Why would Hashem choose a rainbow to symbolize this peace? Why not something else? Ramban explains how a rainbow can symbolize peace. On the field, one who comes with the curve of their bow facing the other way is providing a sign of peace. So too, Hashem is showing that there is peace by pointing the curve of the rainbow away from us, toward Shamaim (heaven).
While this explanation shows how a rainbow can be peaceful, there must be more significance behind the specific choice of the rainbow. But what is it?
The Torah teaches that the generation of the flood was characterized by stealing and rampant immorality. Both of these sins come out of selfishness and a lack of unity. The rainbow, consisting of the whole spectrum of colors, is a symbol of this disunity; light is in its pure form as white light. When humanity behaves selfishly like Noach’s ill-fated generation, Hashem places the rainbow in the sky for a dual purpose. Hashem shows that He will not destroy us, while also reminding us of the destructive capabilities of factionalism and a lack of unity. When you see a rainbow, remember that we should learn from the severe shortcomings of the people of the flood and work on our Achdut, unity.
By: Jack Benveniste-Plitt (10th Grade)