This is a very general question, and I hope for some general answers. However, in order to focus it, I would like to specify one point.

In the secular world, the day starts with "waking up" and ends with "going to sleep" (not the calendar day, but more in the psychological sense). In the Torah world, the day starts while we are awake, we then go to sleep for the first portion of the "day", and then we wake up, then continue the same day.

Are there any sources that discuss the ramifications of that? If that's too general, I'd at least like to know what the psychological ramifications are - what type of person does the secular way produce, what type of person does the Torah way produce?

  • What do you mean ramifications? If it's psychological, isn't that a psychology question not one about Judaism?
    – robev
    Dec 15, 2022 at 17:04
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    Bear in mind that regarding Kodshim eaten for one day, the night follows the day (the following night is permitted just like the day) see here. Dec 15, 2022 at 17:05
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    I don’t understand the premise. 1. The secular date starts at “midnight” 12 o’clock. 2. Some halachic things start at sunrise (dawn actually)- fast days except YK and TbA. Calculating times for davening involves dividing the hours from daybreak to nightfall. So halachic things that involve daytime are set by, well, daytime.
    – Damila
    Dec 15, 2022 at 21:48
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    We also begin our day in the morning. That's why there are rules about eating before shacharit and not (to the same degree) before arvit.
    – Double AA
    Dec 15, 2022 at 22:42
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    @RabbiK I don't know what you mean by "our" but it seems the same as starting your day with coffee
    – Double AA
    Dec 15, 2022 at 22:57

2 Answers 2


Choshek struggled alone before receiving HaShem’s Or. Choshek eventually earns a Yod & Hei in its new name “Laylah” after HaShem’s Or affects its emptiness, as stated in Bereshiyt 1. | Asaf אָסָ֣ף also explains HaShem desired night to come first before day as stated אַתָּה ה֜כִינ֗וֹתָ מָאוֹר וָשָׁמֶשׁ in Tehillim 74:16.

If we recognize each day starts at night with Choshek, then we recognize the light of HaShem is needed to make each day Tov. - Otherwise HaShem’s light would be leaving us in darkness at the end of a secular day.


"And God said: ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.’ And it was so. And God made the two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and the stars."

Bereshit 1:14-16 JPS 1917

Hashem designed that days should be determined by the two great lights.

"The heavens declare the glory of God, And the firmament showeth His handiwork; Day unto day uttereth speech, And night unto night revealeth knowledge; There is no speech, there are no words, Neither is their voice heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, And their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tent for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, And rejoiceth as a strong man to run his course."

Psalm 19:2-5 JPS 1917

The skies declare the glory of Hashem to all the world. When we acknowledge His work of causing the sun to rise and set by beginning and ending our days at those times, we give Him glory. Man does not determine when days begin and end-- Hashem turns off the lights, and turns them on to mark a new day, with new mercies every morning. Great is His faithfulness!

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