gorgeous!
B’Tayavon and have a great Shabbos!