Who doesn't love rainbows? They are so beautiful and colorful. Catching sight of them before they fade is exciting.
But did you know that the rainbow has a spectrum of Jewish meaning as well?
In this week’s parshah, Noach, we read that after the epic flood that wiped out the entire known world, G-d showed Noah a rainbow as a sign that He will not destroy the world again. In fact, our sages teach that when a rainbow appears it is a message that our behavior is not so great, and that we really deserve to be flooded again.
For this reason, when you do see one (and I don’t mean the kind your lawn sprinkler makes) there is a unique blessing to say.
And it has another shade, perhaps less known. It is a reflection of G-d’s divine glory, which Ezekiel describes “like the appearance of the rainbow that is in the cloud on a rainy day.” Because of this, the sages of the Talmud caution that we are not to stare at a rainbow.
Either way, next time you see a rainbow, stop for a moment, reflect on its meaning, and say the special blessing.
May your week be full of bright, shining colors!
on behalf of the Chabad.org Editorial Team
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