Rainbow Day

On the 27th day of the second month, Noah, his family, and all the animals that were with them left the ark (Genesis 8). Exactly one lunar year and ten days before—one complete solar year—the flood began on the 17th of the second month, the day before Lag B’ Omer. When Noah, the animals and his family went out from the ark, God made a covenant, with all the animals and the people, that there would never be again be a flood of water to destroy life on Earth. Rainbow Day is always the 42nd day of the Omer, the day before Yom Yerushalayim. Other days connected the Rainbow Covenant include Shabbat Noach and Shabbat Behar.


Why is the Rainbow Covenant important?


This message comes from Jewcology.com. This site relates Jews and Ecology. It has its own agenda which may or may not be valid in the Kabbalah. I will let you decide.

The Rainbow Covenant is a time to celebrate the diversity of life on Earth and to remember our role in God’s covenant with all Creation. It is a time to remember that the first covenant was not with human beings but with all living creatures. It is a chance to reflect on the deep spiritual and religious meaning of diversity, creation, and our role as part of creation and partners with God.


What is the message of the Rainbow Covenant?

The Torah teaches that God has promised never to flood the Earth again. But that doesn’t mean humanity can’t “flood the Earth” and harm life. We live in a time when many species have gone extinct or are threatened with extinction. Our civilization is using so much of the world’s land and resources that we don’t always leave room for the other creatures. And the climate is changing. As the African-American spiritual goes, “God gave Noah the Rainbow sign, no more water, the fire next time!” The story of Noah and the Flood teaches us that we have a responsibility to care for all creation and all creatures, and that caring for all species is a mark of righteousness.

The rainbow teaches about the unity of all life (R. Shimshon Rafael Hirsch)

For is the rainbow anything else but the one pure complete ray of light, broken up into seven degrees of seven colors, from the red rays, nearest to the light, to the violet תכלת , most distant from the light, losing itself into the darkness; and from the one to the other are they not all rays of light, and combined all together, do they not form the one complete pure white ray? Could not this perhaps be meant to say: the whole manifold variety of all living creatures from the “most alive” Adam, the אדם “red one”, “Man”, nearest to the godly, down to the lowest, humblest form of life in the humblest worm, “every living soul that is in all flesh” (Gen 9:16), God unites them all together in one common bond of peace, all fragments of one life, all refracted rays of the one spirit of God? That even the lowest, darkest, most distant one, is still a child of the light?

R. Hirsch’s interpretation, in his commentary on parshat Noah, is that the colors of the rainbow symbolize the diversity of all living things on Earth. (See also module 12). His understanding of color may differ from ours (see module 15), and we may have different ideas about the hierarchy of being—i.e., ecologically speaking, the world needs fungus far more than human beings for life to continue.

One very interesting quirk of this teaching: In Jewish lore, the color תכלת is considered “closest” to God. As the Midrash says, “T’cheilet תכלת resembles the sea, the sea resembles the sky, and the sky resembles God’s throne of glory.” So if we go by this model, and accept R. Hirsch’s identification of תכלת with violet, the “red one” would be further from the divine light. One way of reconciling this derives from a teaching of Kabbalah: “What is lower in this world descends from a higher place in the spiritual worlds.”

Here’ s another thought from R. Hirsch about the rainbow:

Its appearance is that of an arc joining the earth to heaven, accordingly a bond between heaven and earth. The phenomenon itself is woven of light and water. In the midst of overcast threatening clouds it announces the presence of light, [and] is accordingly a reminder that in the midst of God’s threatened wrath His preserving grace is still there.

Jerusalem Day

This year Jerusalem Day is on Thursday Night May 18 2023 and Friday May 19 2023. This is the 56th Jerusalem Day. Jerusalem Day is celebrated as a historical event. This is the day that Jerusalem was reunited during the six day war of 1967. This day is the 28th day of Iyar in the Hebrew Calendar and is also the 43rd Day of the Omer. 43 is מג Mog in Hebrew. Mog translates as “to dissolve.” That is what happened in 1967. The Klipah was dissolved allowing for the reunification of the City of David.

That is why the Kabbalists celebrate this day. As an energy day that indicates the process of eliminating the Klipah – The negative shells that conceal the Light from anyone else.

Historical Background

After Israel declared its independence in 1948, it was attacked by the neighboring Arab countries, resulting in the Arab-Israeli War. At the end of this war, the city of Jerusalem was divided. Israeli forces controlled most of the city and East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was controlled by Jordanian forces. The Old City was important for strategic and religious reasons, as many sites of religious importance are in this part of the city. These include: the Dome of the Rock and al-Asqa Mosque (Muslims); the Temple Mount and the Western Wall or Kotel (Jewish); and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Christian).

