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16

Is a rainbow a bad sign? As was mentioned in the other answers, G-d tells Noach that he will never bring another flood to destroy the earth. The rainbow will be a sign, when G-d will see it he will remember the and refrain from destroying the earth (Bereshit 9:6-17). In particular, verse 14-15 says: "At a time when I bring clouds over the earth (i.e. ...


14

According to Rav Saadya Gaon (commentary to Genesis 9:13) the rainbow was not a new phenomenon. Rather it was imbued with new meaning as the sign of the covenant. Similarly, Ramban, writes (commentary to Genesis 9:12) that although the simple reading of the verses indicates it was a new phenomenon, we are forced to accept the conclusion of the Greeks that ...


11

Rav Hirsch writes on Noach 9:12 It is by no means necessary to assume that hitherto there had been no rainbow and to place it in connection with the atmospheric changes which occurred after the Flood. Just as Hashem showed Avraham the starry heavens and said, כה יהיה זרעך, as He showed Moshe and Aharon the new moon, and with the words החדש הזה לכם ...


9

Per Mishna Brura (229:1), when one sees a rainbow he should not inform a friend about it, but rather make a bracha and keep it to himself.


8

You are not supposed to gaze at it, however if you notice it you make a Bracha. When one sees a rainbow a bracha should be made. However, one should be careful not to stare at a rainbow for too long (Orach Chaim 229:1). The Be'er Hataiv 2 in Orach Chaim 229:1 says that looking at a rainbow weakens the eyes. http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=...


8

As noted by Gershon, this is Mishnah Berurah citing the Chayei Adam. It seems that there might be room for manipulation according to other posekim. Thus: Q. (252) Mr. Danny Persoff: Is there an Issur to look at a rainbow? A. The Shulchan Aruch (229:1) writes that it is prohibited to look at a rainbow "B'yotair" for a prolonged period of time. The Gra (...


8

As the OP asked for “Rabbinic Sefarim” without designating a time period, I’d like to use this space to take note of the Chofetz Chaim’s response to a solar eclipse in Radin (I believe it was the March 1922 eclipse, when Radin was in the penumbra). This was documented by his talmid Rabbi Shmuel Pliskin in the 1962 edition of Beis Yaakov newspaper (no ...


7

Some believe that an "Oseh Ma'aseh V'reishis" should be made on the Niagara Falls because undoubtedly it is one of the most impressive natural wonders. However, after doing some research I have found that it may not be so simple because of three reasons. 1) Rav Chaim Kanievsky is quoted (V'zos HaBrachah pg. 155) saying that waterfalls do not receive a ...


6

Prof. Nathan Aviezer wrote a book "בראשית ברא" answering questions about the creation in torah view. There he claims the 6 days of creation to be 6 periods of time that didn't necessarily last 24 hours. Moreover - maybe it was one cycle of dark&light, but things happened at a quicker pace. Take, for example, a person's growth. If you were to calculate ...


6

Shu"t Bitzel Hahochma (R' Betzalel Stern) deals with a similar issue In Vol. 2 Siman 14. He discusses whether one should make a second beracha on the Mediterranean if he made one (within 30 days) on the ocean. He concludes that since they require the same beracha (according to him) and they are connected, a second beracha is not recited. לפימש"כ לעיל (סי' ...


5

Ramban (Chapter 9, Verse 12) argues that the rainbow existed before the Mabul. However, only after the Mabul did Hashem select it to serve as a sign of His covenant to not cause another Mabul. The rainbow is a reversed bow. One who wishes to indicate peaceful intentions reverses his weapon away from the person he is greeting and points the weapon towards ...


4

The danger from an earthquake is balanced, as LN6595 cites from Fred, by other dangers. Let me quantify that: The life expectancy in California is 80.8 years; in New York State (for example), it's 80.5 years. (Source.) Thus, despite the earthquakes, despite the freeways, despite Death Valley and Bay to Breakers and all the other dangers out there, you still ...


4

For a situation to be forbidden according to Halacha, there must be a significant danger. A situation where there is only a very small likelihood of danger is not forbidden under Jewish law. Instead, one should trust Hashem who watches over us as the Pasuk in Tehillim says, "Shomer Pesayim Hashem" - Hashem guards those who act simply. (Mesillas Yesharim, Sha'...


