It's well known that the world was created on the 25th of Elul, but what time of day? Yes it says "and it was evening, and it was morning, one day", implying it was created during the night, but what time at night exactly? Was it at the beginning of shkia, during bein hashamashos, the minute of tzeis (which would depend on if you folow the magen avraham etc), or chatzos halayla?

Are there any midrashim / agada / rishonim on the subject at all?

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    @bluejayke 2 tips if I may. Don't call people "dudes", you have no idea who they are in real life and they might be older people or wise talmidei chachamim and it might be embarrassing if you met them one day. Second when you see challenges in questions, use them to edit and improve your question. Add the new information on your hypotheses (e.g., if you ask about shkia in the place of creation, say so in your question, not just in comments). It is great to have you on the site so please take these positively
    – mbloch
    Aug 8, 2019 at 5:59
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    How can time be created on the 25th day of something?
    – Double AA
    Aug 8, 2019 at 12:20
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    If, as it seems from the balance of your comments, you are referring to the beginning of creation (its commencement), time, at least linear time in the sense of past present and future, didn't yet exist See Sefer HaIkarim of Rabbi Yosef Albo for details). So you are asking about something which had not yet been created and manifested. Aug 8, 2019 at 13:48
  • @DoubleAA the moon was in the spot the spot in the celestial cycle that would be the 25th of Elul. (Rising in Aries...)
    – mroll
    Aug 8, 2019 at 17:56
  • If I remember correctly, according to the Kuzari, it was at twilight.
    – Menachem
    Aug 8, 2019 at 18:04

2 Answers 2


Bereishit Rabbah 12:14:

בְּיוֹם עֲשׂוֹת ה' אֱלֹהִים אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם, בֵּית שַׁמַּאי וּבֵית הִלֵּל. בֵּית שַׁמַּאי אוֹמְרִים מַחֲשָׁבָה בַּלַּיְלָה וּמַעֲשֶׂה בַּיּוֹם. וּבֵית הִלֵּל אוֹמְרִים מַחֲשָׁבָה וּמַעֲשֶׂה בַּיּוֹם. אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן יוֹחָאי, תָּמֵהַּ אֲנִי אֵיךְ נֶחְלְקוּ אֲבוֹת הָעוֹלָם בֵּית שַׁמַּאי וּבֵית הִלֵּל עַל בְּרִיַּית שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ, אֶלָּא מַחֲשָׁבָה בֵּין בַּיּוֹם בֵּין בַּלַּיְלָה, וּמַעֲשֶׂה עִם דִּמְדוּמֵי חַמָּה.

"On the day the L-rd G-d made Earth and Heaven".

There is a debate between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel:

Beit Shammai say, "The thought was at night and the deed was during the day." And Beit Hillel say, "The thought and the deed were during the day."

Says R. Shim'on b. Yohai, "I am astounded. How can the fathers of the world, Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel, argue about the creation of Heaven and Earth? Rather, the thought was during both day and night, and the deed was during twilight."


You could try the approach of the Rashbam on verse 5 who seems to say that everything was created at the start of each day. After a full day came the night - and then the start of the second day.

ויהי ערב ויהי בקר - אין כתיב כאן ויהי לילה ויהי יום, אלא ויהי ערב, שהעריב יום ראשון ושיקע האור, ויהי בוקר, בוקרו של לילה, שעלה עמוד השחר, הרי הושלם יום א' מן השישה ימים שאמר הקב"ה בעשרת הדברות, ואח"כ התחיל יום שני, ויאמר אלהים יהי רקיע. ולא בא הכתוב לומר שהערב והבקר יום אחד הם, כי לא הוצרכנו לפרש אלא היאך היו ששה ימים, שהבקיר יום ונגמרה הלילה, הרי נגמר יום אחד והתחיל יום שני.‏

Or you could take the approach of the Malbim on the chapter of creation - he describes how the verses are describing a natural/scientific evolution.

As each phase was completed, a new day was declared. (At least until the sun was put into orbit at which point it became visible when a day started or ended). This ongoing evolution continued until sunset on the 6th day.

  • Malbim's not describing "natural / scientific evolution", that would be total heresy, he's clearly saying that he created basic matter, then brought out everything from that
    – user8832
    Aug 8, 2019 at 20:36
  • "ושיקע האור" - what light?
    – Al Berko
    Aug 8, 2019 at 21:29
  • The day light. Ah, there was no sun? בניסן נברא העולם. The world was created six months before, and we calculate the sun's equanox תקופה from then. And we thought this would be simple...
    – Mordechai
    Aug 8, 2019 at 21:59
  • @bluejayke - did you actually learn the Malbim? I did! Learn it and you'll be amazed at how he elegantly reconciles science and the Torah. Aug 12, 2019 at 7:40
  • @AlBerko - you didn't read the Rashbam on Posuk @ - did you? There he explains: "ויבדל א-להים בין האור ובין החשך" - שי"ב שעות היה היום ואח"כ הלילה י"ב. האור תחילה ואח"כ החשך. שהרי תחילת בריאת העולם היה במאמר 'יהי אור'. וכל חשך שמקודם לכך, דכתיב: 'וחשך על פני תהום', לא זהו לילה. Aug 12, 2019 at 7:42

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