On June 7 1967 one day into the Six-Day War, Israeli forces captured the old city of Jerusalem. This resulted in the reunification of Jerusalem as part of Israel. According to the Hebrew calendar, it was the 28th day of the month of Iyar in the year 5727 and the anniversary of this date is known as Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day.

Meaning of the Name of Jerusalem

Jerusalem ירושלימ is composed of two Hebrew Words. One is Yeru or Yirah which means “fear or awe”, the other is Shalem which means "complete" or "peace." The meaning of this Name is “Complete Awe.”

The Kabbalists teach that Jerusalem is the energy center of the world. They teach that all of Shefa from HaShem flows through Jerusalem and then out to other lands and countries.

What Wikipedia has to say

Yom Yerushalayim--Jerusalem Day--is the most recent addition to the Hebrew calendar.

It is celebrated on the 28th day of Iyar (six weeks after the Passover Seder, one week before the eve of Shavuot). Although Jerusalem has been considered the capital city of the Jewish people since the time of King David--who conquered it and built it as the seat of his monarchy in approximately 1000 B.C.E.--there has never been a special day in honor of the city until the Israeli army took over the ancient, eastern part of the city on the third day of the Six-Day War in June 1967.

Shortly after the Six-Day War, "a municipal unification" of the two sections of the city took place, ending 19 years of separation between predominantly Arab and Jewish suburbs of Jerusalem following the War of Independence in 1948.

A Young Holiday

Due to the young age of this holiday, there is still not much which makes it unique in terms of customs and traditions. It is gradually becoming a "pilgrimage day," when thousands of Israelis travel (some hike!) to Jerusalem to demonstrate solidarity with the city. This show of solidarity is of special importance to the state of Israel, since the international community has never approved the "reunification" of the city under Israeli sovereignty, and many countries have not recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State (The United Nations "partition plan" of November 1947 assigned a status of "International City" to Jerusalem).

The Israeli education system devotes the week preceding this day to enhancing the knowledge of the history and geography of the city, with a special emphasis on the unique role that it played in Jewish messianic aspirations since Biblical times.

Reciting Hallel

The status of Yom Yerushalayim in Jewish religious life seems more ambiguous than the religious status of Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel Independence Day). Following the model of Yom Ha'atzmaut, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has decided that this day should also be marked with the recital of Hallel (psalms of praise), and with the lengthier version of Psukei d' Zimra (the psalms in the earlier part of the morning service). It is quite clear that ultra-Orthodox Jews, in Israel and abroad, have not accepted Yom Yerushalayim, but it is not clear how many Orthodox Jews chant the Hallel psalms on this day.

Israel's Progressive (Reform) prayerbook notes that Hallel should be recited on Yom Yerushalayim but not so the Masorti (Conservative) prayerbook which does suggest a list of supplemental readings for this day. The American Conservative siddur, Sim Shalom, mentions that Hallel is recited "in some congregations" on Yom Yerushalayim.

The ambiguity of the religious status of this holiday is reflected in celebrations--or lack thereof-- outside of Israel. While the city of Jerusalem has significant meaning for all Jews, Yom Yerushalayim has yet to obtain the popularity of Yom Ha'atzmaut and is not observed extensively outside of Israel.

In addition, unlike Yom Ha'atzmaut--which is a day to celebrate the existence and successes of the modern Jewish state--Yom Yerushalayim can make some politically liberal Jews outside of Israel uncomfortable, due to the continuing conflicts over the future of the city. Even some Jews who believe that the city should remain undivided and under Israel's control choose not to emphasize Yom Yerushalayim as a day of joy because of the deeply emotional, violent, and controversial state of affairs surrounding the Arab portions of Jerusalem. Others however, believe that despite the current political conflicts an undivided Jerusalem is something to be celebrated openly and unhesitatingly, a sign like Yom Ha'atzmaut of Jewish political independence.

A common citation in Yom Yerushalayim celebrations in Israel is the quote (Psalm 122:4) Ir shehubrah lah yahdaiv-- "a city that is compact together" or "a city uniting all." (This translation is probably influenced by a rabbinic midrash on this verse which interpreted the phrase to reflect events in rabbinic times. In using the citation today, a modern midrash has been built on the rabbinic interpretation.)

The course which Yom Yerushalayim will take in future decades will be influenced, undoubtedly by the political developments which will determine the status of the city in future times.

