Every job has its ups and downs. During my time at a telemarketing office, I learned this lesson firsthand. I discovered that an office environment, especially a super social one, just wasn’t for me. The cherry on top was our group manager, David. Fresh out of university, he was full of energy and optimism – a little too much for someone like me.
David had this quirky habit that managed to get under my skin. Every week, he’d give each workday its own name, aiming to add a bit of cheer to the usual grind. Monday was “fun-day,” Tuesday was “too long ’til the weekend” day, Wednesday was “middle of the week hump day,” Thursday was “weekend eve,” and Friday, well, he went with the classic “TGIF.”
While I nodded and smiled at his greetings, I felt a rising frustration inside. You see, to me, each day of the week holds a deeper meaning.
I’ve always associated the days of the week with the biblical acts of creation. Sunday, or Yom Rishon (First Day) in Hebrew, was the day God created light. Monday, called Yom Sheni or Second Day, was when the heavens and the earth were formed. By naming these days with numbers, the focus of the week remains on God, His creation and the build-up to the Sabbath, the culmination of the week.
As I delved deeper into my faith, each day took on even more significance. I began associating them with the specific Psalms sung daily by the Levites in the Temple, which Jews recite at the end of the morning prayers. For me, Sunday became a day for Psalm 24, Monday was marked by Psalm 48, Tuesday resonated with Psalm 82, Wednesday was a day for Psalm 94, Thursday was colored by Psalm 81, Friday was dedicated to Psalm 93, and the holy Shabbat was marked by Psalm 92.
These Psalms lent a unique rhythm to my week. Sundays, imbued with the hopeful notes of Psalm 24, gave way to the deeper introspection (and the slight pessimism) of Tuesday’s Psalm 82, which states, “How long will you judge perversely, showing favor to the wicked?” This psalm, directed at the corrupt judges who pander to the wealthy and influential, is a firm affirmation of God’s judicial system, serving as a scathing critique of those who distort and falsify His laws. This aligns with the symbolism of Tuesday in the creation narrative when God gathered the waters in order to expose the dry land (Genesis 1:9). In doing so, He was preparing the earth for Humanity to live in justice and righteousness.
The Maharsha, a respected Jewish commentator, explains that the earth’s survival depends on maintaining justice and moral values. When humanity respects these laws, God reciprocates by preserving the natural order. Conversely, if moral values are discarded, God responds by unleashing nature’s destructive forces. For instance, the Biblical flood was a consequence of rampant robbery and moral decay, leading to the seas overstepping their bounds and flooding the earth.
With Psalm 82’s critique of corruption and injustice, one might feel overwhelmed. However, by holding firm to our faith and the values mandated by God, we can see the human condition improve, reaching a pinnacle of harmony by Shabbat. Shabbat, as depicted in Psalm 92:5, stands as a beacon of hope and joy, a day when everything feels right in the world: “You have gladdened me by Your deeds, Hashem; I shout for joy at Your handiwork” Psalm 92:5.
So, as my co-worker David called out his playful greetings each morning, I was experiencing the week in my own, more spiritual, way, through the words of King David. We all have our own unique ways of navigating through the workweek, and that’s what makes each of our journeys so special.