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Who knows fifty?

Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point in the next few days, I will:

  • Upvote all interesting answers.

  • Accept the best answer.

  • Go on to the next number.

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7 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Fifty are the cubits' width of the Heichal/Ohel Moed portion of the Mishkan.

If you go to Shiloh, they have what they very strongly believe to be the remainder of the stone wall that supported the Mishkan there (instead of the wooden beams used in the desert). I measured the width, heel-to-toe, and got almost exactly 75 feet, which would fit with the definition of the cubit as 18 inches.


Fifty are the letters on the Cohen's stones.

(It fits the original song rhythm. The shoulder-stones on the Ephod each had 25 letters.)


Fifty shekels (worth about $460, given today's silver prices) is the erech ("endowment value") assigned to a male during his main working years. R' Hirsch explains:

50 = ((3 = family role) + (2 = communal role)) x (10 = completion)

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50 are the cubits of Haman's gallows (Esther 5:14).

50 is the retirement age for Leviim (Numbers 8:25).

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50 are the shaarei binah - the levels of comprehension of G-dliness.

Moshe was granted 49 of these during his lifetime (Rosh Hashanah 21b), and at his death he was granted the 50th - the ultimate level of closeness to Hashem. This is hinted at by the name of the place of his passing, Mount Nevo, which parses out to נ' בו - "there are 50 in him." (Arizal to Deut. 3:26)

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Shavuos is 50 days after Pesach begins. (Vayikra 23:16)

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50 is the price in Shekels that David payed for Aravna's threshing floor. (II Samuel 24:24)

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Or, according to one explanation in the Gemara (Zevachim 116b), he collected 50 shekalim from each tribe, for a total of 600. –  Alex Jun 17 '12 at 16:41
    
@Alex Shesh Meyot - mi yodeya? –  Double AA Jun 18 '12 at 2:27
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רַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַגְּלִילִי אוֹמֵר: מִנַּיִן אַתָּה אוֹמֵר שֶׁלָּקוּ הַמִּצְרִים בְּמִצְרַיִם עֶשֶׂר מַכּוֹת וְעַל הַיָּם לָקוּ חֲמִשִּׁים מַכּוֹת?

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The Teivah was 50 cubits wide. (Bereishis 6:15)

A Purim Torah - Where does Noach come into the Megillah? Haman went to look for a tree that's 50 amos high... he searched and searched until he came to Noach's Teivah

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You have to preface that: "It says in the m'gila 'v'noach meoy'vehem' [I think: I haven't checked now]; what's Noach doing in the m'gila?" –  msh210 Dec 30 '10 at 23:13
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