Rabbi Ari Enkin

Rabbi Ari Enkin, rabbinic director, United with Israel.

This week’s Torah portion is “Bereishit” (Genesis 1:1 – 6:8), and in it, we read about the story of creation.

At the end of every day of creation, the Torah tells us “…and God saw that it was good (Ki Tov).” There are two exceptions to this: at the end of the second day of creation it does not say “…and God saw that it was good” and on the third day of creation it says “…and God saw that it was good” TWICE. Yup. Twice. It is mentioned following the “gathering of the waters” which divided the seas from the dry land, and then again following the sprouting of vegetation.
Because of the fact that the third day, Tuesday, has “…and God saw that it was good” twice, it is believed that Tuesday’s are, well, a bit more auspicious, and a little luckier than the rest of the days of the week. That’s why many people try to get married on a Tuesday, and to otherwise begin monumental events in their life on a Tuesday. The extra luck could certainly come in handy for such things!
But, as mentioned, Monday’s are “excluded” from the rest of the week. No mention of “…and God saw that it was good” on that day. Why not? What’s going on here?
It is explained that the reason Monday gets no mention of “good” is because the creation of the water was not completed until the third day. As such, the praise of “good” cannot be bestowed on a project that it incomplete. Anything that is incomplete, and by extension, useless, is simply not yet good! When the creation of water and the seas were complete on Tuesday, it was “good.”
But wait a second. Why didn’t God finish the job on Monday? Did He get tired? Did He run out of time? A social engagement, perhaps? Of course not. For some reason God purposely chose to delay completion of Monday’s work until Tuesday. Why? What can we learn from this?
The commentators explain that by completing the waters on Tuesday, God was teaching us a lesson for all time, and that is: “it’s not over, until it’s over.” Meaning, sometimes things happen in life that we don’t understand…at least not “on the same day.”
God intentionally wanted to leave something questionable, incomplete, and seemingly without purpose. It was only later, “the next day” when we can look back in hindsight and appreciate what took place.
That, my friends, is what life is all about. There is no end to the list of things that happen in this world that we don’t understand, or don’t agree with. We often ask how God can let certain things happen. On “the day” we ask ourselves these questions, we have no answers. Often, however, sometime later (“the next day”), we’ll often realize the benefits of what took place. Only then do we realize that, ultimately, “…it was good.”

By: Rabbi Ari Enkin

For more insights by Rabbi Ari Enkin on this week’s Torah reading, click on the links below: