Among other items, this Parsha includes the famous story of Noach, the ark, and the rainbow. As it says in Bereishit/Genesis 9:13.
אֶת קַשְׁתִּי נָתַתִּי בֶּעָנָן וְהָיְתָה לְאוֹת בְּרִית בֵּינִי וּבֵין הָאָרֶץ
My rainbow I have placed in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Myself and the earth.
Bereishit 9:13 My rainbow I have placed in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Myself and the earth.
“Keshet B’anan” literally means a ‘bow’ in the ‘cloud.’ Many Meforshim (commentators) explain that the word ‘keshet’ throughout Tanach (Bible) means ‘bow’ as a weapon. Ramban points out that it lacks a bowstring and that the shape points Heavenward, showing that God will not aim it at us again.
Rav Amnon Bazak points out that the word קֶּשֶׁת keshet in the Parsha is not mentioned without עָנָן cloud and this combination of words is mentioned three times in Parshat Noach. He explains the combination of the bow with the cloud signifies the covenant. Since clouds throughout Tanach are mentioned as a screen, the bow is hiding in the cloud. Rav Bazak explains that Hashem is covering one of His weapons, like “returning a sword to its scabbard,” and His promise is that the bow will be ‘covered’ and will not be used against all flesh.
This week’s recipe is a rainbow-inspired spinach salad.
Bereishit 9:26 And it shall come to pass, when I cause clouds to come upon the earth, that the rainbow will appear in the cloud.
Rainbow Spinach Salad
- 1 package spinach, washed, checked, and cut
- 1/2 yellow pepper
- 1/2 orange pepper (use carrots if you’re stuck)
- 1/3 cup red tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 red onion, sliced
- 1/4 cup blueberries,
- 1/2 cup snow peas, cut in half, (if you have avocado that would be delicious)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup red wine vinegar (to taste)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Lay out the salad ingredients in order the colour wheel. Mix dressing ingredients well and dress right before serving.
B’tayavon and Shabbat Shalom.
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.
In honour of the ‘Keshet B’Anan’ – the rainbow – I’ve done two rainbow recipes:
- 9:13 My rainbow I have placed in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Myself and the earth.
- Bereishit 9:14 And it shall come to pass, when I cause clouds to come upon the earth, that the rainbow will appear
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!
- Bereishit 9:16 And the rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will see it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and between every living creature among all flesh, which is on the earth
B’Tayavon and have a great Shabbos!