This week, we are introduced to the Rainbow. It is the symbol of the first covenant that G d entered into with Mankind. The Ramban explains that the Rainbow is like an inverted bow-and -arrow representing the opposite of a weapon pointing directly at the earth, pointing at us. It points away, upward. It is a sign that Hashem will never destroy the entire earth again. I once saw a comment of Rabbi Riskin some years ago, in which he explained why G d’s symbol that He would not destroy the entire world again as He did in Noah’s time was just a half symbol, a full symbol would have been a whole circle. He read into the words of Rav Shimshon Raphael Hirsch that the half circle was Hashem’s promise that He would not ever again destroy the entire world but he could not guarantee that we would not do it ourselves. G-d gives us such responsibility – to look after one another, to look after the world. To do what is right and thereby to prosper.
Rabbi David Shaw