Word of the Day / Kol sheni vehamishi
Monday and Thursday used to be market days in ancient Israel. Photo by Ofer Vaknin
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Monday and Thursday were market days in ancient Israel. It is widely believed that parts of the weekly Torah portion were read publicly on those days, primarily because the shoppers provided a captive audience.

The phrase "every Monday and Thursday,” kol sheni vehamishi, still has its literal meaning in synagogue, where the Torah continues to be read on those days (as well as on Saturday). But outside of this context, the phrase isn’t really about Mondays, Thursdays or any specific day of the week. It’s a way of saying that something happens frequently or, in a colloquial sense, every other day.

So if an Israeli colleague tells you he gets struck by so many bouts of the flu he has to go to the doctor every Monday and Thursday, don’t be surprised to see him in the office bright and early the next Monday morning after all. That is unless, of course, he stopped by the market first.