The rainbow is the result of natural causes. When the sun shines through the drops of rain, it causes the sun's light to break up into its various components. Sunlight is composed of various colors, various components. When the sunlight goes through a prism, then it comes out the other side - yellow, purple, blue; all kinds of colors. So when the sun shines through the raindrops, it's natural that a rainbow occurs.
So the question is, if that is what's expected when the sun shines after a rain and the drops are still in the air, so why could that serve as an os bris?
We are learning an important principle that we are going to study, that even things that are natural, have a message for us. When Hakadosh Baruch Hu created the universe from the beginning, He made the world in six days, not in six million years, in six days, and He made that the nature of the sun should have various kinds of light. Yehi ohr, the sunlight has different kinds of light, and that light as it goes through a prism or raindrops, it's expected that the colors should come out and look like a rainbow, and yet Hakadosh Baruch Hu intended that when the time will come, that rainbow would fulfill a much greater purpose. It demonstrates the chesed of Hashem to the world.
Hashem had in mind from the beginning that when there will be a rainbow, even though it's a normal thing, that rainbow is going to be an os bris, a sign of Hashem's love for His creatures; He will no longer destroy the entire world.
We see here a fundamental teaching of the greatest importance. When we see a natural phenomenon which clearly occurs due to the way we understand the laws of nature - nevertheless we can and must also learn out a purpose that teaches very great lessons. This insight is in addition to the functions that the phenomenon performs within the laws of nature.
Good Shabbos To All
This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures.
To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210