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    One day – B’reshit

    Each day of Creation has a number. Without apparent logic, the text says, “And it was evening and it was morning, one day” (Gen. 1:5). Then it continues, “a (or “the”) second day, third day, etc.”

    Why doesn’t the enumeration begin with “the first day”?

    One possibility is Rashi’s idea (based on the Midrash) that the Torah is telling us that the opening day is “The Day of the One”, i.e. God. On that day the Creator was alone; the angels were not created until the second day.

    There is a connection with the opening line of the Sh’ma, which declares that God is One – Echad, although this time the word has a theological connotation and possibly means “Unique”.

    The Ramban (Nachmanides) has a more mathematical explanation of the phenomenon in our text. He says that the word “first” is only used when we know that it is followed by a second, a third, etc.

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