List – Rabbi Frand on Parshas Bereshis
These divrei Torah were adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissocher Frand’s Commuter Chavrusah Tapes on the weekly portion: Tape # 300, A Mamzer’s Obligation in Mitzvos.
The “Ki Tov” (That It Was Good) of Monday Was Delayed Until Tuesday
The third day of Creation [Bereshis 1:9-13] is the only day in which the expression “G-d saw that it was good” is mentioned twice. This expression is mentioned both following the gathering of the waters which divided the seas from the dry land, and following the sprouting of vegetation and seed- bearing plants – both of which occurred on the third day of Creation.
As a result of the fact that Tuesday had a double portion of “ki tov” [that it was good], Tuesday is considered a particularly fortuitous day of the week. Many people specifically plan their wedding for this day. When moving into a new house, many people plan to move on Tuesday. Many people try to start a new job on Tuesday.
On the other hand, on the second day of Creation, there is no mention at all of the expression “that it was good”. Rash”i comments that the reason “ki tov” is not mentioned on the second day is because the creation of the water (i.e. – its assignment to the seas) was not completed until the third day. A value judgment of “ki tov” could not be pronounced until the work was complete. Therefore “ki tov” is mentioned twice on Tuesday – once in connection with the completion of the water (which was started previously) and once in connection with the vegetation (which was both started and completed on that same day).
This, however, begs for further explanation. G-d is all powerful. What does it mean that “he did not complete the job on Monday?” Why not? Clearly, He does not become tired or run out of time. Rather, He purposely did not finish the job on Monday. What is this trying to teach us?
The Shemen HaTov writes that the Holy One, Blessed Be He, is teaching us a lesson through the events of Creation that we as human beings must learn. This lesson is that “it’s not over, until it’s over.” Sometimes things occur in life and we do not see the benefit therein. Sometimes we do not understand exactly what is happening.
Sometimes we will be able to understand what the event was really about, on the very next day. Then we will see the benefit of the inexplicable occurrence of the previous day. In the middle of creating the world, the All Powerful went out of His way to leave something undone, to leave something with a question mark at the end of the day, to leave something where the “ki tov” was not immediately apparent. The lesson is that “life” follows the same pattern as the days of Creation. We do not always immediately perceive the “ki tov”.
Life would be much easier to live if within 24 hours we would immediately perceive that elusive “ki tov”. Sometimes we do not even understand events the following week or year. Sometimes we do not even understand until the next lifetime. But the lesson of the delayed “ki tov” is that we should not expect to always see immediate results and immediate outcomes. Sometimes the good does not come until later.
G-d disrupted the order of Creation, leaving something purposely unfinished, in order to teach us this crucial lesson of life.
Technical Assistance by Dovid Hoffman; Yerushalayim.
This write-up was adapted from the hashkafa portion of Rabbi Yissocher Frand’s Commuter Chavrusah Torah Tape series on the weekly Torah portion. The complete list of halachic topics covered in this series for Parshas Bereishis are provided below:
- Tape # 026 – Adoption: Problems and Solutions
- Tape # 068 – Artificial Insemination
- Tape # 117 – Inducing Labor: A viable option?
- Tape # 164 – Weddings in Shuls: Is there a Problem?
- Tape # 210 – Is Marriage a Mitzvah?
- Tape # 254 – Truth Tellings and Shidduchim
- Tape # 300 – A Mamzer’s Obligation in Mitzvos
- Tape # 344 – Marriage and the Birchas Airusin
- Tape # 388 – The “Kedushai Ketanah” Controversy
- Tape # 432 – Choices in Marriage Partners
- Tape # 476 – Melacha of Planting
- Tape # 520 – Kavod and Oneg Shabbos
- Tape # 564 – You and Your Wife – Ishto Kegufo
- Tape # 608 – The Tefilah of Modeh Ani
Tapes or a complete catalogue can be ordered from:
Yad Yechiel Institute
PO Box 511
Owings Mills, MD 21117-0511
Call (410) 358-0416 for further information.
Also Available: Mesorah / Artscroll has published a collection of Rabbi Frand’s essays. The book is entitled:
and is available through your local Hebrew book store or from Project Genesis, 1-410-654-1799.