4

The source of this Halacha is the Mishna (Brachot 9:2) that does not differentiate between comets, earthquakes, lightning, thunder and winds. It's obvious that you only saw the comets and lightning and heard the thunder. You can't touch them. It also doesn't say you have to climb the mountains, swim in the ocean or enter the desert. there too it just says ...


3

Doesn't this require that God intervene in nature in a very obvious way on a regular basis? The answer to this question is yes Originally, miracles occurred on a regular basis. We see this from the list of miracles that existed during the first temple. Additionally, the prophets were active and were able to perform miracles. We also see that the Bnai ...


3

It doesn't make sense to say that something predictable and cyclical is a bad omen. It's like saying the seasons, which occur every year, are a bad omen. The case of eclipses are just further apart. The achronim assume Chazal knew what they were talking about when they said מאורות לוקין, and assume that they knew how to predict eclipses (I'm not sure if ...


3

As an example, there actually is a "scientific" explanation for the splitting of the Yam Suf. The point is that a wind could have blown and uncovered a ridge of land across the sea. Hashem took this and changed it to be sufficient for the entire Bnei Yisrael as well as adding the miracles specified by the midrashim. It also kept the Egyptians away until they ...


3

Found it! באר הגולא, באר הראשון, תלונה השלישי: Context and summary: Maharal is defending what the people of his time and earlier times claimed: that the Rabbis of the Talmud engaged in Bal Tosif by adding Rabbinic law. Maharal offers a defense that the Rabbis looked into the inner workings of God's relationship with nature. They saw that God left it to ...


3

As I explained in this answer Even the great rationalists Maimonides and Gersonides assumed that the falling of the manna was miraculous. In fact, they assumed it was the most miraculous of miracles, on account of it being continuous for forty years. In addition to the sources I cited there, Gersonides also elaborates on this in Wars of the Lord Book VI Part ...


2

The Ramban there explains that God is saying that from now on it will be a sign that He will not destroy the world: ולכן נפרש הכתוב, הקשת אשר נתתי בענן מיום הבריאה תהיה מן היום הזה והלאה לאות ברית ביני וביניכם, שכל זמן שאראנה אזכיר כי ברית שלום ביני וביניכם: Perhaps one can explain that God causes the conditions for a rainbow to appear when He wants ...


2

Rashi on pasuk 14 seems to indicate this idea.


2

http://revach.net/ask/article.php?id=547 It seems that the rainbow bracha is for a very specific thing (which, mind you, took place over 1600 years after maaseh vereishit) so it doesn't get covered by the other standard nature brachot. Also, in the book Shaar HaAyin by Rabbi Eliyahu Ariel, in Chapter 12 footnote 1 he quotes Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky (sp?) that ...


2

In the sefer "Q&A Thursday Nights With Rabbi Avigdor Miller" Volume 2, pg 284, he was asked why were the dinosaurs and the mastodon not saved from the mabul? He answered simply because there was no room for them on the teivah (ark) .He said that all species fit but the extra big ones simply didn't fit.


2

One shouldn't lightly dismiss a statement of chazal that seems outdated without trying to understand something from it. Sometimes there's another level to what they are saying and sometimes the idea can be understood within modern science also. For example, some of the statements about demons can apply to other hidden harmful forces, such as bacteria (see ...


2

See this English translation of a Sicha from the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Likutei Sichot Volume 15, pg 7-12). A short synopsis from here: Now, you, I and the Jewish sages of old all have known for a very long time that eclipses are natural events that can be predicted thousands of years in advance. Thus we can be quite certain that their statement does not ...


2

My own thoughts. Eclipses are predictable and can be calculated in advance to the moment where it will happen and when it will happen. However hurricanes and earthquakes, no one can predict that a hurricnane or earthquake will happen at this precise moment in a year from now.


2

The sources that are being discussed do not actually mention feeling (or seeing, for that matter) the wind. They just says "on the wind..." I saw a sefer called עין ישראל cited in a likkut sefer (I don't recognize the sefer, though) in which he explains that the point of these blessings are because one is awed by these experiences. Therefore, the measure ...


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