Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Who knows sixty-six?

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.

share|improve this question
add comment

5 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yerushalmi Sheviis (end of 5:1) says that when a tree develops, it takes 60 days for the first 6 leaves to grow, and then only 6 more days for the next 60 leaves to grow.

שמואל אמר שיתין יומין שיתא עליי שיתא יומין שיתין עליי

Thus, it takes 66 days for 66 leaves to emerge!

share|improve this answer
    
Checkmark for double 66-ness. –  Isaac Moses Jul 28 '10 at 16:43
add comment

66 C.E. was the beginning of the Jewish revolt against the romans, which ultimately led to the destruction of the Temple: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Jewish-Roman_War

(well, at least according to a historical account. we know that the Temple was destroyed because of sinas hinam, but the Romans acted out the decree, and used the revolt as justification)

share|improve this answer
1  
Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin has pointed out that in different places, Hazal blame: a.) the Romans b.) sin c.) incompetent Jewish leadership. He said that once there's an enemy and incompetent leadership, the natural course would be destruction; but we'd merit to protection from it if we were't sinning. –  Shalom Jul 26 '10 at 20:16
    
I heard it in English on his yutorah shiur on das torah. He referenced a Hebrew essay of his, I think it's available on hebrewbooks. –  Shalom Jul 26 '10 at 20:17
add comment

66 are the degrees of longitude from the "western edge of civilization" to Jerusalem. (In the Rambam's times only the Eastern Hemisphere was known to be inhabited, so they spoke only of 180° of longitude, centered on a line corresponding to about modern 59° east of Greenwich. Jerusalem is 24° west of that line.)

(Commentaries to Rambam, Hil. Kiddush Hachodesh 11:17)

share|improve this answer
2  
Jerusalem is at roughly 35 degrees East; subtracting 66 that gives 31 degrees West. Conveniently, according to Wikipedia, "The Monchique Islet on Flores Island, located at 31° 16' 24" W is regarded as the westernmost point in Europe" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azore_Islands) –  Shalom Jul 26 '10 at 15:40
add comment

When Yaakov went down to Mitzrayim, the descendants who came along with him numbered 66. (Bereishis 46:26)

share|improve this answer
add comment

Following two weeks of tameh flow, a woman who gives birth to a girl has a 66 day period of tahor flow (Parashas Tazria)

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.