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The Minhag that many people have is to start Kiddush Friday night with VaYehi Erev VaYehi Voker before saying Yom HaShishi.

I heard that HaRav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal did not say VaYehi Erev VaYehi Voker before saying Yom HaShishi, he just started from Yom HaShishi. The reason was that even though you may not split a Posuk, anything less than 3 words is not considered splitting.

The Aruch HaShulchan says that you should say the entire Posuk (Bereshit 1:31) quietly, even the words before VaYehi Erev VaYehi Voker.

Those that do say VaYehi Erev VaYehi Voker before saying Yom HaShishi why do they say it?

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Because artscroll says to. Now... why does artscroll say so? –  avi Aug 7 '11 at 12:00
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3 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The Chasam Sofer answers: People want to start with "yom hashishi" to make the acrostic (with "yom hashishi vay'chulu hashamayim"), but that makes a meaningless half-phrase, so they start with the start of the phrase. They'd start at the start of the pasuk so as not to split a pasuk, but are loath to do so, as the first half of the pasuk ("tov") refers to death (B'reshis Raba 9:5). So they start with "vay'hi". (He implies that he's writing to justify the custom. He doesn't say — or not there, anyway — to follow it.)

(Thanks to Taame Haminhagim (footnote to 288) for pointing me to this.)

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The reason not to say a partial pasuk is that we have a rule "not to punctuate the Torah where Moshe Rabenu did not punctuate it." This means that we may not quote phrases or clusters of words in isolation without quoting the entire verse from which they came, lest we presumptuously punctuate the Torah in a 'more preferable' way than the original, or give the appearance of doing so.

If Rav Moshe Feinstein did not apply this rule to word clusters shorter than 3 words (do you have a source for that?) it was probably because he was employing another rule, which is that no pasuk is shorter than 3 words. Thus splitting off two words from a pasuk could never give the above impression.

If others, cognizant of the above two rules, still do not say the two words "yom hashishi" from the previous pasuk it may be because (guessing) they are not ascribing knowledge of the rules to others around them (as Rav Moshe was) and are therefore afraid that the mistaken perception that those two words form an entire verse (or are part of the following verse) is still possible.

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I'm sorry I'm being dim, but this seems to address why to say (or not say) part of the verse, but where is the answer about why those who start before vaychulu do so? (Why not just start at vaychuu?) –  Monica Cellio May 26 '13 at 3:06
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In Sefer Chaim Sheyesh Bohem he brings down in the name of Rabbi Mordechai Brisk Zatzal that in Mesechtas Sofrim Perek 21 Halacha 6 that VaYehi Erev is a Posuk on its own and therefore there is no problem saying it as is.

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To be fair that is referring to vayhi erev of day one. Maybe he's saying that since by some days (3rd, 4th and 5th) it is its own pasuk, so it's not so bad to split it off for the other days. –  Double AA Jan 18 '12 at 18:02
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You are correct, and therefore I would not have said this answer on my own. –  Gershon Gold Jan 18 '12 at 18:09
    
Even if it's its own posuk, why start kiddush there and not at vaychulu? –  Monica Cellio May 26 '13 at 3:04
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