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כָּל יוֹמַיִם, כָּל שֵׁנִי וַחֲמִישִׁי

The literal meaning of every other day in English is every two days. Its Hebrew equivalent is כָּל יוֹמָיִם listen.

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But there’s another meaning, one seldom used, to the expression every other day as well, more along the lines of all the time or very frequently. Here every other day is used with a tone of exaggeration.

Hebrew’s equivalent to this expression is כָּל שֵׁנִי וַחֲמִישִׁי listen – literally, every Monday and Thursday (or even more literally, every Second and Fourth, referring to the days of the week).

For example:

יֵשׁ עָלָיו כַּתָּבָה בָּעִתּוֹן כָּל שֵׁנִי וַחֲמִישִׁי.

There’s an article about him in the newspaper every other day. listen

Why Monday and Thursday?

In ancient times of the great rabbis, when the Mishnah was being compiled, Jews living on the countryside would come to the cities to buy and sell goods at the marketplace twice a week. Seizing the opportunity to provide some spirituality and religious instruction to those who might otherwise not have it, the rabbis instituted public Torah readings on those days – Mondays and Thursdays. Hence the cyclical, routine quality to these days, and the expression for all the time or every other day, כל שני וחמישי.

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