The ‘Double Blessing’ of Tuesday –Origins of a Hebrew Idiom

When one takes a closer look at what is written in the Bible about the second day of Creation, an interesting thing emerges. Let’s have a look at the scripture:

“And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.” (Genesis 1:6-9)

What stands out about these verses is the fact that on the second day the Hebrew phrase ‘Va-Yare Elohim Ki Tov’ {וירא אלוהים כי טוב} (Hebrew for ‘and God saw that it was good’) is missing.

The Jewish Bible commentators noticed that and dedicated a long discussion on that matter. One of the more interesting explanations suggests that the concept of separation is not good. Since on the second day God ‘separated the waters from the waters’ the Bible deliberately did not mention that ‘Va-Yare Elohim Ki Tov’ (‘and God saw that it was good’).

However, this explanation, as interesting as it might be, encounters a difficulty because on the FOURTH day of Creation God created the ‘great lights’ in order ‘to separate the day from the night’ and afterwards it specifically mentions ‘Va-Yare Elohim Ki Tov’ (‘and God saw that it was good’)…

So what is the reason for the ‘missing phrase’?

Well, the answer can be found on the NEXT day – meaning on the THIRD day of Creation, in which the phrase ‘and God saw that it was good’ is mentioned TWICE.

According to the Jewish tradition, in order for ‘God to see that it was good’ the creation needs to be COMPLETE and that is the reason this phrase was not mentioned on the second day – because the completion of the action of separating ‘the waters from the waters’ actually ended on the THIRD day when:

“And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:9-11)

In fact, this phrase appears once more on the third day because another creation was accomplished on this day – the creation of the plant world.

Following this explanation, in the Jewish tradition the third day of the week – ‘Yom Shelishi’ {יום שלישי} in Hebrew – which is today (Tuesday) is known as ‘Pa’amaim Ki Tov’ {פעמיים כי טוב} day – Hebrew for ‘double blessing’ and is considered a perfect day for weddings (lots of weddings on Tuesday in Israel), since there is nothing more COMPLETE than the union of two people in marriage…