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KMTT - the Torah Podcast

Oct 27, 2022

Noach | The Rainbow and the Covenant, by Rav Yitzchak Etshalom

Who are the parties to the first Berit, symbolized by the rainbow? 

The first ברית made in the Tanakh is between God and...? (People? Animals? The Earth?) in the immediate aftermath of the cataclysmic flood. The rainbow is presented as the "sign of the Berit", which is there so that God will "remember" His commitment to never again destroy the world or its inhabitants. Besides the obvious theological challenges inherent in this presentation, it is also unclear what the role of this covenant is and who the two "sides" of the agreement are and what obligations they have towards each other. We propose that this original Berit be seen through the eyes of the "original audience" of Sefer Bereishit, the nation standing at Sinai, who are entering an eternal covenant with HaKadosh Barukh Hu.