After my mum died and while we were planning for her funeral, during one dramatic day after we had left the funeral home, my dad and I saw a giant double rainbow in the sky. I understand that single rainbows are a sign of God's covenant with us. But, can you please tell me what a double rainbow is a sign of? Is there something in the Torah or in any other Jewish writings that provides an understanding of the meaning of a double rainbow?


1 Answer 1


The Seforno on Bereishis 9:17 understands the double rainbow as a wakeup call for Noach and his family “to [spiritually] wake up on seeing it, and to awaken the people of the generation to repent, to be wise, and to do good.” The Sages in several places caution against staring at the rainbow, based on a mystical understanding of the rainbow's significance.

Taken from jewcology.com

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    Not that I am one to question the sforno but the text reads on 9:17 "זאת הקשת השניה" -- is this necessarily a double rainbow, or simply a second rainbow?
    – rosends
    Feb 17, 2014 at 15:18
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    The Seforno holds that the rainbow already existed as part of creation, and so the rainbow which is referred to in parshas Noach is the second rainbow, the fainter rainbow whose colors are in the reverse order of the main rainbow. This is the double rainbow that the OP refers to. (See the Seforno on posuk 13, and also the Artscroll Seforno for a full explanation).
    – user4523
    Feb 17, 2014 at 17:27
  • @GeminiMan thank you - I see kfula there. I appreciate the citation!
    – rosends
    Feb 17, 2014 at 17:45
  • judaism.stackexchange.com/a/10071/603
    – Menachem
    Feb 17, 2014 at 18:17

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