The Rainbow in the Cloud

The Rainbow in the Cloud

By Rabbi Yaakov Paley


From the crowded confines of a supernatural floating ark, Noah stepped into the still reality of an empty and lonely universe. The world that was, was no more. A fresh yet vacant world with a drastically altered landscape now encircled him, pleading and beckoning to him to begin again.

Dare I, wondered Noah, replenish the earth's population? Dare I facilitate the naissance of nations and construction of cities, where the air shall be filled with sounds of activity, cries of sorrows amidst laughter and joys? And what if they follow that same pattern of corruption, which will culminate with my offspring's obliteration through a future global cleansing?

Rainbows are minorities, yet they define the skies G-d heard Noah's pondering. And G-d then created a beautiful arching bow of light, where orange, scarlet, green and blue simultaneously curved as they carved through the firmament. As Noah watched in wonder, behind him a wooden ark of the past and a before him luminous arc of the future, G-d gave Noah His promise...

Whenever mankind's skies would darken with untoward deeds; whenever the tapestry of humankind's collective performance would grow heavy from sinful pursuits; when their atmosphere would roll and their world would crash with the thunder of violence and the turbulence of injustice; when dreadful flashes of denial, dishonesty, cruelty and depravity would rend society asunder; when the victims' blood and the tears of the oppressed would fall in hopeless torrents and disappear beneath the sullen sodden soil of man's conscience --there would yet appear a redeeming rainbow.

Never again will He preserve the rose in a crafted pot whilst He torches the rest of His garden The embattled light of truth, justice and divinity will never again be thoroughly blocked from filtering through the collective clouds of mankind's perversity. There will always be a righteous minority within mankind, who despite the vapors, will be ready and willing to accept the burden and beauty of arching bravely and steadily heavenwards; to touch some of heaven's radiance from beyond, then curve gracefully back towards the earth --thus banishing the gloom from within their arc and filling the threatening atmosphere with the glorious ray of colors that are manmade reflections of G-d's truth and hope for mankind.

There will always be, G-d promised, at least a minority that remains faithful to the seven laws that G-d gave all mankind; seven colors through which humankind can survive, thrive and spiritually illuminate their planet. G-d's promise guarantees their perpetual existence and their ability to shine; to ultimately broaden their bands of influence and become the righteous majority...

Yet, in the midst of a mass of grey and white cloud, those particles with a greenish or an orange reflection may appear uncomfortably obtrusive --some may despair at maintaining their faith and honest ways in the face of a universe filled with corruption. Or daunted at the task of encouraging the truths that society prefers to ignore or ridicule.

They should realize, however, that G-d observes the honest and faithful with delight, much as a child who dreads the storm is yet enthralled and enchanted with the presence of a magnificent rainbow. Being unique does not detract from the truth of one's course. Rainbows are minorities, yet they define the skies.

G-d observes the honest and faithful with delight, much as a child who dreads the storm is yet enthralled and enchanted with the presence of a magnificent rainbow G-d promised Noah that He would observe this bright rainbow contrasted against the blackened rage, and will spare the earth from destruction on behalf of the rainbow. Never again will He preserve the rose in a crafted pot whilst He torches the rest of His garden. Rather, on behalf of those future children of Noah, who like Noah would walk with G-d, the rest of his descendants shall be spared the annihilation suffered by the sons of Adam. Adam sinned once, and all but one family of his offspring were drowned; Noah preserved his faith, and G-d promised to preserve his progeny.

The rainbow is a sign that darkness shall not reign unchallenged forever, but will eventually dissipate and fade from memory. Behind those clouds lie a sun-filled sky of clarity of purpose and warmth for all. The mere existence of these righteous minorities, that throughout history strive to reflect the Divine in their lives and deeds, grants confident witness to the existence, proximity, and eventual triumph of a bright future for all mankind.

A rainbow signals that the present chaos is merely the storm before the calm.

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