© 2016 by Rabbi Zvi Aviner
Torah Class BLOODSHED-13/Noah’s Rainbow Covenant
We live under the Rainbow Covenant. We should place it on the walls of the UN, of our churches and prayer halls. It should be taught to every child or a grown person on Earth.
The Attributes have spoken. Now the final words are given by the Court’s SELF, the arbiter. It says:
The Heavenly Court’s Wings
“And YHVHsmelled the sweet aroma, and YHVHsaid to His heart,
I shall not again curse the ground any more for Adam,
For the drive of Adam’s heart
Is evil from his youth,
Neither shall I smite
Noah and his sons and said to them,
Be fruitful and multiply, and filled the earth,
And surely the blood of your life shall I require from the hands
Of every beast, and from the hands of man, from the hands of man I shall
Require the blood of man, whoever shed blood of man, by man will his blood be shed
For in the image of ELoKiMHe made the Adam… ”
“And ELoKiM told Noah and his sons saying: And I, MY SELF, shall establish my Covenant with you and your seeds after you…and I shall maintain my Covenant with you so that never again shall all flesh be destroyed by the water of the Flood and never again there shall be another Flood on Earth….
The novelty of Covenant
Before the Flood, the CREATOR had never entered a Treaty or a Covenant with Mankind. Neither Adam nor Enosh merited such approach. The Flood changed Noah. He dared to stand on his own rights and exercise his Free Will by refusing to comply with ELKM’s command and procreate. He would do that only on condition:
If he is promised a change in the Heavenly Court’s heart, and a change in the human’s heart, only then he would start civilization again.
Last two classes we read the two Wings of the Heavenly Court speaking to Noah. The two Attributes accepted his plea, but on condition too. If Noah has natured enough to offer a petition, to stand on his Free Will, then he should also be capable to enter a Treaty.
Time has arrived to seal such a Covenant between G-d and Man, the first ever. For that, let’s read the verdict of the SELF:
The Rainbow Covenant
Here is the text describing Noah’s Rainbow Covenant. Let’s counts how many times the words ‘Covenant’ and ‘Rainbow’ appear.
(9:8-15) “And ELoKiM said to Noah and his sons, saying:
I, MY SELF, shall establish my (1) Covenant with you and your seeds after you…
And I shall maintain my (2) Covenant with you so that never again shall all flesh be destroyed by the water of the Flood and never again there shall be another Flood on Earth….
“And ELoKiM said, this is the sign of the (3) Covenant I’ve set between me and you, and every living soul that is with you, for the generations of all time.
My (1) Rainbow I’ve given in the cloud, and it shall be a token for the (4) Covenant between me and Earth,
So that when I bring clouds on Earth, the (2) Rainbow appears in the cloud
I shall remember my (5) Covenant that is between me and you and between all living souls that is in all flesh and the water shall never again become a Flood to destroy all flesh
And the (3)Rainbow shall be in the cloud and I shall see it and I will remember the everlasting (6) Covenant between ELoKiM and between every living soul that is in all flesh that is on Earth. And ELoKiM said to Noah: This is the sign of my (7)Covenant which I have established between myself and all flesh that is on the Earth.” (Genesis 9: 8-17)
How majestic! The Rainbow Covenant’s text carries:
The word “Covenant” 7 times (rendering holiness to it)
The Name “ELoKiM” 3 times (stamping the Covenant with a signature of the Absolute truth)
The word “Rainbow” 3 times
And the notion that the Flood would not return, repeated 3 times (a pledge)
What is the purpose of the Rainbow?
The Rainbow ‘reminds’ ELoKiM not to bring back the Flood
It reminds us that we live on condition
The Rainbow ‘separates’ ELoKIM’s ruling into two types (Midrash):
1. An “Attenuated Judgment” of ELoKiM that rules the world ‘below’ the Rainbow,
2. A harsh Judgment of ELoKiM that still rules the Universe ‘above’ the Rainbow.
Here on Earth we face an attenuated mode of JUDGMENT, at Noah’s request
But in the after-life, we will face the harsh JUDGMENT of ELKM, as ever before
In addition, the Rainbow signifies more MERCY in the World, per Noah’s request.
So that the Flood would not return SO FAST as before.
So when we see
Our glob warming, like in Noah’s time,
Our oceans rising, like in Noah’s time,
Our shores battered by increasingly more ferocious storms, like in Noah’s time,
Shouldn’t we recall the Rainbow Covenant?