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You can often see a rainbow in a spray of water such as from sprinkler irrigation. Is the brocha for a rainbow applicable in that case?

Also, does a rainbow that comes from a prism get a brocha too?

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@msh210 Should we keep the rainbow tag? I see a couple other questions that could be relevant when I search for the word 'rainbow' but it seems we always used other tags for them. –  Double AA Jan 20 '12 at 14:52
    
@DoubleAA I'm going with no, because I don't foresee anyone ever wanting to see all Jewish rainbow questions. Feel free to re-instate it if you feel strongly. –  Isaac Moses Jan 20 '12 at 15:24
    
@DoubleAA, I'd go with yes, because I forsee someone's wanting to see all Jewish rainbow questions. But I certainly won't press the point (and am deliberately not pinging Isaac Moses on this). –  msh210 Jan 20 '12 at 15:37
    
    
Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/29208/… –  msh210 Jun 3 '13 at 22:21
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1 Answer

up vote 11 down vote accepted

In a book I own called שער העין - Shaar HaAyin by a Rabbi Eliyahu Ariel in Chapter 7 Footnote 14 he says that this does not qualify for the special blessing on a rainbow as that was only for rainbows in clouds which are similar to the one by Noah. However, he suggests that it qualifies as an amazing natural wonder (similar to lightning) and would therefore deserve a Oseh Maaseh Vereishit like lightning. He concludes that as it is a matter of doubt, one should recite the blessing of Oseh Maaseh Vereishit but omit God's name from the blessing.

EDIT: In the book he is talking about a rainbow you can see sometimes near a waterfall. As the prism and sprinkler are artificial (and certainly not Maaseh Vereishit) it is likely that even he would agree not to say any blessing at all upon these rainbows.

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I don't know if he makes this point, but there is also the fact that every time the word קשת is mentioned in Gen. 9:13-17, it is qualified with בענן. Which also seems to imply that only the kind that appears in the clouds is a sign of Hashem's promise (and therefore of the berachah, which refers to it). –  Alex Jan 20 '12 at 16:55
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