Sign up to TorahFax


Friday, Mar-Cheshvan 3, 5780 / November 1, 2019


One of the fundamental beliefs of Judaism is that everything which occurs in this world is not accidental, but is directly controlled by Divine Providence.  As a result of this strong belief, our sages have designated various blessings thanking G-d for all the good things we encounter.


In fact, our belief in Divine Providence is so strong that we bless G-d not only for good experiences but also for, G-d forbid, the bad.  Our sages tell us that, "Just as one must bless G-d for the good, one must also bless G-d for the bad."  For if everything is controlled by G-d, Who is the ultimate good, we believe that whatever G-d does is for the good.


Realistically, we may not always see the good which is hidden and perhaps we will never see it.  But that is due to our physical limitations. Only G-d, Who sees the past, present and future, can determine what is truly good in an everlasting sense.


This is why, even in the case of death, the mourners recite the blessing, "Baruch Dayan Emet" - "Blessed is the true Judge."  This is an affirmation of our faith in G-d, for only He is the Judge who can pass true and just judgment.


There is a special blessing we recite upon seeing a rainbow.  "Blessed are you L-rd, our G-d, King of the universe, Who remembers the covenant, is trustworthy in His covenant and fulfills His word."


Q.  What is the significance of this special blessing?


A.  The rainbow's significance is found in this week’s Parsha, Noah. After Noah left the ark, G-d made the following promise, "Never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth. This is the covenant which I make between Me and you and every living creature that is with you for perpetual generations: I set My bow in the cloud and it shall be for a covenant between Me and the earth.  And I will remember My covenant... and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh..."


The Midrash explains that when G-d told Noah to leave the ark and "be fruitful and multiply" Noah was hesitant to have more children for fear that G-d may again destroy the world.  G-d then made an oath not to bring another great flood.  Noah was still hesitant and asked G-d for a sign.  G-d showed him the rainbow and declared, "This is my sign. Whenever mankind will deserve a Flood, I will look at the rainbow and remember the covenant."


Although the rainbow can be explained as a seemingly natural phenomena, the Torah tells us that it is a reminder of G-d's covenant. As a result, we praise G-d by reciting the above blessing.




Montreal candle lighting time: 5:23 / Shabbat ends: 6:26