A Sicha (Speech based on Torah)

“You Shall Be Called ‘My Delight’”

Based on a sicha by Harav Yehuda Amital zt”l

Translated by Karen Fish


The 28th of Iyar has come to be known as “Yom Yerushalayim,” but in the Tanakh this appellation appears in the context of the Destruction:


Remember O Lord, unto the children of Edom the day of Yerushalayim (Yom Yerushalayim), when they said, “Raze it; raze it to its very foundations.” (Tehillim 137:7)


Perhaps therefore, it would have been more appropriate to call the day “Yom Cheftzi-Va:”


For Zion’s sake I shall not be still, and for Yerushalayim’s sake I shall not be silent, until her righteousness emerges like radiance and its salvation like a burning torch… You shall no more be called “Forsaken,” and your land shall no longer be called “Desolate;” rather, you shall be called “My Delight” (cheftzi-va), and your land – “Espoused,” for God delights in you, and your land shall be espoused."(Yeshayahu 62:1-4)


Although a great distance still remains to be covered – the Temple has not yet been rebuilt, and we are far from the Jerusalem described in the prophecy – the return of Jewish sovereignty to Jerusalem after two thousand years of foreign rule still represents something of the promise of “cheftzi-va.”


The manner in which Jerusalem was liberated likewise points in the direction of “cheftzi-va.” Rav Unterman, the Chief Rabbi at the time, hesitated to institute the blessing preceding Hallel on Yom Ha'atzmaut, but for Yom Yerushalayim which celebrates the miracles of the Six-Day War, he instructed that Hallel should be recited with its blessing. On Yom Ha'atzmaut, Am Yisrael emerged “from slavery to freedom;” on Yom Yerushalayim we emerged from death to life.               Even the nations of the world drew parallels between biblical prophecies and the events of the Six-Day War, when the very stars of the heavens fought on our behalf. We went to war because of Sharm al-Sheikh but our victory in the Sinai was dwarfed by the liberation of Jerusalem. We recite Hallel over the wondrous salvation and victory of the war but the significance of the war is Jerusalem.


And it shall be, when all these things befall you – the blessing and the curse which I have placed before you – then you shall take it to heart… (Devarim 30:1)


We must observe the ways of God and internalize their message. Seemingly natural historical events, and certainly supernatural historical events, represent God’s communication with Am Yisrael. This language has its own codes; just as in the Written Law, there is “pardes” (peshat, remez, derash, and sod, the different levels on which the text may be interpreted and understood), there are similarly different types of miracles involved in the events that God brings about. Some are overt and manifest, like the splitting of the Red Sea; no one can miss them. Of these we may say, “How great are Your deeds, O God!” Others are hidden, like the miracles of Megillat Esther. It requires a certain level of faith and insight to perceive the Divine machinations that were at work from the very start, throughout all the developments and up until the salvation at the end. Of these miracles we may say, “Your thoughts are exceedingly deep.”


All of these, however, may be regarded as the “Written Law;” all of these miracles came from God. At the same time, there is an “Oral Law” – the sphere of joint activity between God and Am Yisrael.


From the time of the Destruction of the Temple until the establishment of the State of Israel, Jewish history under Divine providence was conducted as the “Written Law.” Since the State of Israel was established, the miracles and wonders that we have witnessed in Eretz Yisrael are manifestations of the “Oral Law.” Divine providence provides the possibility and the timing, while Am Yisrael fights and actualizes. The establishment of the State marked the end of the approach of King Chizkiyahu, “I sleep upon my bed, while You carry out” (Eikha Rabba, petichta 30). Henceforth, so long as we do not yet merit having the Divine Presence in our midst and the rebuilding of the Temple, the miracles in Israel are “Oral Law.” Am Yisrael is entrusted with a huge responsibility.


It was discovered after the Six-Day War that the IDF leadership had predicted the duration of the war and the victory with great accuracy; they had also estimated the number of IDF casualties. Am Yisrael merited that the General Staff plan was God’s plan; God took care of the timing and prevented failure.


This is true of the victory against Egypt and Syria – but the liberation of Jerusalem was a manifestation of the “Written Law.” There had been no operative plans for conquest of the city, and calming messages had been conveyed to Jordan; nevertheless, Jerusalem became part of the war.


… You shall be called “My Delight” (cheftzi-va), and your land – “Espoused” for God delights in you, and your land shall be espoused.


The Gemara (Gittin 55b) teaches that Jerusalem was destroyed “because of Kamtza and Bar-Kamtza.” What does this mean? Is it possible that had it not been for the unfortunate mistake of the servant who invited Bar-Kamtza instead of Kamtza to the feast, the Destruction would have been averted? Obviously not. The Divine decree had already been sealed, but Divine Providence produced a demonstration that symbolized and reflected the reasons for what happened later. What was exposed at that time was an instance of senseless hatred.


In the period of Israel’s rebirth, too, God exposed an image: the image of Israeli paratroopers weeping at the Western Wall. Secular people, kibbutz members – this was the picture of the great longing of secular Jews cut off from their religious roots. This image carries a profound message concerning the religious consciousness of all of Am Yisrael. In the depths of its heart, in the deepest recesses of its soul, Am Yisrael is connected to God. It was out of this national unity that Jerusalem was liberated.