Day 3: The Doubly-Good Day

day 3 creation
While Saturday reigns supreme as the American favorite for wedding dates, the day corresponding to the third day of creation, i.e. Tuesday, is the most popular day for Jewish weddings.  There is a Scriptural reason for that.

Examining the Hebrew of the Genesis 1 creation account (verses 9-13), there is a conspicuous feature that leaps from the page at the reader.  Day 3 is the first (and only) day in the creation account to be called “good” twice.  We encounter the phrase in verses 10 and 12.  The work of Monday was apparently not worthy of the declaration until the dry land was created to compliment the waters in verse 10.

This may have to do with the base meaning of  טוֹב (the word translated “good”) being more at “functional,” or more precisely, “functioning as intended.”  In order for the רָקִ֖יעַ/firmament (Monday’s creation) to really serve a function, it had to do more than divide the waters and the skies.  It’s function is clear when the waters beneath are gathered into seas, allowing dry land to emerge.  The רָקִ֖יעַ exists to create a terrarium-like atmosphere for the land, which we see purpose given to just two verses later, when the land is given fertility, i.e. aptitude for supporting life.

A man and woman separately do not have that aptitude (if they live Biblically sound halachot), but once they are wed, they find themselves in the right conditions for bringing forth life.  Thus, in the two declarations of כִּי־טוֹב, i.e. “it is good/functioning as intended,” can be found the two functions of marriage: companionship and procreation.  Just as the land was created as a “companion” to the sea, so is woman created as a companion to man.  And, the two joined together yield the conditions necessary for bringing forth life.  In the case of the land and sea, without a water source, the land is barren; and likewise, without a partner (by marital design) the solitary person is unable to procreate.

For these reasons, Tuesday is a perfect symbol for marriage, and the perfect day to enter into marriage.  כִּי־טוֹב  ?כִּי־טוֹב!

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