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Editor's Note: A Rainbow of Meaning

Dear Friend,

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!

Moshe Rosenberg
on behalf of the Editorial Team

P.S.: Like a rainbow has variety of colors, our weekly magazine has all types content. Let me know your favorite by sharing a comment.

Lunar Flood, Solar Year

How a year plus eleven days makes a year
The Survivor

We are all Noahs. Let us rebuild our world
Children's Math

Euthanasia makes sense. The animal kingdom, Greek culture and Darwinism all lend their credence. The only one withholding credence is a pesky verse in our Parshah...
Noach in a Nutshell
Noah is instructed to build the Ark; the rain begins to fall and the entire world is flooded. A year later Noah and his family leave the ark, build an altar and offer sacrifices to G‑d. Noah’s descendants build a tower to “fight G‑d,” and are dispersed across the face of the earth.
The Rebbe
In Which Body Will a Reincarnated Soul Return?

I received your letter in which you ask the question "if a soul has come back to earth several times to complete its duty here, when Messiah comes in which form will the soul come back?"
Your Questions
Help! I Don't Want to Turn Into My Father!

Sure, there are all those events that happened, the weather, geography, DNA. But we are the ones to string them together with meaning and direction. There is no story to life, until we tell it...
I'm Ashamed of My Husband's Kippah

He wears his kippah all the time. It’s such a rarity in our social circles, so it makes me feel uncomfortable and, at times, even ashamed.
Jewish History
10 Anti-Semitic Myths

In the Middle Ages, many delusional beliefs about Jews gripped the European masses, some of which were later modernized by the Nazis. There were at least 10 such superstitions, traces of which can still be found today.
A Literate Jew

Jewish culture has always expected that even Jewish laypeople be well-versed in their religion.
Do It Yourself Ark-Building

Why G-d wanted Noah to make a public spectacle by building an ark all by himself. Understanding the verse "Make for yourself an ark..." (Genesis 6:14) and how Noah, as righteous as he was, failed as a spiritual leader.

One little dude throwing words at another little dude.
You Are All Wicked!

The produce continued to dry up, animals were dying, and still, not a single cloud could be spotted in the sky.
A Single Father’s Love

Each year I struggle to make my father’s memory relevant to my children’s lives. I fight against time itself, which threatens to eradicate the deep connection I shared with my father.
The Beauty Queen of South Africa Finds the Beauty of Judaism

In 1973, Ellen Peters, a Protestant biracial woman, was chosen as South Africa’s beauty queen. Today, she goes by the name Ilana Skolnick, and she is an observant Jew.
Choose Six

G-d makes a very precise calculation, titrating our spouse’s flaws to our unique vulnerabilities.
Purple Cabbage & Apple Salad

Get healthy after the holidays with this vibrant salad.
Sticky Beef Ribs with Dried Fig Wine Sauce

It doesn't get sticker, richer or more delicious than this. Slow cooked beef ribs infused with deep figs, red wine and a touch of rosemary. The neighbors will come knocking!
Goat Looking at the Moon
We all wonder about G‑d and this universe we live in.
Jewish News
A Bittersweet Jewish Holiday in Nepal After Deadly Blizzard Hits Hikers

Chabad emissaries and volunteers in Nepal have been fielding frantic calls from parents, assisting stranded tourists, and helping friends and relatives receive information and grapple with the loss of loved ones.
Q&A: The Story Behind the Storyteller: Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles

What do people really want to hear about, and how does he help make that happen in the holy city of Safed?
Helping Put Food on the Holiday Tables of Israelis in Need

Colel Chabad engages in a month-long humanitarian effort, using volunteers to pack and deliver boxes of goods
Par for the Course: A Florida Sukkah Fitted on a Golf Cart

Chabad couple comes up with a twist on the mobile sukkah, one especially good for seniors and children
One does not tire of counting diamonds.
— The Lubavitcher Rebbe, when asked how he could stand on his feet for hours greeting the thousands who came to see him