During creation, many of the days have the phrase "vayar Elokim ki tov" after some aspect of the creation on that day. The second day does not -- the Stone edition mentions a Rashi that the term reflects things that are completed/final and the waters of day 2 were not finished until day 3, so day 3 has the phrase twice (which begs a different question for another day).

But Shabbat also lacks the phrase. While there is no creation on that day, there is a verb which indicates some setting aside (Vayekadeish oto) which would establish something which could be judged as "Tov". The establishing of the day as one of rest is a completed status for the generations (permanence is the required element according to the Ramban reported in the Stone) which could at least have been recognized as "hinei Tov."

Is there something in "Tov" which demands a creative act? Why can't the sanctification of Shabbat be considered good? Do any meforshim discuss why the term "Tov" is absent from the establishing of Shabbat?

  • Note that he judgement on the entire world was at the end of the sixth day. Thus, the seventh day was a stop and could not have been judged because it was not a "change" but a refraining from change. The description of Tov requires a new "module" being added to the previous modules, and it is only when everything has been put together and started running that we get "tov m'od" Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 21:20
  • @sabbahillel yes, that explains why 1:31 says אֶת כָּל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה וְהִנֵּה טוֹב מְאֹד but not why the module of shabbat as a separate entity doesn't deserve a similar label.
    – rosends
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 21:26
  • Once the end of creation has occurred and has been declared tov m'od, then there is nothing else new to be declared tov. Everything else is now a continuation of the creation. Note that htere is no vayhi erve declaration because it is not a separate unit is the same way. Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 21:35
  • Shabbat does not exist until it is set aside and sanctified as such; the "creation" might be done, but the cycle isn't. The seventh day has a discrete existence and its own verbs, and its own status. What is it about Tov that it can't label the sanctified day?
    – rosends
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 21:44
  • There was no new creation. So about what can be said tov?
    – kouty
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 22:25


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