The Rainbow Covenant

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Noah Rainbow v2

“Nature’s message of harmony is the rainbow.”

The covenant between God and Noah is represented by the rainbow. Some interpret this as the creation of the rainbow. Nachmanides famously argues against this opinion based on Greek science and says that rainbows always existed, it was just given new meaning as the symbol of the covenant at this moment.

I think this idea is very empowering. Religious life is rife with meaning, but the popular themes and ideas that form that meaning seem to be institutionalized and eternal.

The rainbow teaches us that old things can have new meaning. Just because it meant one thing before, does not mean it cannot mean a different thing now or later.

Be creative and proactive in seeking meaning in your Jewish life. If you are engaged in the process, and thinking about stories, rituals, and laws in your own individual way, we all will benefit from your unique contributions.

To me, the rainbow is a symbol of inclusivity. Rainbows include every color. The secret to the post-flood world’s success would be how well the various moving parts were able to work together with God to create a new Garden of Eden.

I’d say we still have some work to do…

Rabbi Eliyahu Fink is the founder of shulontheinternet.com.
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