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Who knows twenty-six?

Please cite/link your sources, if possible. After about one business day, I will:

  • Upvote all interesting answers.

  • Accept the best answer.

  • Go on to the next number.

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10 Answers 10

up vote 4 down vote accepted

26 are the verses of Hallel HaGadol (Hodu LaShem Ki Tov)

corresponding to...

the 26 generations that Hashem sustained with His Chesed (because they did not have the merit of the Torah. See Jeremy's answer.)

(T.B. Pesachim 118)

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There is no word in Megillat Esther with the gematria 26.

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How do you know that? What's the significance - an extra layer of hester panim? – Isaac Moses Apr 30 '10 at 14:46
Verified. Cool. – Shalom Apr 30 '10 at 14:59
@Shalom How common are words (other than the Tetragrammaton) with that Gematria in other books? – Double AA Dec 28 '15 at 21:42
@DoubleAA Koheles is the only other freestanding book with zero. Chagai and Malachi also have zero, but by our tradition are parts of the single book of Trei Asar. Tanach averages 18 non-Tetragrammaton-yes-Gematria-26 words per ten thousand words; other than the books above, the range is 1.6 for Daniel to 73 for Zechariah (or if you want a freestanding book, Yishaya has 46). – Shalom Dec 30 '15 at 2:11
@DoubleAA this means if things followed averages (hah!), Chagai and Malachi would have been expected to contain 1--2 such words; Koheles and Esther, 5--6 such words. I'd say they're deliberately missing in Koheles and Esther. – Shalom Dec 30 '15 at 2:17

26 is Hashem (in the Heaven and the Earth. ooh ahh, ooh ooh ahh!) gematriah of tetragrammaton

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I voted you up just for the ooh ah etc. My minhag also! – Yahu Apr 29 '10 at 4:11
Yesh gorsim: ooh ahh, ooh ahh ahh! – Double AA Mar 28 '12 at 12:45
I would change the wording to be careful of maraas ayin that u chad vishalom think Hakadosh Baruch Hu is more than one – JediPythonClone Jul 6 '15 at 3:29

26 generations to Moshe Rabbeinu (10 to Noach plus 10 to Avraham, then Yitzhak, Yaakov, Levi, Kehat, Amram, Moshe)

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26 are the knots and strings on the two front Tzitziyos (which the Gr"a says is the meaning of "You shall see them and remember...".)

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Coincidentally, that's also true of the two left tzitziot. – Isaac Moses Apr 28 '10 at 17:29
Yes, but the Gr"a says that the two in front of you are the ones you will most likely see. – Yahu Apr 28 '10 at 17:37

26 are the years of peace that Sodom and its sister cities enjoyed (from after the war with the four kings - Gen. 14 - until their destruction). (Shabbos 10b-11a)

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26 is the Gematria of the parts of One. (Alef is made of two Yuds and a Vav.)

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And also of Lamed, Mem, Samech, and Pei (and maybe also Tes), since each of them is composed of a Chaf and a Vav. – Alex Apr 28 '10 at 19:04
Yes, but try squeezing 40, 60, 80, or "Maybe 9" into the meter of the tune! – Yahu Apr 29 '10 at 4:10

26 are the years during which the Romans treated their allies, the Chashmonaim, as equal partners. After that they began to lord it over them, culminating in the eventual Roman takeover of Eretz Yisrael. (Avodah Zarah 8b, 9a)

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26 is the number of generations it took to recieve the Torah.

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26 is the number of times someone outside of the Land of Israel will have asked "mi yodeya" as part of the Pesach seder (excluding repetitions for fitting a particular tune).

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What about people who hold of Minhag Stack Exchange? They asked it over 600 times last Pesach. – Double AA Feb 4 '14 at 20:04
@DoubleAA did they do it in hebrew (with the words "mi yodeya")? That must have been cumbersome. – Y ez Feb 4 '14 at 20:21

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