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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


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 ...


4

R. Natan Slifkin wrote a whole chapter on this topic in his work "Man and Beast." (This was published in 2006, after the controversy over his other works; it has the haskama of Rav Berel Wein. It addressed the relationship between animals and people in Judaism, not touching on the controversial topics of his other works.) In "When bad things happen to good ...


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 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

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 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

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

I believe one makes the bracha "oseh ma'aseh bereishit" upon seeing wonders of nature. Here is a discussion of Niagra specifically http://halachaqa.blogspot.com/2011/07/niagara-falls-brachos-part-i.html


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 ...


2

I have read that one of the reasons for "natural" means is to allow people to refuse to believe that hashem caused the nes. That is, if a miracle occured, then it would prevent bechiras chofshis (free will). In order to allow for free will, hashem has the miracle appear to use "natural law" but occur at precisely the time needed and in precisely the way it ...


2

Rav Hirsch goes into detail on this subject in Noach 8:22. He says that the eternal spring that prevailed before the flood led to the slackness and degeneration that wound up causing the flood. This also included the extremely long lives that were common then. Rav Hirsch states that the constant changes will help man to be able to learn to rely on Hashem ...


2

There is a reference in Yerushalmi Brachot, 64a chapter 9, halacha 2 said in the name of Rabbi Acha that associates males homosexual practice with earthquakes. תני בר קפרא מתריעין על הזועות. שמואל אמר אין עבר ההן זיקא בכסיל מחריב העולם. מתיבון לשמואל ואנן חמין ליה עבר אמר להון לית איפשר או לעיל מינה או לרע מינה. שמואל אמר חכים אנא בשקקי שמיא כשקקי ...


2

I ask whether animals are proper subjects for this kind of moral question. Human beings know what we're thinking or feeling. Neurologically, it's done in an area in the prefrontal cortex other animals don't have. So, we have no scientific reason to believe animals know what they are thinking or feeling. The Behaviorists tried saying that mental states were ...


1

See the Rash"i beginning with קציר on the same page of the Gemarah that you mentioned. These appear to be climatological incidents. Among them, Rash"i explains that קציר is harvesting that occurs at the beginning of the rainy season, and it is the opposite of זרע that occurs at the beginning of the warm season. The terms in the verse are arrange in pairs ...


1

Rav Ovadia Bartenura addresses your question regarding lighting (Brachos 9:2) s.v. ברוך שכוחו מלא עולם. Quoting Brachos 59a, he points to Tehilim 135:7 "He made lightning for the rain." Regarding Bereishis saying it hadn't rained yet, those events (including the subsequent rain) still happened on the sixth day (according to Rashi for sure). Regarding the ...


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