This week’s Torah portion is “Bereishit” (Genesis 1:1 – 6:8). and in it we read about the creation of the world in six days.
At the conclusion of almost each day’s work in the story of Creation, we find the expression “…and God saw that it was good.” On the third day of Creation, however, it reads “…and God saw that it was good” twice! It first appears after God created the seas and the land, and then again after God created plants and vegetation. For this reason, Tuesday is considered the best day of the week. It is very common for people to endeavor to marry or to begin other major events on a Tuesday, believing that God gave this day a double measure of “good.”
On the second day of Creation, however, the expression “…and God saw that it was good” is nowhere to be found. The reason for this, it is explained, is because the work of the second day wasn’t completed until the third day, and anything incomplete is inherently not “good.” On the third day, the word of the second day was completed along with a new project (plants and vegetation) that was completed, as well. Hence, the expression “and God saw that it was good” appears twice.
The question is asked: What does it mean that God did not complete Monday’s work? Did God run out of time? Was the job too hard for Him to do in one day?
Of course not. God is all powerful. He can do anything at any time. As such, there must be some kind of message or lesson to be learned from the fact that God chose to leave Monday’s work incomplete.
Indeed, it is explained that God wanted to teach us that sometimes we have to wait in order to enjoy or understand past events. Very often, we do not understand the things we see or the events we experience. It takes time to understand why we had a particular experience, whether good or bad. Sometimes it takes a day, and sometimes it is only after years that we can turn around in hindsight and understand what happened.
Life is simply another aspect of Creation. Sometimes the good is not immediately apparent, and we have to wait in order to see the benefits of what was done.
In the words of the Talmud, we must always keep in mind that “Everything God does is ultimately for the good.”
By: Rabbi Ari Enkin, rabbinic director, United with Israel
For more insights by Rabbi Ari Enkin on this week’s Torah portion, click on the links below: