Today on my way to work, as a car was cutting me off, I saw a stunning rainbow. The rainbow followed me to school and was a magnificent site through the window of the Humanities teacher’s office that also serves as the school’s second-floor bomb shelter. Sitting at this desk last week, I checked my Twitter account to learn of the terror attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem that left four dead as they said their morning prayers.
Meanwhile, Arabs in Israel are also being attacked, but by right wing Jewish nationalists. Over the weekend, some set fire to a home in an Arab village where two women were sleeping, but escaped.
The bad behavior on both sides seems to never cease. Eight and nine year old Palestinians in Jerusalem are being encouraged by their parents to skip school and throw stones and incendiary devices at Israeli police and soldiers.
Then looking at news from the United States, I was overcome with the horror of the UVA rape cases reported by Rolling Stone. Not to mention, the Congress’s desire to de-science the EPA. Meanwhile, I wonder if the United States was too naive in trying to make a nuclear deal with the Iranians.
I remember at Jewish camp when I was nine or ten years old, we discussed the following: who will bring Messianic peace: God or people? There was no one answer, but the idea (it was a Reform camp) was that our actions change the world and God might chip in, too. This was a bit different from the Orthodox Jewish school, I attended that taught God judges our acts of loving kindness, but has the final say on all matters.
As I’ve gotten older, I have found myself to be less religious. Perhaps that will change again later in my life. However, because of the longevity of today’s rainbow, I have been contemplating the Biblical food story. After Noah spends 40 days on the ark, God promises him to never destroy the world again. The rainbow is a symbol of that covenant.
But now, 20 minutes into writing this, the rainbow has disappeared. And I’m wondering if the story would have had a better ending had Noah promised God the same. Instead, he goes off to plant vineyard, presumably to forget his time on the ark.