Community Torah Corner, October 20, 2023

Rabbi Iscah Waldman
Upper School Jewish Studies Faculty
Golda Och Academy
Parashat Noach

Searching for the Rainbow
As I left school one day this week, 我抬头一看,发现一道彩虹刚刚开始消失在280号公路上空的云层中. "How timely," I thought, 考虑到彩虹的起源故事出现在本周的Torah部分, Parashat Noach. 我默默地祈祷,希望这对澳门新葡京app下载所有人来说都是一个启示——穿过悲伤和愤怒, 通过这些天澳门新葡京app下载许多人对以色列的担忧和赤裸裸的恐惧. Then, like many of us, I started to think. Too much. 
I looked back at the parashah 看看神第一次向挪亚描述将要发生在世界上的毁灭. “For My part, I am about to bring the Flood—waters upon the earth—to destroy all flesh under the sky in which there is breath of life; everything on earth shall perish:  But I will establish My covenant with you, and you shall enter the ark, with your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives.” (Gen. 6:17-18).

当然值得注意的是,上帝没有首先提到诺亚用来拯救他自己和他的家人的方舟也是一个巨人, floating, foul-smelling animal refuge, I am more interested in the intent of the covenant. In the midst of devastating loss, God promises a covenant with Noach, at first implying that just Noach would be saved. After the flood, 神解释说,彩虹将是这个约的提醒, explaining in verse 9:14-15: “When I bring clouds over the earth, 我就记念我与你们和各样有血肉的活物所立的约, 使水不再成为洪水,毁灭一切有血肉的.“在洪水结束时,上帝基本上把这个约扩展到澳门新葡京app下载所有人身上. 
Yet, so many questions still arise for me.
Did Noach ask for this covenant? 也许这是一个幼稚的问题,因为在同一律法中,亚伯拉罕既没有要求离开他的祖国,也没有(几乎)牺牲他的孩子, where Moshe hesitated at being called to lead, and where Jonah just plain ran the other way! It feels as though God’s covenants are a little one-sided. Here too, 我想知道诺亚是否想成为旧世界最后的幸存者, and what kind of trauma would await him in the aftermath.
Who actually needed this colorful reminder? Noach lived through horrible destruction and survived. Surely that would obviate the need for the beautiful rainbow? 如果彩虹仍然是今天澳门新葡京app下载的提醒(比诺亚更重要), are we meant to remember the devastation along with the promise that the world will never again be destroyed? Is this sign both threat and promise?
What did God mean when saying, 我就记念我与你们和各样有血肉的活物所立的约?” 如果我确信诺亚会记得发生了什么,上帝当然也会记得! If God needs to remember that sometimes humans sin, 上帝不会选择毁灭澳门新葡京app下载——不知何故,我感到更加矛盾. 拉什甚至认为,并非每一代人都需要这样的提醒. For example, 在内塔尼亚胡和希蒙巴约海的时代,世界上很少有信仰失败的人,上帝甚至不需要提醒. I am happy for those generations, but I will point out that this week as I continued my drive home, 我甚至看到了第二道彩虹——所以我猜在澳门新葡京app下载这个时代,完美的记录已经被打破了. 
那大多数时候澳门新葡京app下载看不到彩虹呢? If the rainbow means God will remember, 如果有几代人没有彩虹(根据Rashi的说法), then should we worry when we see nothing? 这当然是一个令人担忧的问题,因为彩虹是一个罕见的场合,值得澳门新葡京app下载在所有的社交媒体上发布它! 当澳门新葡京app下载感到绝望和没有希望时,澳门新葡京app下载能让神记住澳门新葡京app下载吗? 
12世纪西班牙评论家和哲学家亚伯拉罕·伊本·以斯拉在最后一个问题上给出了答案.  He explains that when Gen. 9:16 suggests that when the bow will be in the clouds, one should really read it as the Hebrew suggests: “וְהָיְתָ֥ה הַקֶּ֖שֶׁת בֶּֽעָנָ֑ן.” Meaning, the bow IS in the clouds, albeit hidden sometimes. Even when we do not see the rainbow, 即使有时澳门新葡京app下载觉得上帝已经忘记了澳门新葡京app下载, we must know that God CAN and DOES see the covenant with us and will remember us. 
And so I will drive on my way, keeping my eyes on the road - of course, but also keeping my head on the rainbow that IS there, just above all of our heads. May this Shabbat be one of peace for us all.  Shabbat Shalom.