Tuesday Weddings Parashat Bereshit

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one the second day which we call Monday And then on day three good is said twice making. Tuesdays a particularly auspicious time for Jewish weddings. So what is so lacking about the second day of Creation the only one not labeled as good On Day Two. the firmament is created the vast expanse that separates water from water The firmament comes to. be called sky and the waters above it known as the heavens while the waters below the firmament. eventually come to be gathered into one place so that dry land can appear essentially creating sea and. soil The reason according to tradition why good is not said about the second day is because it s. incomplete while the process of creating earth sea and sky is begun on Day Two it is not yet finished. until day three and thus can t be approved of until done As the great midrashic compilation Bereshit. Rabbah a collection of rabbinic stories teaches Why is It was good not written about the second. day Rabbi Samuel ben Nahman said Because the disposition of the waters was not yet finished. Consequently It was good is written twice in connection with the third day once about the disposition. of the waters and a second time about the work that was begun and completed on that day Bereshit. Rabbah 4 6 Because Day Two begins a discrete act without finishing it it lacks a closing benediction. Instead the pronouncement is pushed off to the next day when it is repeated twice. Along with this first interpretation Bereshit Rabbah goes on to include a few more as to why Day Two is. never labeled as good It first recounts the parable of a king who had an excessively violent army. which led the king to say Because this legion is so fierce let it not bear my name The king didn t. want to be associated with such a destructive force and thus tried to distance himself from his troops. So too says the midrash God knew that the waters created on Day Two would ultimately wipe out the. world with flood in the time of Noah and thus God couldn t bear to praise them Having witnessed the. terrible devastation caused by flooding here in our own day we can perhaps understand this Divine. inclination, Finally Bereshit Rabbah puts forth a third explanation as to why the waters of Day Two were not labeled. as good and this suggestion has to do with destruction not of a physical nature but rather of a. spiritual one Rabbi Hanina explained The statement It was good does not occur because. separation was brought into being on the second day as indicated in Let the firmament separate. water from water Genesis 1 6 In this regard Rabbi Tavyomi noted If there was not mention of It. was good about an act of separation conducive to the world s improvement and well being all the less. should words occur in describing occasions leading to the world s disarray Put simply Day Two is not. labeled as good because on it disunity is born Although the divisions of creation are ultimately. productive leading to the miraculous reality of the world as we know it today division more often is. caustic and painful and deeply damaging Hence the absence of it was good Permanent ruptures. very rarely are, I read the Torah less as a logician and more as someone seeking to find meaning in sacred text so the. obvious fallacies of the various explanations just described bother me less than some Of course we. could argue that water is by no means the only destructive item formed throughout Creation but that. wild animals human beings even the blinding power of the sun also have potential to cause great harm. We could also argue that Day Two is not the first time that division is introduced into the world as the. day and night of Day One are also created by separation this time of light from darkness The midrash. first explanation that good is withheld because the works of Day Two are not yet complete seems the. most sensible to me And yet sensible is not always the same as spiritually significant. I m not a logician but rather someone who seeks to find meaning in sacred text so I will tell you that I. find the midrash s last teaching that disunity should never be called good the most important and I. certainly find it the most relevant to the complicated times in which we live The Conservative Yeshiva. in its commentary on Bereshit Rabbah resolves the contradiction that I raised earlier the idea that. division is actually introduced on Day One rather than Day Two of Creation with the following argument. When light was separated from dark the first day that was good because they are inherently. opposite but when things which are akin families and friends become divided it is not good Torah. Sparks B reishit 5776 The Yeshiva argues that when individuals who share little in common come to. separate it is no great tragedy that it is only division amongst people who care for one another that is a. problem Yet looking at our world today I would suggest that this simply is not so that division even. perhaps especially amongst people totally opposite from one another foments anger and creates strife. and ultimately weakens society by preventing partnership and collaboration Too often we use as an. excuse the magnitude of the differences between us to explain why we can t have a reasonable. conversation or create a fair compromise or work together on a project of joint concern I think we are. seeing far too clearly how this kind of polarization and division is tearing apart our country. The last few weeks have been supremely challenging ones as many of us have been riveted by the. unfolding drama of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings These proceedings and their aftermath have. raised vital questions about how we handle allegations of sexual harassment and abuse in a way that. honors and protects the dignity of those brave enough to come forward while also searching for truth. and justice They have spurred a nation wide debate about moral leadership and judicial temperament. and college drinking and how much the indiscretions of a person s youth should imperil his or her. future They have caused us to consider important issues related to honesty and integrity to the voice. and visibility of women to what constitutes a full investigation of claims of malfeasance and what falls. far short They have most regrettably reanimated the pain of victims of assault to whom we extend. our love and support at an incredibly difficult time. Many of us on both sides of the Kavanaugh issue are angry these days and for good reason so very. much is at stake with the selection of any Supreme Court justice so much is at stake with this one in. particular with his confirmation feeling like a referendum on the MeToo movement and all that it. stands for in addition to being a referendum on Judge Kavanaugh himself My colleague Rabbi Danya. Ruttenberg reminds us that anger is not necessarily a bad thing according to Jewish tradition and. quotes the 11th century Jewish philosopher Solomon ibn Gabirol who writes Anger is a reprehensible. quality but when employed to correct or to reprove or because of indignation at the performance of. transgressions it becomes laudable 1 Ruttenberg goes on to suggest that those of us who are angry. channel that energy productively towards organizing or fund raising or protesting or canvassing for the. midterms When anger is used to fight for right and justice it can be a very powerful tool indeed. The danger of anger however is that it separates people from one another and that is my concern. about this particular moment in American history that along with the good and important activism and. social organizing and working for change that we are seeing in our country we are also seeing bitter. divisiveness that only continues to grow and deepen become further entrenched and increasingly. hateful I fear for the violence that I believe may erupt after the Kavanaugh issue is settled once and for. all I fear for the increasing decline of bipartisanship and the way that this lack of collaboration prevents. https forward com opinion 411180 so brett kavanaugh is going to the supreme court 3 self care tips. for attribution author article listing 1 headline, important work from being done for the sake of our nation I fear for a country that more and more. feels like it is two different countries and wonder if we will ever find a way to somehow with much. difficulty bridge that gap Day Two of Genesis was not called good because disunity whether it is. amongst opposites or analogues is never a good thing Sadly disunity is in very wide supply these days. Parashat Bereshit celebrates the universal creation of humanity all descending from a single ancestor so. as the Talmud teaches no person should be able to say My father was greater than yours The Torah. starts not with Abraham the first Jew but rather with Adam the first human being so that people of all. faiths and ethnicities and races and beliefs will remember what unites us in addition to that which. divides us On this Shabbat when we read Parashat Bereshit we hope for a day when we will again feel. a sense of being part of one unified collective whole This I believe is what God wishes for us. Tuesday may be the luckiest day for a Jewish wedding but Tuesdays are also traditionally the day on. which November elections are held as they will be again this year While I m sure that the Book of. Genesis was not top of mind while fixing this date it seems to me entirely appropriate that the day on. which we head to the polls is also the day which reminds us to hope for partnership amidst. disagreement to seek understanding even in great difference I hope that each of us will cast a vote. next month because the issues at stake for our world are dangerous and devastating and require strong. and immediate action I hope that each of us will remember too that after the election has concluded. we have no choice but to work together, And God saw that this was good May we indeed see a time when such words can be said about our. Tuesday Weddings Parashat Bereshit There are lots of reasons why a person might want to get married on a Tuesday For one florists and caterers and photographers are far cheaper The most exclusive venues those that generally book up years in advance and are already taken by the time a couple finally gets engaged are miraculously available

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