The Rainbow

Rabbi Yaacov Haber

Parshas Noach

The rainbow represented a covenant of peace. Peace had been made between G-d and the world. The Rainbow symbolized that G-d will not destroy the world again, there will never be another flood like this one. Why a rainbow?

Why, of all His many creations did G-d choose a rainbow as a symbol of peace?

There is an interesting Halacha regarding a rainbow. If one goes outside and is awestruck by the multicolor phenomena gracing the sky one is forbidden to point out the rainbow to someone else. It is a sign of curse! So why does the symbol of peace become a bad tiding of curse?

The answer lies in the scientific explanation of the rainbow. A rainbow

is a diffusion of light. Light starts out as a single monocular ray. When it is filtered through a cloud in a certain way the one single color diffuses and diversifies into all colors. In a sense, the rainbow is a revelation of the inner truth of light. What seems to be white and simple is actually made up of millions of different colors.

In the Yom Kippur prayer we describe the beautiful site of the Kohein Gadol as he came out of the Holy of Holies. We describe him as a rainbow. The Kohein represents the entire nation of Israel when he stands before G-d. He stands before the One, the only One, but represents the diversity He created. When he succeeds he is beautiful in his ahavas Yisroel. He brings forth the simple light, the Ohr Dak and turns it into a rainbow.

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